Why Being Single is Awesome

Happy Belated Valentines Day, everyone!!! In leu of surviving the only holiday specifically created for couples, I have written a list of fourteen reasons why being a single woman is awesome. This post is dedicated to Lydia, Christine and Rachel . . . and also everyone else who is single. Enjoy :) 

1.     We understand what “moving home for family” really means.
Exhibit A:

Brand New Friend Christine whom I found online and met at a bar: So, what brought you to St. Louis?
Me: Well, I just moved back from Korea. Before that, I was in Arkansas. Before that, Africa.  Basically I haven’t lived here in eleven years and I just kind of figured it was time to be near family again.
Christine: (long pause, pensive stare) Oh. So you had a really bad break up and had to come home? Me too.

2.     Extreme heartache/pain breeds creativity.
Everyone knows the best songs, poetry, and stories are written when the artist is severely depressed and alone. Going through a horrific breakup followed by months of singleness may not be fun, but it absolutely helps to create some incredible art.
Example: Noah and the Whale- The First Days of Spring album

3.     Being single forces one to embrace independence.
When with a significant other, things are paid for. Decisions are made together. Emotional, psychological and other support is provided almost always. When single, we are on are own pretty much 100% of the time. Does my neck and upper back hurt like hell? Do I have a million knots that seem to never go away? Do I have some nice, strong man-hands to help alleviate the pain and provide exhorbitant amounts of oxytocin? NO. I do not. I rub out the pain myself. I use essential oils that don’t actually work but make me feel all-natural. I POWER THROUGH. If my break pads fall out of my car in the middle of the road and I go careening down the hill and into traffic, do I have someone to call and assist me in fixing my car? No. I do it myself. . . with the help of a neighbor named Zeus.

4.     Options are endless.
I read a blog recently (www.waitbywhy.com) about singleness. He basically explained that those of us who are single are actually in a much better place then those that are in a relationship that is doomed to fail because we are one step closer to success! While those in a relationship that will soon end still have to struggle through trying to make it work, it not working, devastation, and months of healing—those of us who have been single for a while now are already on the mend, don’t have to worry about making something last that shouldn’t, and can date anyone we choose! I mean, we can literally go out on the town, to the post office, or really anywhere and look at every single male we want to look at without an ounce of guilt. Then we quickly glance to the ring finger. If occupied—look away and get over it. If not? Who knows . . .

5.     We get to redefine ourselves.
      We’ve all been there. We’ve been that super independent woman that once in a relationship somehow almost instantly becomes a clingy, needy and slightly crazy person that we barely recognize. We sometimes find ourselves growing our hair out, or chopping it all off, or dying it, or letting it go natural, or getting manicures, or whatever else that is entirely not our idea but seems to please the man. Maybe we even cease listening to country music—or start listening to country music (gasp!) There’s nothing wrong with these decisions, but sometimes it is easy to get carried away and in the process lose our identity entirely. Being single for a season (or forever) allows us to redefine who we are. To find whom we once were but seem to have forgotten existed at all.

6.     We can dance like no one’s watching.
In reality—everyone is watching. But you know that saying, “Love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like no one’s watching . . .” Something like that. Anyway there’s something about being a single woman that makes it okay to actually do that in public. My dear friend Christine and I have been known to break out into interpretive dances to hit pop songs like “Clarity” by Zedd. I mean—those dancing around us just stop and stare in awestruck (or horrified) wonder. It is really fantastic. There was also the time we were so tired of dancing alone during slow songs that we invited the entire bar/club to dance with us . . . it pretty much turned into a group hug/slow dance of thirty complete strangers J

7.     We can walk at whatever pace we want to.
You know what I’m talking about. That guy you dated that walked suuuuuuuper fast . . . or painfully  slow!? Awful. When you are single you can walk however fast or slow you want to according to your current mood (which we all know varies greatly). In fact, you can even choose whichever pattern you would like to walk in!
Fact: I sometimes walk in zigzag patterns on my way back to my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot . . . just because I can.

8.     We can get up and go.
Anywhere. Any time. For any reason. No questions asked. This may mean a trip to Italy. Or? It may mean an impulsive road trip to Iowa to see your college besties. No matter. You are single. There is no one else to invite or coordinate schedules with. GO.

9.     We can find great joy in flirting with random old men.
Sometimes we can get a bit down about our singleness and have self esteem issues. Thoughts like, “Am I too old? Do I even have any eggs left? Do they assume I’m taken so they don’t even try to approach me? Do I smell? Do I have something in my teeth? Do I come off as desperate!?!?” cross our minds. It is then we may take the opportunity to hit on a random sixty-five year old man at the local indie art store. Nothing dirty or inappropriate. Simply dropping a sale pamphlet next to him and then giving a smile as he responds,

Old Man: I just got out of the hospital for back surgery so I can’t pick that up for you, pretty lady!
Me: Dammit! I was trying to hit on you.
Old Man: I figured (winky face).
Old Man’s Old Friend: HAHA! You wish, Earl!
Old Man: Maybe you should try that trick on the next good-looking man your age that walks by.
Me: Good idea.
(I ACCIDENTALLY drop an Xacto knife minutes later)
Old Man: Shoot! He missed his cue, honey. Next time.
Old Man: (In line behind old men waiting to check out)
You followin’ us, sweetie?
Me: Always
Old Man’s Friend: Wellll now. Any girl that can get away with sportin’ cowboy boots in the middle of St. Louis city in the Loop is fine enough to stand by me!

10.  We can use our nephews as man-bait.
It’s kind of the same idea as a guy walking a dog to get girls. Except nephews are WAY cuter and they also allow us to show off our nurturing, maternal abilities.

11.  We can watch endless chick flicks, indie films, The Bachelor, etc. and not be judged for it.
While I’m at it. . . we can even watch ANTP. There is no need to stand at the Redbox in the frigid cold for hours or browse Netflix for days trying to agree upon a movie you would both enjoy. It is our decision and our decision only.

12.  We can secretly grin ear-to-ear when we see unhappy, bickering couples because thank God that’s not us.
Is it terrible? Yes. Will we go to hell for this? Maybe. But there is absolutely no denying that we all, at least at some point in our single lives, have secretly rejoiced over witnessing an incredibly unhappy couple argue over whether they should go see a movie tonight or stay in, order take out or eat out, hire a sitter or stay home, purchase a bottle of wine or simply a couple of glasses. We witness couples engaging in all kinds of lovey-dovey activity all day every day. Couples surround us. We are the absolute minority (if over twenty-five years old and living in the Midwest). Therefore, when we see a couple that clearly can't stand each other, although admittedly horrible, we inwardly rejoice. Because that could have been us.

13.  We can be pegged as lesbians and not care.
There was a time in life when this would have been offensive. Now? Not so much. I feel that once over twenty-five years, women tend to develop a sense of moxie that prior to turning twenty-five was simply unobtainable. The first twenty-five years of life (especially the first eighteen) are so full of insecurity and traumatic adolescence and first love and heartbreak that once twenty-five comes along we just sort of get it. Finally. Not entirely, but to an extent. We know who we are much more so than we did back then. Our self-esteem is probably at its peak because we survived middle school, powered through high school, partied through college, and finally—are finding ourselves in the real world. Or are we? Ha! We are trying. The point is that sometimes we may go to a bar with a girlfriend/friendgirl and be sitting quite close. And hugging. Or have our arms around one another while sharing a gin and tonic. And people may stare in wonder, or they may straight up ask if we are together. But because we are strong and confident single women, we do not react defensively; “No I’m not a lesbian! I have a boyfriend!” and then proceed to freak out and move ten feet away from said friend. Instead, we simply throw our heads back and laugh while continuing to confidently sip our cocktail, not giving a care in the world that perhaps the reason no good-looking men are approaching us is because it is assumed we are ‘together.’ Because we are single women. And we simply do not care.

14.  We can do what we want. Every. SINGLE. Day.
Enough said.