Thursday, December 16, 2010

Singled out in Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Last week I threw a holiday dinner party that would’ve made a Johnson & Wales professor proud — or at least the deli person at Harris Teeter. So what if I served everyone on little kid zoo paper plates? They were on sale at Target.

As we sat there eating the brie ball, fruit pizza, and dates wrapped in turkey bacon washed down by skinny margaritas (which is pretty much the extent of my domestic repertoire), we realized that all nine of us girls were single.

Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Where was everyone else I invited? Most of the other girls declined because they were cooking dinner too, for two, with their beaus. While they were all coupled up, we were singled out … that, or they just couldn’t find a babysitter.

dinnerpartyforsingles

And this is becoming a pattern I’ve noticed all too common.

As I sit here now, drinking my boxed White Sangria that was also on sale at Target in bed, alone, with a computer hoisted on my lap, I can’t help but wonder if that feeling of loneliness that comes from being single isn’t so much not having one special person, but not having as many girlfriends around anymore.

In the He Said, She Said column I wrote with Brotha Fred a while ago, we discussed how weddings are like funerals for friendships. Cason-point: I rarely get to see my married, or practically married, friends anymore … and when I do, it usually surrounds another friend’s wedding. And there I’m usually truncated to the singles table, or the kids table.

Where exactly is the division between singles and married?

It doesn’t just put you in a different tax bracket, but a different stage of life. Because as the circle of life turns, and you stand still, your friends cycle out around you.

I actually had a friend come out and tell me that the reason I don’t get invited out to dinner at Wok, Bask, or whatever restaurant opens up on that given weekend as often anymore is because it’s usually “couples.” I’m not invited to tag along, because, well, I would be literally tagging along.

At least she had the testicular fortitude to say it to my face, rather than making me sit and wonder why my friends don’t want to hang out with me anymore. Or perhaps it's because I am becoming a tad bit cynical, to where my intern wrote on her wedding invitation to me: “I know you hate weddings, but I’d love it if you would come to mine.” I’m still happy for my friends for finding their prince charming, despite the fact I’m still kissing frogs.

As my single friends sat there devouring the overabundance of food I’d made for a dinner party cut in half, our discussion turned to who we’d been dating, or not dating rather.

Sure, we could be with a boy – keyword being boy. Our pickings are starting to get narrowed down to 22-year-olds, which is like 15 in guy years, or men in their 40s with more baggage than we are equiped to carry. It can have a designer label on it, but it’s still baggage. And we work and travel (for work) all the time, enabling opportunities to meet guys who don’t fall into the above categories. Because boys are like buses – if you miss one, another one will come right behind it. But we have our own rides, and we don’t let just anyone ride or drive it.

The topic of conversation then turned to how much time (and money) we spend celebrating our friend’s coupling up between showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings. Meanwhile, we’re still stuck being “Singled Out,” with a credit card bill for registries. We weren’t complaining, but we were wondering how come we don’t get a bachelorette party for actually remaining a bachelorette? And why can’t we register for buying and making a house as an independent woman? And I never got a card reading, “Congrats for not marrying the wrong guy after college.” Because being a single woman is just as amazing as being married, and should be treated as such. At least, that's what we're telling ourselves.

Side note: If you are singled out and throwing a dinner party for your single friends, here are some recipes so simple even I can do it: “Hosting a Dinner Party for Dummies … by a Dummy.

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