Happy Singles' Day

This morning I received a text message from my, very quickly becoming, new best friend Megan.  Macy's shot her an e-mail congratulating her on Singles' Day (11/11) and inviting her to join in on the sales celebrating the holiday.  Is this the Valentine's Day for single people?  If there's chocolate involved, does that mean tomorrow it will all be half-priced?  These are important questions I need answered.

As the concept of Singles' Day isn't wholly American (it's a Chinese tradition, mostly boosting online shopping sales), it's a bit of an unwanted reminder.  Just as Valentine's Day is.  I can buy chocolate/clothes/electronics any day of the year.  Do I really need a holiday based on my relationship status to make these things available to me?

When I started my new job, one of my co-workers cornered me in the kitchen and asked for all the good gossip I could share about myself.  I laughed and asked her what she wanted to know.  Was I married? she asked.  I quickly responded no, which she followed up by asking if I had any children.  Again, no.  "Well, that's all I wanted to know, really."  And she walked away.

Was that all that was interesting about me?  I, essentially, gave up the last three years of my life to care for my grandfather.  I had my ear pierced at 3 in the morning in the East Village by a guy so high he'd been up for three days straight watching Spongebob Squarepants (he screwed it up, my roommate had to re-puncture it weeks later).  I sat on a beach in Waikiki, getting sand in my bottoms, letting the waves crash over me as I stared out into the nothingness beyond Hawai`i.  When my best friend told me she had breast cancer, I quit the second job I desperately needed to make sure I could be home every other weekend.

My relationship status doesn't make up the sum of my life's experiences.  I know that's not something most women want to admit.  It's very hard to not feel like the last single girl in the world when all of your friends have long been members of a twosome.  Days like today make you question the relationships you've either had or didn't and wonder why so many others have "found" what you haven't.  Even if you're like me and aren't particularly looking.

As an avid fan of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, both the novel and the movie, I truly believe in this quote: "We accept the love we think we deserve."  To me, it means staying in a relationship with someone for the fear of not finding better and avoiding being single on Singles' Day.  Something I have been guilty of these past ten years is pursuing relationships simply to avoid being alone.

Well, this year I join the masses as a single lady.  Admittedly, I was failing a bit but I've gotten back up on my horse and I proudly wave the Single Flag.  Because my single status doesn't make me a good or bad person.  It's not a life goal or an accomplishment.  It's just a box to check off on a tax form.

Tonight I will lay down, by myself, and not fight someone for the covers.  I will read Tiny Beautiful Things or watch The Inbetweeners until my eyes get tired and I will wake up in the morning when I feel like it, not because someone else is getting out of bed to go to work and now I'm awake and can't fall back.

So, Happy Singles' Day.

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