Seriously? Is It Just Me…

Archive for the ‘Single and Loving It’ Category

female-dogNow I’ve never been married, so I don’t know what it feels like to have a husband who works with, socializes with or finds himself in the company of single women. I’m sure if someone has trust and/or jealousy issues then this could be a big problem for their marriage. However, I do know what it’s like to find myself having to socialize with married men, mainly for professional reasons, and to be treated so poorly by their wives simply for being single. These women (bless their hearts) are clearly struggling with some issues, but it’s always in my best interest to spot them early on and then steer clear. For those who have yet to experience the chilly demeanor of a mean wife, here are a few signs:

1. You are constantly having to tell her your name. Despite having met her at more than one company function, dinner party and/or social event, your name “escapes” her memory every time.

2. You feel a sharp pain in the back of your neck from the daggers she’s shooting at you through her eyes. If I’m talking to her husband, when I feel these nasty glares darting my way, I take an extra step back away from her man and limit my laughter. I clearly will not be able to express any enjoyment while conversating with her spouse.

3. You find yourself engaged in a conversation with her where she continues to deliver back handed compliments about your outfit, shoes and/or accessories. Now, this is always so comical to me because it’s always the wives who don’t work outside the home, and spend up their husbands money who find it appropriate to play the I have more than you do game. Really?

4. You find yourself biting your tongue while she proceeds to give you unsoliciated “advice” on why you’re not married. Comments such as, you’re too picky, too independent or unapproachable seem far reaching and clearly inappropriate especially when they’ve never spent more than 15 minutes with you. You don’t even know my name, why do you care if I’m still single or not?

Now contrary to what some married women think, most single women do not want your husband. I have several married friends, who are confident in their marriages, trust their husbands and care enough to know the people he works with on a regular basis. Therefore, when the mean wives rear their ugly heads, I simply smile, nod and dish out my own dose of back handed compliments right before I say a small prayer for their husbands. Seriously.

Well, we’ve finally come to the conclusion of my A Seriously Series on Who Let The Dogs In, and I’ve saved my favorite point for last.

6. Like to be alone.

Unfortunately, being single often carries a stigma that there must certainly be something wrong with you if you aren’t in a serious relationship or married. Even more so, if you are a woman all up in your 30’s and haven’t found a man yet (shame on you Society).

Bridget Jones Diary

All By Myself

I think most of us single women can’t help but reflect back on the oh so close to home scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary, where a flannel pajama wearing Miss Jones is all alone on a Saturday night drinking wine, smoking and doing a tortured rendition of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”. (Classic scene — check it out on YouTube.) Sadly, it’s a stereotype that has become many a single girl’s nightmare.

While being alone night after night can at times feel painful, I’ve come to learn that it’s no where near has painful as staying in a relationship with someone who is not good for you. So often women will jump from one bad relationship to the next in a desperate attempt to never be single or alone. However, in my years of going solo, I’ve actually come to learn so much about myself and what I want, or more importantly need, in a relationship. You’ve got to learn to like yourself before you can expect someone else to like you.

Learning to be alone can be intimidating and frightening, but it can actually be a lot of fun. Since you really have no one to entertain you, it falls to you to figure out what you like to do. What do you want to eat? What movies or tv shows do you want to watch? What hobbies do you enjoy? What do YOU want to do?

Of course, there are different ways to be alone and I’m not talking about the depressed, bitter and angry version. This time on your own should be reflective, introspective and inspiring. Think about it, it’s quite difficult to determine how you can improve or grow as a partner if you never taken the time to truly reflect back on your past relationship. What went wrong? What role did you play? What could you have done differently?

Taking that time, and I mean time as in months not days, to be alone and come to conclusions that can benefit you and your new man going forward. Man hopping simply doesn’t accomplish that, it just takes the old habits and problems into the next relationship.

So the next time you find yourself leaving a relationship, take some time off to heal, reflect and set new goals for yourself. You’ll be refreshed and ready to give it another go when the time is right. Of course, if you’re aren’t too careful, you might end up like me and enjoy being alone so much the thought of being in a relationship makes you cringe. But that’s another series, seriously?

You Go Girl!

While I was checking my Twitter feed the other day, I couldn’t help but notice that is was flooded with the news that Sandra Bullock had filed for divorce from her cheating husband and had adopted a baby boy. After reading up on the details, I sat back and thought “this woman ain’t playing”.

I’m sure everyone in America has heard about the recent cheating scandals of Tiger Woods and Jesse James. The fact that so many people care is another post, but without a doubt these were big entertainment news stories. Interestingly enough their respective wives each choose a different path when dealing with the multiple affairs of their husbands. Tiger Woods wife, Elin, decided to stay married, probably for the sake of the children (or the money) but regardless she is going to work on her marriage. Sandra Bullock, chose to ditch the cheating man and focus on her new baby. Granted, I haven’t walked a mile in either of these women’s shoes and honestly do not know what I would do in their situations, but I’m liking Sandra’s shoes.

As I think on what little I know about Sandra Bullock and her life, or rather what the media portrays of her life, I find myself inspired by her tenacity:

  1. She didn’t give up on finding love and got married for the first time when she was 40.
  2. She stayed focused on her career and after 15 years finally earned Oscar, SAG and Golden Globe awards.
  3. She was determined to start a family even if it meant adopting a baby instead of birthing one.
  4. She decided to file for divorce from her cheating husband who clearly had no respect for her or their marriage.

That takes guts…that takes a strong spirit…and that takes self confidence. While some of her risks didn’t pay off, she wasn’t afraid to go for what she wanted which ultimately meant learning from her mistakes and enjoying her rewards. So while I haven’t walked a mile in her shoes, she surely must inspire us girls to reach for our dreams and keep our heads held high even when we fall. I wonder if we could wear the same size shoe, seriously?

One of the biggest challenges in life is learning to be okay with who you are and not letting others make you feel bad about being you. It took me a long time to work out that puzzle and I’m sad to say that there are still times when I find myself uncomfortable with who I am.

It was a seemingly mundane situation, a team interview session, where a group of my co-workers and I were firing questions at a potential new employee. We then asked, “do you have any questions for us” to which she requested that we tell her something about ourselves. She was curious if we had spouses, children and hobbies. This is when I started to panic because I knew that I was the only single one of the group and everyone else was going to start with the statement that they were married, with x-amount of children, and so on.

As I sat and listened to my co-worker talk about her husband and step-son going off to college, I could feel my face getting hot with anxiety. Why was I panicking about my relationship status? I’m okay with being single and having no children, but what would she think of me? Maybe I shouldn’t tell her, after all, it’s none of her business, right? Not that I should have been, but I was feeling truly embarrassed to tell her that I was single…for like three seconds. Oh no! I reminded myself that I am proud of who am I and being single is not something to be ashamed of despite with others may think.

So it was now my turn to tell this woman in two sentences who I was…this is what I said. My name is Mika. I’m not married, have no children and spend my free time attending local charity events and traveling. Her eyes widen as she chirped, “how fun”. No smirk of judgement, no eyebrows raised in pity, no eye rolls of prejudice…just me forgetting to be comfortable with who I am. In times like this it’s essential to remember, being single does not the girl make, seriously!

This past weekend was the infamous Valentines Day. A Hallmark holiday designed to express your love and be all romantic-al with your significant others. It also happens to coincide with a lesser known event called S.A.D or Single Awareness Day. A day for singletons of the world to celebrate or to commiserate in their single status. But to me, this is more a day to remind those who are coupled up that being single is not a punishment and can be a fulfilling way to live life. I’m sure we all know a single person or two or four, so let me share a few things to that you shouldn’t do to your single friends in honor S.A.D :

1. Don’t ask a single person why they are still single. In my opinion, being single is a choice not a sentence. Most of us have the opportunities to couple up, but either just aren’t ready or haven’t found the right person. Trust me, the answer to that question speaks more to the heart of who we are, not the world around us, and the last thing we want to do is lay our personal challenges out on the table for examination.

2. Don’t ask us if we are seeing anyone as a way to make small talk. Relationships are personal and our dating life is not something many of us want to chat cavalierly about to make conversation. Typically, the answer will be “no one special” because, A. there is not any action going on, or B. we are seeing someone and don’t want to jinx it. Trust me, once we find ourselves in a relationship, you’ll know by the grin on our faces and the pep in our step.

3. Don’t bring your partner to a “date” with your single friends. We may grin through it, but it’s a downer when you bring your significant other to a dinner, lunch or shopping trip that we thought was going to be just us. Three’s a crowd, so unless it’s a party then just leave the hubby at home for a hour or two. Trust me, no one wants to be a third wheel and no matter how you try to spin it, the single person is always the extra.

While many of the above may seem like innocent acts, they sting the heart of the single. Some of us our happy with our status and some are struggling with it, and neither feel the need to call attention to it. How often do you hear us ask ‘how is your marriage going’ or ‘why did you get married’? Ask us about our lives, our hobbies, or our work, and let us share our singlehood challenges when we are ready, seriously?

Protest Image

Hey! I've got rights!

Being a woman of color, I unfortunately have my fair share of discrimination stories. I’ll stop short of saying that I know I’ll be treated differently because of my gender or race, but I do have my discrimination antenna up at all times just to be safe. Yes, we have come a long way, but some folks tend to forget that we’ve been free for some time now. So when I heard that my BFF was recently treated unfairly for being a single, I realized that groups of every kind will always have their hurdles. Here’s the back story:
Read the rest of this entry »

Ever heard the saying, be careful what you wish for because it just might come true? Sounds great, right? Ah, but the twist is that wishes always seem to come with a catch. Which is why when I find myself wishing for a man, I try to find the brighter side of being single. The head game goes a little something like this:

1. I wish I had someone to help clean up the house…but then again it wouldn’t just be my dirt I’d have to clean up. So I say thanks for maids!

2. I wish I had someone to cook for…but then again he would probably expect me to cook for him every night. So I say thanks for being able to cook whenever and whatever I want. Cereal dinners are a single girl’s best friend.

3. I wish I had someone to snuggle with at night…but then again he would probably snore and steal all the covers. So I say thanks for being able to sleep soundly in the middle of the bed.

4. I wish I had a dual income so I can buy more shoes…but then again I’d have to check the dual budget to make sure we allotted enough shoe money for me. Chances are we didn’t. So I say thanks because I can buy as many shoes as I want and only have myself to blame for blowing the budget.

5. I wish I had someone to come home to…but then again I’m not ready to start checking in with someone when I want to go grab a drink with the girls. So I say thanks for being the master of my schedule and not having to get “permission” from someone else.

An even more truer statement is the grass is always greener. Yes, there are plus and minuses to every situation. The key is to find the good in your life instead of focusing on the things you don’t have, or else you’ll drive yourself batty. Of course, I’m having a hard time finding the bright side of not having someone run to the store for me when I forgot something. Seriously!

Soapbox Diaries from an Unplanned Single Life!

I hope you enjoy the random thoughts, observations and life lessons that I've learned along the way. It's called Seriously? because some days I just shake my head and say seriously, is this my life?

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