Single Ladies

“You ain’t married yet”, he asked in a thick Kreyol accent. Henri was an old Haitian friend of mine. We reconnected via Facebook, quickly exchanging phone numbers and getting caught up. When I informed Henri that I had yet to remarry he was incredulous. Lately I’ve been asked variations of Henri’s question. How is such a good, intelligent and beautiful woman alone? They reason that I shouldn’t be on the market due to my qualities. I wish it was as easy as they make it out to be.

Singlehood isn’t my ideal, but I’ve learned to become comfortable with it. The mistakes of my twenties showed me the difference between being with a man just to say I have one versus choosing to cultivate a partnership with a worthy suitor. That is my ideal. In spite of the disappointments I’ve managed to remain optimistic. But I wonder if I have what it takes to navigate the world of modern dating as a single lady.

I find the arbitrary rules propagated by the likes of Steve Harvey to be frustrating. I don’t feel I should have to play mind games with men, nor do I like the idea of using my sexuality as a way of manipulating them. But in a climate of predators it seems like I must. All of the fuss related to dating makes me wonder why I bother. While I may get lonely at times being single spares me from the stress of deciphering a man’s intentions.

There are still visions that I entertain. I cannot pretend that I don’t miss the feeling of intimacy I had when my ex-husband and I watched The Daily Show in bed together every night. I cannot pretend that there isn’t a part of me that still wants to take vows and dance with her love to Erykah Badu’s “Love of My Life” at our wedding reception. The idea of having someone to ‘have and to hold in sickness and in health’ resonates in me after all this time. Whether my visions will come
to pass remains to be seen. So for now I will go back to chillin’ in the cut as a single lady, grateful that I at least have my peace of mind.

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

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