Tatiana Talks

Greener Grass

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was recently at the pool with Bridie and Pepper. Before we were talking about how happy Pepper was when she was single, we were talking about the Duchess.

The Duchess had sent me a text the previous day about this single guy she knew (or knew of, it was never really clear) who was a billionaire, but also really short, but a billionaire and so she wondered if I could look past my height requirement for a billionaire. I think she then sent another text, reminding me this guy made billions and I would be a fool to not at least let her give him my number. When I responded, I told her he should take some of his money, go to China and have his shins lengthened. But that would still only get him a first date with me. I wouldn’t promise anything more.

After we all stopped laughing at my ridiculousness and the Duchess’s relentlessness, Pepper chimed in, “But you don’t even seem to mind being single.”

We then went on to discuss all the reasons why being single is sort of awesome and that is when Pepper revealed she was happiest when she was on her own.


Was she telling the truth? I think so. Does it raise the question: if she was happiest single, why doesn’t she break up with her boyfriend? Sure. But, she loves him (note her reason has nothing to do with a fear of being called a crazy cat lady or always having a date on national holidays). Plus she didn’t say she is unhappy. But as she explained it: “If a person is, on average, happy 80 percent of the time, and you are with someone who is also happy 80 percent of the time, then there is chance that 40 percent of the time one of you isn’t going to be happy and that is going to affect the other person.”

I heart math.

What I don’t love is the misconception that women’s happiness is dependent on whether or not she has a man in her life. A married woman (or coupled-off woman) is a happy woman. A single woman, well she may seem happy when she is out drinking and dancing and laughing, but every night she goes home and cries, while paging through the bridal magazines she keeps hidden under her bed and listening to Adele.

For the record, the only bridal magazines I own have articles in them that I wrote.

Maybe this is why we have so many unhappy women on both sides of the broom. The single women are miserable because they are told they are supposed to be, whereas married women feel like failures because they supposedly have it all and are still not satisfied.

Instead of fighting about who is happier, can’t we just recognize each of us is a unique and complex individual capable of a whole spectrum of feelings based on several factors, the least of which is our relationship status. That it is okay if these emotions fluctuate from elated to miserable and all things in between because we are humans and life happens, and while I am happy 80 percent of the time I sometimes cry when I hear a Taylor Swift song (actually this is embarrassing, but I am working on it). It is okay to be sad sometimes. It reminds us to appreciate all the excellent times.

Plus, I think we can all agree anyone that is happy all the time, is just a freak.

Open Letter to Marie Claire

Dear MC,

I visited my hometown last weekend to check in on my parents, but mostly to get my hair done (my Mom and Dad will probably out-live us all, not to mention I had just seen them the weekend before when we went to the Phillies game). Waiting for me upon my arrival was a stack of magazines, almost up to my knees and in that pile were a couple of Marie Claires.

See, my mom has a subscription to just about every magazine published. She curates from her collection a selection that she think I would enjoy and leaves them in a pile for me.

My mom was most excited to show me your June issue. Right there on the cover, she pointed out, was a story I was sure to love: “The New Revolution. Love and the Single Girl.”

The next day, over breakfast, my mom asked me what I thought of the article. I rolled my eyes and told her it annoyed me. I then started explaining why. The problem is, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that so bothered me.


Then, last week, I was talking to Hot Attorney, really trying to concentrate on what he was saying and not fantasize about all the things I wish he was saying when it hit me – the second vignette. The second vignette in your article is what pissed me off. I went home a re-read it and I was exactly as I remembered.

It started out so well: “Putting themselves first and a wedding ring second, a new generation of women fights for their rights to be left alone (literally) and then went on to point out all the recent attacks on single women (even some I didn’t know about or really perceive as attacks). The article actually has the words, “We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood.”

What isn’t there to love about this article?

Well, after the one page of celebration, with all your quotes and facts and figures, the three vignettes followed. Three little stories about three different single women at three different points in their lives, all expressing a different hardship of being single.

Now, I am not an us versus them sort of girl. I have nothing but respect for married and coupled women. Almost all of my friends are married or in relationships. However, in the instance of Vignette Number Two (or VNT as I’m gonna call her), I have to say it: she isn’t single. She never was single. She was dumped and is now presumably back in a relationship. Using her six-months wandering the city looking for a karaoke bar where she could shine in a article about how awesome it is to be single is like using a woman that likes to make out with her girlfriends when she is drunk to the delight of all of the male bar patrons in a story about living as a lesbian.

Was VNT’s story adorable? Yes. I am equal parts impressed that she went to karaoke bars and got up and sang all by herself and glad that she found a new dude and they are getting married soon. However, you should have saved her triumph over tragedy for the inevitable getting over him piece you will run in February. Because it has no business in an article about women choosing to be single.

I get it. You prefer to include three vignettes because three is a magic number when it comes to examples to back a theory and choruses in pop songs. But there had to have been better examples out there. Why not talk to my friend who called off her wedding when she realized she wanted to be married more than she wanted to be married to her fiancé. Or, if you were looking for a happy ending (which you clearly still define as in a relationship) then talk to any one of my now coupled off/married friends that were single well into their 30s, dating like crazy but never settling down until they found someone that was worth it.

Further, why were the other two vignettes about how hard it is to be single – a pesky father and always having to move over a seat at a bar so a couple could sit down? Where were the triumphant stories of dates so terrible they still make your friends laugh. Or stories about girlfriend-only vacations or the good they are doing throughout the world because they aren’t tied to a home and a family -- there has to be one female doctor out there curing some disease that can shrug and say, yeah, saving lives doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to date. Where was she?

Do I seem a little over upset about this article? Maybe. But it is just because I had such high hopes. My mother and I both did. And it was just such a disappointment.

Then again, maybe I should stop pinning my hopes to a magazine with other coverlines that included “Extreme Weight Loss Confessions” and “Get it Now! Sexy Summer Style.”

Yours,

Tati

Table for One

Sometimes it’s lonely being single. Of course it is. But sometimes the loneliness hits you when you least expect it.

Friends and I signed up for a party run. For the uninitiated -- a party run is a race followed by a party. But by the time the race came around, everyone had backed out for one reason or another.

Everyone except me.

Now, typically I run by myself, so it wasn’t the race that worried me. It was before the run that had me freaking out. Before a run you are just standing around, talking with friends, trying to keep warm, thinking about bailing, and wondering why you keep signing up for these things.  You hop around, you laugh, judge other runners and wait for the starting gun. But when you are alone, well, you just stand there. Alone. Surrounded by hundreds of people.

Of course I thought about bailing, too, as I walked down to the start. I kept thinking I can just go home. No one will know.

But I had made a promise to myself earlier. If I went to run, I didn’t have to face the party. After all, this was my choice -- to be single. And being single means sometimes I will be all by myself. Sometimes there will be things I want to do that no one is contractually obligated to do with me. But all that pep talk aside, I still wasn’t ready to go to a party alone.

When I finally made it to the starting line, it wasn’t nearly as bad or as lonesome as I feared. I saw people I knew, talked to them for a bit. Checked my bag, lined up at the start. Saw CK. He wasn’t running but was waiting dutifully with his new girlfriend. I waved. He waved back. Then the gun went off, I took off, and before I knew it, the race was over and I had finished the four miles in a time that even shocked me.

I was feeling so good post-race, I almost wanted to brave the party.

Maybe next year.

But He's Single

There is a new battle cry coming from my camp of friends that don’t believe me when I say I am single for life.

It’s an interesting plan. Gone are the hypothetical situations where a super-hot guy in horn-rimmed glasses, with a great head of hair, a fantastic sense of humor, and Peyton Manning’s work ethic, walks up to me at a bar and declares I am the one he has been looking for and he can’t live another moment without me, he then drops down to one knee, opens a red leather box exposing a nearly flawless, 4-carat ,emerald cut diamond ring. They have been replaced with a simpler plea, “What about him?” pointing to the nearest guy who isn’t already talking to a woman.

I never said it was a good plan.

We were all out Friday night, and it got to that point in the evening where everyone had just enough alcohol in them to start trolling the bar for bedfellows. Or at least that is how it went in the good ol’ days. Now, I was the lone single ranger, and the only guy I would have even maybe considered making out with was gone, and I wasn’t even sure when he left which indicates to you just how interested I was in him.

Still, the Duchess, the leader of the declining rebel forces, wasn’t going to let dick o’clock pass without pointing out the several men within arm’s reach whom she thought I should be talking to. The conversations went a lot like this:



“Tati, what about that guy.”

Eye roll. “What guy?”

“That guy, there, in the blue fleece.”

Without looking. “He’s wearing a fleece.”

“He’s cute.”

I look over. “He’s short.”

“He’s not. He’s your height.”

“For the last time, that’s short.”

“He’s funny and has a good job.”

“He doesn’t live in the city.”

“He has a car.”

“Because he doesn’t live in the city.”

“But he’s single.”

Oh, well, then, it’s on like Donkey Kong. Why didn’t you say that in the first place? Let me just adjust my cleavage.


Now, if it sounds like I am being picky it’s because I am. It took a lot for me to get here – this happy place where I realized that I have a lot going on for myself. Those of you that have been reading this blog know there were some tortured moments as I tried to find happiness with someone. I realized along the way that even if I found the perfect guy referenced above, it would still require some compromise on my part to fit him into my life. So if I am going to have to give up even a part of my awesome, happy life, he is going to have to be worth it – that’s just basic economics; it’s called opportunity costs.

So, Number Five is going to have to have a lot going for him. Certainly more than just being single.

Number Five

I have been having a lot of conversations about choosing to be single for life. Mostly friends that either don’t believe me or want in. At some point, rather incredulously, people will say, “So, you are never going to get married.”

I’m not a super big fan of the word never. I find it almost always comes back to bite me. I am still ruing the day I told Bridie I would never tuck my jeans into boots.

So I came up with a list, the five guys I would be willing to leave the single life for. As follows, ranked in case two of them ask me to marry them at the exact same time:
1. Peyton Manning
2. Ryan Gosling
3. CK
4. Daniel Craig
5. TBD
I left spot number five open because during this journey I swallowed a lot of red pills of truth. One of these pills was that truth changes. Right now everything in my life is perfectly wonderful. I am happy and content (not the same thing) and looking forward to my next adventure and the one after that, and the one after that.

But I know that as I go on these adventures, and continue on with my life, things will change. I will change. And there may come a day that I can’t fathom right now, when I will meet someone that changes my truth. That makes risking all my happiness worthwhile.

Of course, it is just as possible that the five spot will never be filled and that is okay too. The thing is, I just don’t know and – as my mother would say – my crystal ball is at the shop getting fixed.

Let the Revolution Begin

Bridie and I were outside a friend’s party, smoking one of the last cigarettes either of us would ever smoke when she asked if I saw the latest Psychology Today. (Side note: As you know, Bridie is a therapist and subscribes to this magazine. When we lived together, I started reading it because it really is a fascinating magazine and to this day I will often pick up a copy when I am at Whole Foods, however being this conversation took place at the end of the year and it was my last chance to be decadent, I hadn’t been to a Whole Foods in quite some time).

I told her I hadn’t.

She told me there was an article in it that I should read – about choosing to be single. She then added that while she doesn’t believe I will be single for live, the article did raise some interesting facts about single people and the misconception that they all want to get married.

I looked at her and declared that I had started a revolution (even though I am sure the magazine went to print before I posted that blog) and then I flashed the gang sign for “Single for Life” that I have been working on.

She rolled her eyes.

The next day, I decided a trip to Whole Paycheck (err Foods) was in order. I even picked up some healthy groceries while I was there.

I got home, got out the hummus and pita chips (What? That is sort of healthy) and opened to the article I heard so much about the prior day. Soon, I was grinning as if I had too much wine and there was a hot guy across the bar. (Another side note: Sadly, I looked and couldn’t find it online to share with you here. So you will have to pick up a copy of the magazine, but it is totally worth it – there is even a quiz.) Instead of promoting the Single for Life mantra that I am trying to get going, the author instead asks – Are You Single At Heart? She discusses America's obsession with getting married, and her own personal journey waiting for that day when she too would want to join the army of the happily coupled-off. Of course that day never came – she is currently in her late-50s and still loves being single.

The author then arms us (against pestering mothers and annoying frienemies) with some pretty impressive statistics debunking the myth that all us singles want only one thing – to be a we. According to a recent Pew survey, 55 percent of unmarried Americans said they weren’t in a relationship AND weren’t currently looking for one (and according to the recently census survey 100 million Americans are unmarried). That means there are approximately 55 million (if my math is right) Americans that feel the same way about coupling off as I do.

Suddenly, being single doesn’t feel so lonely.

And before you ask – I scored nearly perfectly on the Single At Heart quiz.

Open Letter to the Hot Guy in My Office

Dear Hot Guy in My Office,

As you know from your life of looking in mirrors and women behaving silly around you, you are hot; ridiculously so. If it seems like it is hard for me to look at you, it is because it is. You are that damn handsome and I am afraid of what will happen if I make eye contact. The last thing I want to do is become another silly woman.

Now, before you start to worry that this letter is a really lame attempt to ask you out, let me assure you it’s not. 1) You are much too good looking for me. 2) I know you have a girlfriend. 3) We work together and I have a rule about that, and 4) (and this is probably the most important one and should have gone first) I have just completed the outline of my “Single For Life” tattoo and it would be really expensive to have it removed. Not to mention a total waste of some very artistic lettering.

Still the possibility of me becoming a total moron around you looms large and with the recent elevator incident (I didn’t mean to flirt with you, it just sometimes happen), I feel drastic measures need to be taken on both our parts. I need you to think I am smart and competent. I would like you to respect me.

Now, I know I can’t ask you to be less attractive – I don’t think you could if you tried, I mean you even look good in plaid. However, I was able to come up with a list of things you can do that I think would improve our situation dramatically:

1) Stop wearing your glasses. I don’t care if you are hungover and trying to hide blood shot eyes. Your horn-rimmed glasses that make you look like Clark Kent are like Kryptonite to this Super Girl’s will power. Perhaps in the new year you can resolve to drink less and thus lessen your need for your glasses.

2) Stop standing directly outside my office, talking about how interesting you are to our co-workers. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to refrain from joining those conversations? I saw the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo this weekend too. I have thoughts about it. But I stayed in my office with my mouth shut because I didn't want you to get the wrong idea. If you really must share with our co-workers all the fun things you did this weekend, IM them. Or send them an email. Or wait until I am in a meeting. Just stop talking to them right outside my office.

3) Stop cursing. You are a really great curser which I know probably sounds like a strange compliment, but as someone that has always sounded too crass when I say any curse word, I really admire the ability in others to sound forceful but not trashy. When you curse, it sounds hot, and that isn't good.

Things you may feel free to continue doing are shamelessly flirting with the older women in the office and talking about your diet.

In return for any or all of these concessions, I will continue to avoid talking to you, looking at you, and engaging you in any way. This morning was a moment of weakness, and don’t anticipate it happening again.

I hope you have a wonderful and healthy new year.

Yours,

Tati