There is nothing less fun than being criticized for being single. Many fans of this column are certain that the problem, dear Reader, is not in the men I meet but in myself. My cousin is a huge fan.
Cousin: You’re too picky.
Cousin’s Amazing Girlfriend: When was the last time you dated someone without a college degree?
Me: July. I’m not a credential whore. Stop picking on me.
Then I cried.
This column started as a way to prove to the world that it isn’t me. Over the course of writing it, I have learned that it’s somewhat me. Smart, funny, and sane are high standards. I chose to wade in this precious, shallow pool.
Cousin’s Amazing Girlfriend: If you won the lottery, would you have kids on your own?
Cousin’s Amazing Girlfriend: Then you should just do it by yourself.
We disagree on this point. She has raised four kids as a single mother. I defer to her belief that it’s not that hard without actually doing anything about it.
Me: If I won the lottery, I would buy a house in Hawaii; my kids would have a community. I could afford nannies so I could write all day. And it wouldn’t matter if publishers wanted to pay me for my words. I’d have a massage every day too. And champagne. That picture looks nothing at all like freelance writing in Manhattan.
Cousin’s Amazing Girlfriend: If you want kids you should have kids now.
Who doesn’t love the sound of a ticking clock?
Me: I have this theory that there are absolutely no unselfish reasons to have children.
Cousin: That’s right. None.
Me: And on that spectrum of selfishness, becoming a broke single mom with no village whatsoever is much further than I’m willing to travel.
Cousin’s Amazing Girlfriend: You always have an excuse.
To my cousin and his amazing girlfriend’s ever-lasting credit, it never occurs to them that there might be men I want who aren’t attracted to me; that any date wouldn’t love me at first sight. They assume the world is brimming with opportunities for my manifold charms.
Your family will always believe that every good thing must come your way because you deserve it. This is exactly what family is good for.
It is also why your family is completely certain it is your fault you’re alone.