After a great deal of time away, I’ve realized how necessary it was for me to bring back my The Garden of Eve. A year of dating between myself and my friends has left us all in a weird spot, considering such that the later 20s are the “years of marriage and babies.” With each friend or peer taking a new stepping stone of commitment, it leaves the rest of us either wondering-stating “Why?” “Well, I’m a career woman anyways, and I’ll find love when I am completely happy with where I am in life” or “I’m a career woman and men are just intimidated by me.” We could be angry and bitter with the “I don’t need a man to define me.” Or we could take the still carefree route: “Love will find me when it’s ready.” Any way that it goes, I personally have been struck with a mixture of marriage-baby-fever vs. I’m-so-happy-with-where-my-career-has-landed vs. I-just-want-someone-to-take-me-to-dinner-occasionally. As a single woman in your late-20s, it really does place you in a weird social spot for several reasons.
Facebook and Social Media
As a freelancer of various forms and someone who is into news, I am ALWAYS online. Constantly checking sources and trending topics to see what’s going on, I find solace in reading the stories I see. Something about the inner nerd in me. Nonetheless, while scrolling through Facebook to see what some trending news stories may be for the day (because, sadly, that’s how some people get their daily dose of coverage), never do I fail to see a cutesy couple picture or post about how much so-and-so loves so-and-so-forth-else. We’re constantly reminded of what we’re missing (or not) based upon all of those Facebook posts with happy engagement photos, pregnancy revealings, blah blah blah. Even those pictures of couples strolling together in the park, smiling in some black-and-white photo where a professional photographer has managed to capture the pure essence of love the two of you have manifested within your years of romance. GIVE ME A BREAK. When do you ever jump in the air with each other holding hands? This shit does not actually happen. But instead, you want to make the rest of us miserable and believe that fairytales do exist…just not for us. Awesome. Great. Thanks.
Summer in NYC is, by far, the GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH. Happy hours, brunches, rooftop parties, beaches; everyone is outside day or night. It just makes us all happier people. The city becomes a third-world country when winter hits and everyone stays inside, craving that social attention as soon as spring hits. As a single woman, this has become a bit like playing chess. As I’ve gotten older, I’ll admit it, I’ve gotten a little choosier in my pickings. In my mind, Prince Charming is supposed to sweep me off of my feet, take me to fancy dinners, compliment me on my new dress, etc. etc. However, with the rise of the millennial social scene, that old-fashioned nature is becoming just that – old-fashioned. Now, women have to pay at the door to get in these lounges where we’re crammed, packed inside like sardines. Between being insanely hot, sweating out our hair, getting upset that we’re standing in heels and there’s no room to sit down, we endure all of this agony and with no man offering to buy us a drink. You think that they would, considering that we have to be so much on their “attractive list” to get in anyways. But, I digress.
Partying, in general, becomes a game. You go to a bar, see a guy, think he’s cute, maybe you approach him, maybe he approaches you. That is, if he’s not already with a girl, been a man-whore and flirting with everything wearing a dress, or loud and obnoxious and prying for attention. When you were younger, this used to POSSIBLY be a way of meeting someone. Now, it’s more of a hookup deal or maybe just to have someone to pass a few text messages with until you both get bored and stop texting. In the end, your night out becomes just a night out with a few of your friends, you all get drunk, go home and have a drunken slumber party and hope to wake up for church or work the next day. At this age, we know SOMEWHAT of what we want, and we realize that it probably will not be at a lounge in SoHo. That, and spending unnecessary money on drinks at the bar when you had a perfectly good bottle of wine at home seems more feasible. And watching Love Jones.
Then, come the social gatherings: family events, casual dinners with friends, luncheons, nonprofit events with a group of peers. This is when you come face-to-face with those Facebook couples, or maybe you feel everyone looking at you like, “What is wrong with her to be single? What is she doing with her life?” And you know they say it because you do it to the single ones as well. You’re the one who pops up wearing a cute, trendy dress while everyone else is just happily in love or happily with child or some shit that you partially don’t care about because you just bought a really cute new purse. At these events, it becomes apparent on what priority group you belong in. There’s the “Starting a family” group and the “I could give two shits” group. Both are valid groups, but there will definitely be some judgment placed on both ends. Be happy and confident in your group. Besides, you got that purse on sale.
As a millennial single woman, it’s tough. Tough in a sense that it’s a weird world mix of new-age feminism and then girls who still want a man to open the car door. Not going to lie, I live in both of those groups. However, I wish that it could be easier to relate these issues to men who seem to think that they’ve got it all. To find men at damn-near 30 who will do what 22 year-olds did back in the 1970s rather than party and bullshit. You never know, there’s a chance that I may have dinner waiting for you when you get home. Probably not, but…maybe.