The scandal of being a single woman

Alright guys, brace yourselves.

I don’t mean to make things awkward. Yet, there’s something I have to get off my chest. A shameful admission, a woeful confession, a tragedy of astronomical proportions. So make sure you’re prepared.

No, seriously, I mean it. Are you sitting down? I don’t want you to swoon with shock.

Great, now I can begin.

Wait, you should probably be at a computer, not using a phone. What you’re about to read could make you drop your phone disgust, punishing it for conveying this hideous revelation to you. And then the screen will smash and the plastic will melt and the heavens will wail and how will you catch a Pidgey then? Eh? Eh? Eh.

Excellent, here we go.

Actually, maybe tether yourself to your chair first. Otherwise you’ll be so traumatised, you’ll wind up running, arms flailing, shrieking “THERE IS NO GOD!” all the while, to your nearest cliff. What if the cliff is many miles away? Imagine the strain on your little legs. You’d barely have the strength to hurl yourself off by the end.

RIGHT. Are we ready? Sufficiently seated and restrained? Excellent.

Well, then. Here goes nothing:

At 25 years of age, I have never had a long-term romantic relationship.

WHAT WHAT WHAT?! Absurd! Ludicrous! Most unorthodox!

I’ll give you a few minutes to thrash in your chair, outraged at this most heinous state of affairs. In the meantime I will repeatedly watch John Travolta mispronounce Idina Menzel’s name, as many times as I can before throwing up with the sheer force of my own laughter.

Okay, you’ve probably exhausted yourself by now. So I’ll tentatively continue.

I’m sorry, everyone. But it’s true — in all my many years on this planet, I’ve never dated anyone longer than a couple of months. It’s sick, it’s wrong; frankly I’m stunned it’s not illegal. A woman in her mid-twenties who’s never known the camaraderie, the champagne, the confetti and the gently humming domestic appliances that only an established relationship can bring? What next? A teenager who isn’t 100% sure of what they want to do with their life? A man who doesn’t spend every waking moment simultaneously watching porn, kicking a football and eating freshly slaughtered meat? SOCIETY IS CRUMBLING BEFORE OUR VERY EYES.

I know what you’re wondering, eyebrows raised, mouths agape, tongues lolling in disbelief. Why would anyone of sound mind admit to this sorry situation? I must be insane. I’m a nut, I’m crazy in the coconut.

In reality, I’m announcing this to you because what I crave is some enlightenment. At the decrepit age of 25, there is surely not much time left for me. Soon I will retire to a squalid cave and live out the rest of my days foraging for fish, like Gollum, or Jared Leto method acting as Gollum. If only I’d obtained a boyfriend and guaranteed myself a future replete with a big house, a white painted fence and strangers who greet me with no pity or reproach in their eyes.

No, it is too late for me. I was blithe and foolish. I “don’t want to settle for something that doesn’t make me happy, just for the sake of it”. I “would rather be single than be obliged to remain in an insincere union”. I — get this — “haven’t yet met someone who I could start a real relationship with at this time, and maybe I never will, but it’s not like I’ve ruled it out for the future”. Pfffft! “The future”! Don’t I know life ends at 27? What a complete and utter twat.

Now, I am resigned to my fate. But before I shed all vestiges of my happy human life and dive screaming into the marshes — please, kind ones, revered ones, precioussssss ones, please could you answer me some questions?

1) Why is it, when I mention I’m single, so many of you give me that look? That look. The slight squint, the sadly assenting nod, the commiserative pursed lips. Why give me that look, when what you should have been doing is bundling me into your car and driving me to the nearest speed-dating event, like a Good Samaritan would?

2) Why is it, when I mention I’m single, so many of you say something like, “Well, I’m sure you’ll meet someone soon!”? Or, “You should try online dating!”? Or, “You’re a great girl, they must be fools not to date you!”? I don’t understand it! I’d much prefer the honesty and integrity of, “You complete freak! Be gone from my sight, you stark aberration of all things good and true! Get out at once, or your pathetic lonely air will get breathed into my beautiful semi-detached family home!”

3) Why is it, when I mention I’m single, so many of you suggest that I’d better hurry it up if I’m going to go through with the ultimate cosmic plan of rearing several babies? That suggestion makes no sense to me. With my many chronic years as a singleton, I am surely defective and should never pass on my grotesque, unlovable genes?

4) Why is it, when I mention I’m single, so many of you bemoan my past dalliances and dating experiences as complete and utter failures? Why do you condemn them as wastes of time because they didn’t end in a ring? Why are you certain they’ve contributed nothing to my life, my memories or my self-discovery? What you should be bemoaning, condemning and being certain of is MY TRAGIC AND FILTHY EXISTENCE.

My time has run out. The transformation must begin. But I’d thank you hallowed figures of loveliness to answer my questions for me. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some fish to ravenously feast upon.

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