It’s funny how people pass judgment on single people (especially women) when it comes to cooking, love and marriage, travel, and my, personal favorite, children. As a teenager and college-aged PYT, I was encouraged to be independent, find my own way, don’t depend on a man. Yet, as soon as I graduated the first question was to the tune of, “Soooo, you dating anybody?” “What are you waiting for?” “You know, I met this nice young man at the gas station. He looked about your age!” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, grad school. So how’s that last guy you went out with?”

But don’t have a negative reaction to this line of questioning! “So, what? You don’t wanna get married?” “You wanna be alone for the rest of your life?” Why, yes, it has always been my dream to grocery shop and prepare meals just for one so there’s a race against time to eat the leftovers before they go bad. I wouldn’t have to worry about being confused when filing my income taxes, and what joy the thought of freezing a few of my eggs gives me just in case of a maternal rainy day. As a smart, successful, and single professional woman, you’ve gotta develop a thick skin, because people (with the best of intentions, let them tell it!) will come outta their mouths with some of the craziest mess and dare you to be offended!

I’m actually a woman who likes to cook so I don’t have to bob and weave too much in this conversation. I come from a long line of cooks, so I’ve been in training ever since I can remember, carefully watching and helping my mother prepare meals.  Now that I’m grown, any time I’m talking to an older woman and the convo shifts to food, everybody’s  got the one magic recipe that’ll guarantee me a New Year’s Eve or birthday date. Let’s be real. Maybe there was a time when all a woman had to do was make a li’l gravy from scratch and fry up a few pieces of chicken that would make Colonel Sanders salivate to get her man. But last I checked, the present dating scene is much more complicated than that.  Cooking is no longer the magic elixir for a single gal to employ. “Then you must not be putting your foot in it!” Ma’am, I can dip my whole left side in these yams, and if dude is not on the same page with me about what we want from our interaction, then I’m still single.

Love & Marriage
Why is it that attached people always want to ask single people about their personal lives? “Tell me bout this date. You think he’s the one? Did you kiss him? Y’all goin’ out again?” Why? What is your personal stake in knowing this information? And the coup de gras of the convo is when you answer unfavorably to a couple of the questions. They hit you with, “Well, he’s out there; you just gotta be patient.” That’s it. No, what you gotta do is just fall on a samurai sword, sir or ma’am! My rule is this: Unless you have someone in mind that you would like to introduce me to, you don’t need to know the details of my personal life. ’Cause I can ask questions, too. Do you really wanna play questions right now? Weren’t y’all just arguing when I called? Oh, too personal. Thought so….

So this year I got my first passport. Since learning that my passport would be valid for 10 years, I’ve made it a personal goal to use this thing as much as I possibly can — just because. Why not? There’s a big wide world out there. Why shouldn’t I make it a point to see and experience as much of it during this lifetime as I possibly can? I’m sure I’ll be able to coordinate with friends to participate in some trips abroad, but I may decide to jet set somewhere by myself at some point. (*Cue the sound of a record scratching) “You might do what?” I mean, I didn’t say I was gonna cut off my baby toes and sauté them in a red wine sauce over some egg noodles. Chill out! I get the issues of safety and all that, but otherwise LEGO! There’s one thing about being single: The fear of doing things by yourself is almost non-existent. I do what I want when I want, and just when you second guess yourself about being able to do something, you rise to the occasion. Then it’s on to the next challenge.

Now, you probably shouldn’t tell a child to try and outrun a train in a pair of roller skates or that she will soon need to order a headstone if she keeps up a certain behavior. But if I so happen to have one of these thoughts and share it with my girlfriend, the proud mother of 2.5 precious cherubs, should I now get the hard side eye because I don’t currently have any children? “How can you say that?” “You just wait!” “So, what, you don’t want kids?” Well, hell naw, if them li’l spider monkeys are going to act like that and embarrass me in a variety of public settings. Just because I don’t the behavior of a child in a particular moment, and said behavior is making me want to gauge my eyes out and flick ’em, doesn’t mean I’m not also capable of one day wanting children of my own. Don’t even try to fix your lips to say that people with children were always as patient and tolerant as they are now that they have kids. Everyone has wanted to lock a kid in a storage closet from time to time, but let a person without kids say this, and all of a sudden I’m the most selfish and impatient person on the planet. Pul-leeze, parents. Get over yourselves. You have the level of patience you have because you have to have that. I’m not there yet so stop hatin’ and trying to turn it around like I’m a bad person. I’m just living my life and enjoying every minute of it, even when I’m subconsciously wishing the loud-mouth kid in Dairy Queen’s sundae falls on the floor.

So to all of my single, professional, independent, successful, beautiful, and capable ladies across the world, let me say that we may be lacking an official partner in this life, but what we have is a very unique life experience that it’s an adventure just waking up in the morning. We’re living life to the fullest, looking good doing it, and making no apologies to anyone. Keep being your authentic selves and acknowledging your realest thoughts, emotions, and feelings. You know the depths of your capabilities and how dare anyone attempt to shake that.

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