Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saving a single person at a time!

Ahhhh, 2010 is finally amongst us. Its a time to reflect on what needed changes you hope to bring forth this year. Many of us clean house, literally and figuratively, and I am no exception to this annual ritual. As I mentally rifle through my baggage of 2009, I thought of an interaction between myself and an elder from my past.

On this random occasion, I decided to visit a former babysitter who was vital in my care-taking from the ages of 3-12. (And the main reason I fiercely begged my mother to let me become a latch key kid). Let's call her Ms. Pearl.

When Ms. Pearl opened the door, she greeted me with her usual, "I was just telling Mr. Henry I hadn't seen you."

Mr. Henry is Ms. Pearl's longtime partner. The pair have been together since the Underground Railroad and Nat Turner's Rebellion, but I digress.

Mr. Henry shouts from his solitary game, "Is that my Tammy?" (I hate that name!)

"Henry, quit calling her that! That ain't her name!" quips Ms. Pearl (Thanks Ms. Pearl)

I sit through the obligatory conversations about my family and theirs. Getting the formalities out of the way, Ms. Pearl gets all Wendy Williams on me.

"So, are you dating someone?"

I know she's been waiting for this answer. Even Mr. Henry interrupted his card game again to hear the answer to this question. The only thing needed was a PA system so that my answer could be heard around the city. They waited with baited breath as I formed my lips to say...

"Actually, no, I'm not"

This answer came with the same amount of let down as Donny Osmond winning Dancing with the Stars in 2009. I felt like I confessed to committing a heinous crime against nature and now I was left to absorb the reactions that my ill-fated answer left me.

In utter bewilderment, Ms. Pearl asks, "Well, what's wrong with you? Are you not meeting people?"

The look on her face literally broke my heart, even though, it was the same answer I gave her on the last three visits I made to her. On reflex, I blurted out some half-hearted "not finding the right person" answer to her that went completely over her head.

As I sat explaining my life away, Mr. Henry remarked, "Its hard out here for young women to find a good man today. I don't envy you."

Ms. Pearl only shook her head in agreement but a small part of me knew it was out of disgust. I actually felt teary-eyed that I couldn't produce an answer that would fill her with the optimism she so desperately wanted. Feeling defeated, Ms. Pearl went on to talk about mutual people we knew who were "suffering" from illnesses.

As I prepared myself to go, she wished me well and told me to come back, but not before saying that I should be bringing a wedding invitation the next time I come.

I walked out of that house feeling more alone. I felt like Ms. Pearl reactions to my love life were the same as an admission of having Lou Gehrig's Disease or Cancer.

But to her, I was "stricken" with the worst disease of them all - singleness.

Not until that interaction did I know the crippling effects of singleness. I would be punished to a life of single-rates and tables for one with no hope of a cure. People, is there anyone out there who have ever SURVIVED singleness?

Are my coupled girlfriends having this same type of conversations about my "diagnosis"?

Woman #1: Girl, did you hear what happened to T-Gyrl?

Woman # 2: Naw...OOH, what's the "T"?

Woman # 1: Girl, you not gon' believe what she got?

Woman # 2: Did she get a STD?

Woman # 1: Girl, worse....she's single!

Woman # 2: Aww Lawd, what she gon' do? How long she been that way?

Apparently, singleness is a debilitating disease and, curiously, its the number one killer of African American women. Now, you can try and cure it with hook-ups, boos, and side jawns but it won't stop the on-set of side effects and the untimeliness of its symptoms.

And it serves me right for listening to those damn Sex and the City heiffas. Making me think I could actual live a fabulous life of fun, friendship and fashion being...dare I say...single. It was only a rouse to take my mind from the severity of my situation.

What was Ms. Pearl's greatest concern? Maybe I would suffer an unfulfilled life of singleness without ever knowing the joys of white dresses, bouquets and diamonds? Or quite possibly never knowing the complete bliss of watching soap operas and playing cards together?

Ms. Pearl, though well intentioned, echoed the sentiments of other attached friends who never had the courage to express their own fear for my "situation". Why does the "single" status evoke so much disdain?

Should I and my other incurably single friends be cast into a leper colony designated for single people until the relationship savior comes and rid us of our suffering? Is there no end to our pain?

Well, I say to you committed and attached people, don't let this single friend suffer in loneliness anymore. Don't feel sorry for me, take action!! Right now, for just $0.75 cents a day and a hot Facebook picture, you could make sure I never succumb to another lonesome day or night.

Translation: Hook a sista up in 2010!!

'til next time...

~ T-Gyrl


  1. Keep your head up T-Gyrl. Loves coming your way in 2010 :)

  2. White dresses? Girl please! I had to go to the justice of the peace b4 I changed my mind! Enjoy your singleness, your opportunities for silence, and not having to worry at 2 am about whether or not your husband left the seat up so that you could fall in the toliet. When it's time, it will happen...and hopefully he'll already be housebroken...

  3. Too funny.. but I have to agree. Being single has become an disease that people dont' want to catch and they literally avoid you.. Keep Hope Alive, as Jesse Jackson would say... I blieve Love will find you or at least some companionship ... :-)

  4. I don't know. What's next? The "childless" disease? My poor brother and sis-in-law are so bombarded with the question that they elect to avoid any family gatherings they could get away with. What happens to live and let live? I will will support you whole-heartedly as a friend if it is what you want in life (at this or later stage) to be attached. I just think everyone should be as supportive if one decides singleness is awesome for her. On a side note, do guys get that "disease" as well or just girls?

  5. I remember Ms. Pearl. Bless her decrepid soul. She was old enough to be the waitress at the last supper when we were 4...u know her mind has plumb left "us" even if her body aint. I say next time mess with her. "Dating? You were at my wedding to all three of my husbands. Don't you remember sweetie? Fried Chicken AND Kool-Aid."

  6. Being single is a not a disease. Sometimes it's the best choice. In a sea of bad realationships it's enough to have a few real friends who love and support you. That's more than most people in "relationships" actually have.

  7. *lookin around* Okay, imma say it.

    being single is a disease, for women. a horrid, debilitating, leprotic (what?) disease. and did i mention infectious?

    ever notice how single women hang out together a lot. a LOTTTTT??

    i intend to rid myself of this sickness in this here 2010. MOMMA NEEDS TO GET HER GROOVE BACK, G*D*MIT!! (see also: similar resolution in 09. and 08...)