Yesterday, I called my aunt because I had a question about unemployment benefits.
Before, I tell this story, I feel that I should keep it 100 about where I was mentally/emotionally. Yesterday, I had no interest in dealing with people. I got into an argument about privilege with one of my closest friends, and then told her I didn’t want to talk with her. As a social justice “activist”, I know this is the incorrect response when someone is telling me to check my own privilege. But in all honesty, I just wasn’t in the mood to hear that shit. Especially when I’m talking about pushy white women with too much money and not enough respect for other people. Don’t make this about me! Anyways, I digress…
I just came back home from my road trip on Thursday afternoon, in which I spent over 17 days straight with one other human being. That never happens. I live at home with my mother, and I still don’t spend days with another person. I’m pretty sure yesterday was one of those days when I just really needed to “be by myself,” but my iPhone was acting a damn fool and my car was hella dirty and my mother doesn’t buy real food anymore. So I had beaucoup errands to run. And then California EDD through me a curve ball. And also, I’m a grown-up and a human being, and sometimes I just can’t get out of interacting with other human beings.
So, yeah… I’m not in the proper emotional/mental space to have legitimate interactions with other people. But I had a question about why the EDD does whatever they do, and I knew my aunt was the only person who could answer it. Thus, I called her up.
As I never call her—or anyone, for that matter—she was both surprised and happy to hear from me. We chit-chatted about life. I told her a little bit about my road trip and looking for a job. She told me that she was going on vacation to Fiji in a few days. If I was a normal human being with well-developed social skills, I probably would’ve invested more time into the conversation. I should have. My aunt is fun. And she’s always been there for me. And I don’t see her or speak to her as often as I should. But did I mention that yesterday was not the day for me to be talking to people, especially people I actually care about?
After she had answered my question about unemployment benefits, she swiftly changed the subject: So, have you met anyone?
And this is where I got real defensive, real fast…
I hate when people ask me about my dating life. Like, I find it incredibly annoying and frustrating for a myriad of reasons. First, I really don’t think it’s anyone’s business who or when or if I’m dating. As a matter of fact, I typically don’t ask other people about their dating life. Because I don’t care. If I have friends who are in serious, long-term relationships, then I will ask them about their partner. But if you’re single, I don’t give a shit. I’m single too. I know what singledom is like. Can we talk about Beyoncé or cats or war or something?
Second, most people are not aware that at this point, I’m pretty sure I’m suffering from some kind of PTSD brought on by how my last (and only thus far) “relationship” ended, which also probably has a lot to do with my parents’ divorce. I get it. I’m 25. I should be over it right now. I need to do some emotional healing and eradicate all my baggage. Blah, blah, blah. We all have our shit and it all stinks. My shit is this and I’m dealing with it the best way I know how.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get it by now. And also, I’m sure I sound like a bitter, old shrew. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the world tunes you out if they think you’re bitter. Suddenly, it’s not about my past experiences or the things I’m trying to heal from. I’m just bitter and angry, and no one wants to hear about that.
So, yes, I’m having this conversation with her. A conversation that I really do not want to be having. And in the awkward silences, I can almost hear her thoughts. I know she’s judging me, but trying her best not to. I know she’s thinking that I should probably “get back out there”. She suggests online dating. I tell her I’ve been there, done that. And this is especially why I hate having these conversations. Because then it becomes about the other person trying to “fix” me. My single-ness is a problem, and they are here to solve it. But I didn’t ask for it to be solved. I didn’t even bring up this topic.
And in the rare occasion when I do bring it up, people stop hearing me. Or if I actually engage in the conversation and admit to being lonely, then everyone is telling me, “Oh, well, you shouldn’t care! Live your life! There’s more to do with yourself than date and obsess over guys!” Um, what? That’s what I’ve been saying. What do you want from me?!
I think she finally caught on that this wasn’t a topic I was willing to discuss and we moved onto something else briefly before hanging up.
All of this to say, I never intended to be that weird girl who doesn’t date. In some ways, I am sure people find my will power to avoid dating situations to be somewhat incredible. It’s an anti-superpower. Instead of stopping time or flying, I can repel men and their advances really well! Yay, me! And in a way, I think it’s rather impressive as well. But I’m not stupid. I know it’s a sign that something is off-kilter, that I will need to address this off-kilter thing soon. Because I have been keeping people at a distance for so long, I don’t remember what it is like to be vulnerable with someone.
But I am the only person who can decide when I will be ready to take on that process and have those conversations. In the meantime, I need people to leave me the hell alone and stop inquiring about my personal life. Besides, I post everything on Facebook anyways. If I had a man, you would know it. I would wear T-shirts and put out press releases, OK?
Let me be single in peace.