Previous Experience: My life
Sex: *giggles* Yes please
Recommendations: For myself? Less whining on the Internet
I’ve been watching Sex and the City since writing about it, and I’ve watched 1.5 seasons in the past two days, because I’ve been sick—that’s a half-truth—and it’s very addicting. But having watched it for the past 48 hours, I’ve picked up on a couple of things.
- It’s basically porn? Like this was a cultural phenomenon and it’s weird to think of the fact that like, people my mom’s age probably watched this? Idk? Weird?
- Everyone used to say I was a “Miranda” because we both have red hair and I don’t want to be any of them? But if I did, I would want to be the dog that Charlotte has for an episode. Or Candace Bushnell—she’s probably made so much money off this show.
But what I find the most fascinating is the concept of “single.” Each of the women is single. She talks about single. She whines about being single. She wines about being single. She goes on dates. She gets set up. It falls apart. And she starts again. But for most of the episodes, the ladies—pronounced “ladeez” like a car salesman—self-identify as single.
But it’s not a phase. It’s not an adjective. It’s a noun. A “single.” A. Single. Girlfriend.
When did singularity become a job? You put your entire life into it. You cultivate its singlehood. You name it. You raise it. And even if people flit in and out of your life, it’s like a tortoise. It doesn’t die. It might have a few different varieties based on location. But that tortoise is still a tortoise. And you’re still a single.
And I’m only twenty. And I can imagine that the single vs. married thing will only grow stronger. Because I already know marrieds. They’re not married, but they’re “marrieds.” They’re “we’s” instead of “he’s” and “she’s” and they sit on the same side of the booth in the dining hall. Let me tell you something. The only people who sit on the same side of the booth as someone, leaving the other side as blank as the Arctic, are serial killers, conjoined twins, and serial monogamists.
The “marrieds” pick up boyfriends the way you pick up haircuts, but your haircuts last longer. They’re either as easily pairable as peanut butter—think jelly, bananas, marshmallow fluff, chocolate—or as peculiar as dodo birds and mate completely for life with someone as odd as them.
For me, “single” was always the default, but I never sought it out as a noun. Now, I can start to see the power. Single (adj.) is a state of being, one that can be transitionary, but relies on outside forces to move it. “Single” (noun) is a position, like CEO, that is taken upon yourself. There’s a power in it. Being a single versus being single. In English class, they tell us never to use passive verbs. They strip the sentence of power. Maybe adjectivizing the state of your romantic life has the same effect. Noun that shit.
Side bar: How this became a lesson in grammar is beyond me, but let’s go with it?
Singles are too eclectic to be peanut butter, but not eccentric enough to be dodo birds. They’re Jenga—able to be played alone, can be played with partners, and accustomed to toppling down in a spectacular mess. Singles are a little spiky, not particularly adept at fitting into puzzle pieces. They’ve “I’s” and “you’s” and “she’s” and “he’s” and “it’s”.
Singles are diagonal-sitters. Not side-sitters—because we’ve established the cons of that already. Not across-sitters—because we don’t want to close off our possibilities. Diagonal-sitters—close to be intimate, angled to be open. I can imagine that as we age, the lines become more drawn. The marrieds start popping out Pottery Barn registrations, and our most consistent relationships will be with our hands or our therapists.
I find myself fascinated with couplets. I think it’s cool and beautiful and someday I think I’d like to be a part of one. But I also can’t spend a full day with someone without trying to emotionally manipulate them into leaving me alone. And I have yet to go on a date without some less of self-sabotage. If we’re discussing grammar, it’s the equivalent of mixing up “apart” and “a part.” I’ve got the letters right, but that space is fucking me every time. Alpha-privative. The noun versus adjective comprehension gap.
I think I could be fine with being Miranda. She buys a kick-ass apartment in the second season. And we could probably use the same color palette, but I’ve got to get her to stop wearing yellow. It doesn’t suit us.