October 13, 2011

8 Things You Forgot About Being Single

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What is the issue?
It finally happened: After months of contemplating every possible alternative to uttering those fateful words to your not-so-significant other, you’ve unlocked yourself from the death-grip of your dying relationship. Now that you stand on the precipice of The Beginning of the Rest of Your Life, here are a few things you may encounter upon your recent release back into the wild.

Your underwear is not pretty. OK, it is. But knowing that some other dude has seen you in your skivvies — those skivvies, to be exact — should be enough to make you want to go all Supermarket Sweep on the 3 for $30 table at Vicki’s Secret. Is this how much I paid for new panties the last time I was single? I guess this means I need new bras, too. I’ll take the $45 one with the lace and bows. Nothing says money well-spent like purchasing things whose only purpose in life is to end up on the floor.

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. No, really. You absolutely, positively cannot stay here. Sure, it might be 3 a.m. when you finally unravel yourself from brand-new-boy’s embrace, but pulling an all-nighter with a man you’re casually seeing is tantamount to the terrifying toothbrush discovery or going stealth with a stash of tampons. No one — I mean no one – falls victim to the power of the snuggle faster than myself, but this is not your boyfriend. Pick up your new panties and Go. Home.

You need help. While most single people are preoccupied with the unzipping of things, there’s nothing like contorting yourself into a pretzel while attempting to zip up a dress to make you realize that although we may not need any help taking things off, we do need help putting things on. See also: Who will find you if you die?

You have friends. Remember those people you abandoned at the prospect of everlasting love? For reasons unbeknownst to you (other than real, actual love) they’re still there! And they’ve been anxiously awaiting your release from captivity. See also: Who will find you if you die.

You cannot spend every evening watching reruns of Parenthood in your PJs. It used to be completely acceptable to spend evening upon evening watching Mae Whitman leave behind her egg-salad days as Anne for the annoyingly rebellious Amber. But now that you’re single, it’s time to shelve the fuzzy flannel for your big-girl pants and make plans after work. If you can manage to stay awake past 9:30. Speaking of…

You’re old. During your time as a girlfriend, you spent approximately 84 percent of your social life contorting your face into disapproving expressions and snobbishly saying things like, “Oh, I’m in a relationship. I’m sooooo glad I don’t have to do that whole club scene anymore.” While you may never have been one to pass out in the VIP, somewhere between flirtation and the five-alarm fire that was your relationship, your youth went up in flames. It may have worked for Wooderson with high school girls, but there’s nothing like being newly single to remind you that you keep getting older while the rest of the world stays the same age.

You are completely uncool (or just horrendously neurotic). Being in a relationship means never having to second-guess yourself. You call each other at the same times every day, share the same inside jokes, say embarrassing things, have garlic breath together and get broccoli in your teeth. But this also means you slowly and unsuspectingly slide hand-in-hand into lameness until you forget what it’s like to be an actual functioning (read: polite, mannered, funny, not slovenly) member of society. Which brings me to…

You need to clean up. You actually have to think about what you’re going to wear now. You have to take a shower — Every. Day. (Ok, let’s be real here. That probably should’ve been happening anyway.) You have to make sure every inch of yourself is smoothed, toned, moisturized, polished, prepped and pampered at all times in the off chance you run into Ryan Gosling looking for a spunky blonde to make sure his abs are still in peak condition. I’m not saying I look like I fell out of Devendra Banhart’s beard or anything, but I’m not sure I was prepared for The Beginning of the Rest of My Life to require so much maintenance. Now, you are. TC mark

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image – atomicjeep
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Alison Henry

Alison Henry is a copywriter, writer-writer and photographer based in Charlotte, NC.

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