Some say you’re supposed to work for love; others say you’re supposed to wait. I don’t really know how one works for love; don’t understand how to wait for it either. I suppose you go about your life and keep busy with all the things that are supposed to be keeping you busy. I’ve heard and read and said some form of, “Do the things you love, focus on being the best you, and then you will find somebody. Or they will find you.” And I’ve read and heard and said, “Go for it – be a go-getter when it comes to love like you would be for anything else.” But on bad days, all of these words lose meaning. And on these bad days, you will feel deprived of romantic love.
You’re not supposed to complain about being single or feel sad about it or worst of all, feel deprived. Somewhere along the way you became the poster child for happy, fun, smart, put-together, and single young people, especially young women. No, this sadness would be for desperate people. No, you’re supposed to put a smile on your face and tell everyone that every single day is such a beautiful, wonderful day to fall in love with yourself. Even on the days you feel numb inside from the performance of it all. You don’t want to perform – you just want to cry and be intoxicated with feeling empty but full, intense yet devoid of anything real; that cliché of feeling everything and then nothing all at once. And then maybe cry some more.
But you’re not broken at all or so they think; brokenness, they argue, is only for those who have lost, not those who have never had. So instead you get out of bed and laugh. That stupid, stupid laugh that fools everyone all the time and reminds you that most people are inattentive and oblivious. They don’t read between the lines of your self-deprecating humor, they couldn’t tell a real smile from a fake one, and even you, even you are not always sure when your performance begins and when it ends. That’s how knee-deep into this poster-child performance you’re in. You’re everyone’s favorite, confident single friend who is just “too perfect” and who “will find someone when they’re not looking.”
Well excuse me while I try not to throw a chair at you while you go on and on with all of that. I know those words too well. And they are worthless on bad days, let me tell you – they are worthless. And when you think about all the things that were essentially promised to you for being a “good” person and better or worse being, “one of the good girls,” you want to throw a chair again – this time at the mirror because it all feels like a lie. Maybe it is all a lie. But you’re not supposed to say that aloud. You’re not even supposed to think it.
Everyone you know and maybe even that little voice inside insists that you shouldn’t worry. But how do you not? You can do everything right and still not have the one thing that is supposed to be one of the most important things for those who want a life with romantic love. So please do tell, when is one allowed to worry? When is one allowed a break to breathe or be still or scream because of this performance? Am I breaking the rules? Did I just flip the script? Can you not handle the realness of the stage when the costume comes off? When the performance becomes too life-like, too real?
Never mind, don’t worry, that was a lapse in judgment – I’m really sorry. I won’t throw any chairs or snap at anyone or give the impression I feel deprived of something that was, but shouldn’t have been promised to me in the first place. I’ll laugh and smile and let you think I’m happy every day – keeping busy and waiting or working for love, or whatever; performing for the audience of the day. It’s what you want to hear. For some, it’s what you need to hear. So ignore all of this. I’m just having a bad day. Tomorrow, I won’t be deprived; tomorrow I will be your poster child again.