I’m Tired of Being the Entertainment
As a single person, I’ve been cast into the role of court jester and I am very over it.
I don’t love writing about singlehood head-on, unless I’m joking about it, or exploring loneliness. There’s a ton of much better writing on the topic, mostly but not exclusively from Shani Silver, and I don’t know that I would add anything useful that wouldn’t somehow be twisted to pathologize singlehood. But there’s something I gotta say: I am done, as the single friend, being the entertainment.
Before I explain, let’s be perfectly clear. At this stage in my life, I love being single. There was a time that I didn’t love being single because I was panicked about it. (And I was panicked about it simply because I was told to be panicked about it, but that’s a whole other Oprah).
But now? Now I’m deeply relieved I have a house to myself. I’m deeply relieved I can make decisions without having to “collaborate.” I can adopt all the animals I want, travel wherever and whenever I want, wallpaper the ceiling of my hallway without someone telling me it’s a waste of money or too feminine. I can make a pot of vegetable stew and get in bed with it.
Mostly, I’m relieved I never had to go through the divorces all my friends went through. And I do mean “all.” Every wedding in which I was a bridesmaid has ended in divorce, and not the “we just grew apart” kind of divorce. By the time these divorces were final, lawyers walked away with six figure fees, someone got kicked out of the house, and all the kids were traumatized.
But before these marriages imploded, a strange thing happened. My married friends made me their entertainment. I allowed this to happen, mostly because I couldn’t tell it was happening at the time. A frog-in-boiling-water sitch, if you will.
Like the frog in the boiling pot of water, I didn’t even notice when it started. At the time, my friends were still married but hadn’t yet admitted how much they hated their husbands, at least publicly. I on the other hand, was actively dating. The combination led to conversations that would follow a predictable, if simple pattern.
First the married friend(s) would ask me if I had any “ fun dating stories” because their life…