October 21, 2016

What if the roses STINK? - The Single Girl Diaries


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I believe the girls in my house have an unspoken affinity for dead flowers. On almost any day that you walk into our apartment, you will find flowers - dead. They are on the kitchen counter, by the tv, sitting on dressers and nightstands, and taking up most of the old tomato sauce jars we use for cups {:poor college students, remember:}. Being the super-sweet, caring, servant-minded housemate I am, I refuse to throw out the dead flowers that were not mine to begin with. I just put up with the disgusting oder that hits you in the nostrils each time you walk past believing that the one who actually received the flowers will one day soon throw them away. 

I have learned that flowers do not always smell lovely.

That is kind of how I feel about being almost 30 and still living the "single dream". I find it almost comical {:as in the comical that if you do not laugh you will cry an ocean of tears that even Justin Timberlake cannot make sound glamorous in a sad song:} when people who are married and dating, while curled up next to their love, text you things like: "it will happen in God's perfect timing," "he's coming and he's going to be amazing," "enjoy the season you are in - stop and smell the roses."

To that I would like to say...I have stopped to smell the roses in the "garden of singleness" for quite a few years now and I have got to tell you...at almost 30 THEY STINK! They smell just as putrid as the dead roses that have been sitting next to my tv for the past week.

I was sitting at lunch a week or so ago with a friend and her mom. My friend is in her early thirties and also single. We got to chatting about our singleness and how it is genuinely our "burden" in this season. Our talk got me thinking about how society treats people who are single in their late 20s and 30s. People don't know how to deal with it, or have answers to it, so they just try to put a band aid over it. It gets passed off as something like an annoying paper-cut - not that big of a deal, just annoying.

People would never dream of poking fun at a woman who is struggling with infertility, anxiety, chronic illness or anything of the like. We give them a sympathetic listening ear, squeezes when we notice that they are about to loose it in public, and love notes on the windshield of their car just to tell them that even though we don't understand we love them. Yet, when a woman is single we make jokes about their singleness: "third wheel again huh?," "you're just too picky," "enjoy the season". Would we ever tell someone dealing with depression to just "enjoy the season"? It's easy for people who are married and in amazing relationships to argue that these situations I mentioned above don't compare with loneliness and singleness. To that I would argue, that's because you aren't experiencing it. You aren't experiencing the emotional pain and weight this "gift of singleness" is when your absolute deepest desire is to be married {:not just have a wedding:}.

I guess my point is this...if you are single and you are struggling, you are justified in your struggle. Doing this journey alone while you watch all of your friends fall in love, get engaged, pick out their wedding dress, have babies, and build their families dream home - sucks. You are not crazy for not having the energy to constantly be around the couples in your world and "pull yourself up by your boot straps" and get your happy-clappy on for them. You are not wrong to have a sadness and loneliness in your heart that even Jesus cannot fill {:this is a topic for a whole 'nother post:}.  

If you are the girlfriend of a single lady who is not longer 24 and living the single girls dream, do her a favor and stop treating her like this singleness thing is "not that big of a deal". It doesn't help us when you tell us that you long for the days when you could just go out shopping on your own without discussing the budget with your husband or try on clothes without your toddler crawling under the dressing room door. Instead, maybe you could acknowledge that you actually have no idea how difficult this journey she is on is. Justify her in her pain. Acknowledge that this struggle is more than just a petty feeling. Any maybe you could agree that sometimes the roses just stink.



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