Girl News

Girls and Being Alone

By Kate Carraway

I realized today how long it’s been since I’ve had sex. Is it a) three weeks b) two months c) eight months d) a backwards-shooting Jupiter-C rocket, the one that looks deceptively like a birthday-cake candle, moving with the speed and commitment of time, eventually destroying the citadel-like memory of what sex is even like? Because I can’t remember. Anyways, that realization, had on a sidewalk, alone, felt like being punched in the solar plexus (supposedly that hurts; I’ve only ever been punched in the face, and not that often).

It’s tough times, when you’re single and technically want to be and abstractly like it, but on the daily are ruined by the idea that you are alone. Because you are. Let’s not be tricksters about it.  Let's adultishly admit that being outside of an OK relationship means that if you die on a sidewalk in the afternoon, you die alone.

NATURAL STATE

I don’t like to tell anyone if or who I’m in a relationship with because it feels fucking gross. The worst thing I can think of is a couple Facebooking each other. That said, my natural and normal state of being is definitely “in” because, I dunno, I like it. It’s not even better, it’s just normaler. When I’m single I move into a quieter, less-mascara-ed place of self-reflection and I’m not convinced that’s healthy. Except, ever since Kim and Thurston broke up it’s been very much like “Oh, so we’re done here? We’re single now? OK.”

LANGUAGE

“Lonely” sounds like Liz Lemon when she’s doing a Cathy impression. “Lonesome” sounds like a silent, mourning cowboy. Which one do you want to be? Sidebar, do you guys know that the lady who does Cathycartoons is this unreasonable babe? I heard that on a podcast and looked her up and felt, like, “Maybe you can be weird and off-putting and remain attractive into your lady years?” Seriously, let’s look intoCathy as a possibility for this.

GIRL GANGS

If I even address the cruciality of girl gangs as they relate to you as a single girl, or girl at all, I would basically overrule anything else I might have to say about the matter so just shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhfallasleep.

BOYS SUCK

Even if you are genuinely cool and not just sunglasses-cool, you are not that great when you are in a relationship. My evidence is that time I asked my cool friend of 100 years to hang out and he said, unembarrassed, that he had to “check in” with his girlfriend. My sense of safety in friends and my own charismatic value and basically my worldview crossed-over/exploded into a new territory and it looked like a flamingo-pink disco roller-rink/cosmic bowling franchise had convulsed and expelled itself all over its own parking lot. That was a really bad day. I probably said “Forget it!” or something. Slammed my BlackBerry down, or whatever.

THE LAZIES

Guess what? There is a Diet Coke that I want in my fridge and I am in this bed listening to the rain (AWWWW) and instead of a dude getting it for me in some post-ejaculatory obligation moment I am just left to dream of it, there, all ice-cold, compressed tingles, syrupy cancerousness, just waiting for meeeeeeeeeeeeee.

GETTING HIT ON

Here is a tale (it’s sad): When a guy demonstrates whatever level of sex-interest in me when I’m with someone else, I respond like a kindly elementary-school teacher, without making anyone feel bad and with maybe a little positive-energy arm touch. When a guy demonstrates interest in me not ten minutes after I’ve nearly died, DIED, of alone-ness on the sidewalk, even when he is dressed well and in the rich-people grocery store, and not creepy and into the same kind of eggs as me (which says everything I need to know about being indulged and not class-shamed and getting away with a weekly series of retarded whims), and old enough to get to tell my friends like, “Oh, he’s old” (40?), I respond with chopped-and-screwed face and go “Um, I’m like, 12” in my best Heather Chandler and peel out of there even though I forgot stuff and even though everything else.  OK so WHY?

BEING SICK

See: the lazies, except it’s more meaningful. Being sick and single (sick’n’single!) is actually the only correct argument for why it’s better to have a boyfriend. Also, when they’re sick, because reading to someone and putting a straw in their juice feels great and is worth about 30,000 self-esteem points. 

RITUALS

The things that you do with a boyfriend being over, you have to replace them with single rituals. Maybe that involves getting your own Diet Coke and having a cuddle with your roommate’s new puppy? That was pretty fun.

FAKE BOYFRIEND

The planet does not want you to be single. It’s threatening to others when they have to think of you as a human outside of the strictures of a relationship, especially if they know you’re hetero and therefore have no explanatory box for your sweet face. Also it is safer in an annoying way to be considered somehow attached to a man, which is both too true and too boring to get into because we all just know. Right? So when confronted by this (like, say, by a too-curious delivery guy who grazes your tit when he is ostensibly petting the puppy dog you are holding!) it is useful to make passing reference to the boyfriend who will be around imminently to, I dunno, be around.

COMMUNITY

The good bit is that most people, I feel like, are single or should be, based on the disenchanting reality of every marriage I come across, with a few important exceptions (but even then, I don’t know, and when I don’t know about something I assume that it’s a dark horror-scene).

MANAGER/MANAGED

You know that song “I’m His Girl” by Friends? And it’s all “Do whatever the fuck you want, and me too?” Because… yep! That’s all totally awesome and if it’s sustainable for more than a minute then you and your whoever impress me and I want to shake your hand. Usually stuff slowly diverts into two streams where one of you is, by nature of your character and motivations and talents, the manager, and one of you is the managed. This is what most two-somes need, even if the objective is to successfully navigate yourselves around the Warped Tour and get some food happening before you melt. I think my point here is that when you’re a single person, you are the manger and the managed: You have to have the big-picture thinks of what would be fun on a Saturday, and you have to have the hand-clapping “Let’s go!”yness to get it done. I’m definitely not saying that you won’t have fun without a man. (EW, OPPOSITE!) I’m saying that the organization of a rad life is easier when there are two principals instead of one, and that it’s nice to slide far down into whatever your particular role shakes out to be.

DRAMATIC ENERGY

Maybe this is a thing you shouldn’t say, but part of the reason I looooove platonic boy-friends of the super-serious variety and regular boyfriends, even of the “this is hard” variety are because boys being legitimately vulnerable and trusting and giving their girl/girl-friend an opportunity to know them and even care for them (but NOT solve them, that is not our job, don’t be a prick, let’s just support each other) is so great! I am so enthusiastic about this. Also probably why “dating” is hard/stupid/gross and it’s better to just leeeeean into someone, slowly.

SINGLE CULTURE

OK here is maybe the crux of it: The surrounding culture of friends, parents, Facebook yokels, etc. all want you to be in a relationship or be participating in the freakish striving of conventional singleness. And while aside from sex, sickness, and weekly existential blowback I feel fine and good about being single, being inside of someone else’s paradigm about what I should want and how I should respond to an attractive man at the grocery store, makes me want to act out my every Black Flag fantasy in a way that those little kids could never, ever have known about.

FREEDOM

Facing up to the fact that the person you dated is actually a monster can be sooo freeing, I mean, once you’re over them proper. But being single-single and realizing that you are no longer dealing with anything you don’t want to deal with is like, I dunno, chicken soup for the girl soul. (HAAAAA!)

SEX

I’m sooooo bored of not having sex that sometimes I wake up in one of the daintier sex posishes and then am like “OH RIGHT” and it’s so fucking brutal and privately humiliating. 

“MAN FAST”

This is something I read vis-à-vis former porn star Crissy Moran, and is what you decide to do (I guess????) when you are a normie who had bad things happen to her and no good music or decent friends to help you through it. I mean, quite aside from the not-normie-ness of a porn star, it’s a veryCosmo-type decision to just quit men when men emerge as sucking. I’ve seen it happen, because normies have no tools for adversity, or experiences that fall outside of a continuum verily guided by the same man-relationship, over and over. Going on a “man fast” could be a good idea if you’re also going to therapy twice a week and reading a lot, but don’t think that not fucking will solve anything in particular. Pretty sure it makes you stupider, and weird.

OUTFITS

Outfits are affected by one’s relationship status, in a way I find endearing. What, you don’t like my cut-off hoodie and boxer-briefs and ski socks? WHO CARES? Like that.

Previously - Girls and Exes

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateCarraway

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