Well, “Happy New Year to you, too.” This is what I thought every time a friend has chastised me this holiday season for being single. But I am not alone.
This holiday break, my single friends have been reconnecting with high school boyfriends and college crushes in LA/ATL/DC or wherever they attended a prom or two. There have been dozens of brunch and lunch dates from Christmas ranging right up until New Year’s Eve with men that it never worked out with before. Sure, it’s a break from our New York City-sized laundry list of obligations and dinner dates with guys that are “nice enough.” But being relieved of our hectic schedules inevitably leads to boredom about 48 hours into a trip away from the city. So it ‘s slightly reasonable to call on some former boyfriends when you’re in their town, right? Forget the sideways glances from coupled friends who seem to take pity on your continuing mating rituals with old, withered flames.
Sigh. Yes, New Year’s is a time when being alone might weigh heavily, and being questioned, however gently, by those who are not, just doesn’t help.
When looking for love over 25, you are reminded by married/cohabitating/generally inconsiderate friends to take what you can get if you’re single. Oh, and there’s my mother. Over Thanksgiving, she stated that to get a better job, a better man (really, any man) in the new year, I need to straighten my hair. She claims that my funky fro is so jarring at first glance that no one wants to hit on me or hire me.
Double sigh. Yes, the holidays — a great time to be a single black woman.
To take the edge off the pitying stares, I have made that decision to see an old “friend” during all the holiday festivities myself. It’s counterproductive to my friends’ and mom’s wishes to have me married, knocked up and liking it, but that’s what makes it so fun. At least the stories of a weekend fling or short romance savored over these last few weeks will keep me bragging until MLK Day.
In fact, my favorite remedy for getting through the holidays while being single — with disapproving friends — has been to take advantage of my freedom.
Speaking of freedom, this year coming year, I vow to:
- Wear annoyingly bright colors to dates, Spanx included, with dress lengths that I earned with my over-priced New York Sports Club membership.
- Make an extra effort to be fashionably late to all parties with a hot guy I just met, because I can.
- Stop explaining every detail of why my dating life hasn’t led to a conflict-free diamond solitaire engagement ring on the same timeline that my roommate from college got hers.
- Be fancy. Nails done, hair done, everything done… in red. Vixen red nails. Red lips as bewitching as hot designer Rachel Roy’s.
That’ll show ’em.
Honestly, if people need to remind me of my singleness on the few occasions that I see them between potty training and play dates, there is a piece of them that misses being single just like me.
And being alone has had its huge plusses. Having fewer obligations has allowed me to live abroad for years at a time, invest time and money in my personal brand, stack money, and support friends by getting on a plane or train when asked.
Take what I can get? I think not. I’d rather be progressing toward my goals than risk being distracted from my destiny by someone who doesn’t support them.
The next time I am reminded of my supposedly bad choice to be single, I will think to myself, “You wish you’d thought of it first.”
But I will say out loud, “Happy New Year to you, too.
A marketing and business development consultant based in New York and London, Christian McKenzieis sought after is her ability to connect complementary businesses. She is also known for her writing and self-produced video segments, and has worked with Future Proof Productions, NBC’s Oxygen Media for House of Glam and Running Russell Simmons, and Logicworks for Valentino: The Last Emperor. She holds a B.A. in English from Spelman College and an M.A. in Journalism from London College of Fashion.