Why I’m NOT Sad Even Though I’m Single on Valentine’s Day

It seems that everyone thinks I should be sad on Valentine’s Day, as if it’s a natural state for a single woman. My email box has been filled, not only with reminders to buy a gift or to book a table for this eventful day (I’m sure that yours have been too). No, there’s more. These are the subject lines I’ve been bombarded with over the past few weeks:

  • Sick of Valentine’s Day? Here’s How to Get Even with Cupid
  • No Valentine? Find The Right Man Now
  • Don’t miss NYC’s LARGEST Anti-Valentine Singles Party…15 years running!
  • My Best Valentine’s Offer Yet – A Lifetime of Love
  • Oh no! Lamenting on Valentine’s Day
  • How I’ve Helped Women Find Real Love After 50

You might be thinking that I’m on the wrong email lists. And you’re right. Yet the question remains, why does everyone assume that single people are pitifully sad because it’s Valentine’s Day? Like we’re destined to put on our gray sweatpants, throw our hair into a messy ponytail, grab a pint of ice cream and a box of tissue and sit in the corner until we rock ourselves to sleep. Why ARE some single people sad sacks on Valentine’s Day? I’m surprised at the number of singles who spend the day feeling sorry for themselves (maybe that’s why people assume it’s all of us), or worse, angry.

When the bouquets begin to show up at work on Valentine’s Day and everyone huddles around oooing and aahing. “Four for you, Glen Coco! You go Glen Coco!”* Do I feel something? Of course! Despite my mother’s argument that black women don’t like flowers (her thought, if you’ve got $75 to spend, don’t send something that dies) — I LOVE flowers. They’re beautiful. They smell great, what’s not to love?

Yet, as you’re giggling and clipping those long stems, walking around a bit more than you really need to, I’m thinking about the time you told me the sender, your beloved, ate your last Jenny Craig cheesecake — the dessert you’d been thinking about all day as you ate your cardboard, flavorless food — and any longing to be in your place wisps away faster than a $200 size 38 Louboutin platform heels at the Barney’s Sample Sale (in it’s last year for women, quelle horror!).

There’s not one married woman whose life I’d rather have than my own. Despite my extreme fandom, NOT even Beyonce. I could have traded with her for a good long while – smart, uber talented, beautiful. Her voice is a little like Lurch’s sister trying to sound sexy, but I figured I could pay someone to correct that. But then, she got a ring on it and any desire I had to be Beyonce abruptly ended. Can you imagine rolling over in your bed and seeing Jay-Z sharing your pillow? It’d be like waking up to a camel. And beyond that, given his past, I’d be scared to know what skeletons are stuffed in his closet and would fear whether I’d ever be joining them if we disagreed. Plus he seems mopey. So, no, not even Beyonce.

Isn’t the point of Valentine’s Day to acknowledge your love for people? That love can be from people all around you. I want to see and feel — and most importantly recognize — that affection all the time – all year long. PLUS, it includes love for yourself. To me that means IF you’re going to stay in, put on your favorite pretty lounging items (seriously ladies, I can’t with the sweats. Where are you even finding those schlubby things?), order in your favorite food, pop open your favorite bottle of wine or mix up your favorite cocktail and watch your favorite show or read your favorite book. Sounds like a better plan to me. So thank you very much, but I’m not going to spend Valentine’s Day at an anti-Valentine’s Day Party or figuring out how that woman can find me love after 50.

I’ll be at LINCOLN CENTER at New York Fashion Week. That’s right, I’m in the tents (or the stage, really), baby!!!! Loving fashion all these years has finally paid off! I will be feeling love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient  consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.** And it’s hard to imagine the relationship getting any better. xoxo

*Mean Girls reference, of course.

**Sex and the City, final episode.

Straight men, I put the footnotes in just for you.

Getting Past the First Question

If something happens often enough, it can no longer be considered a coincidence. I’ve discovered there’s a standard phrase my friends ask the first time I mention a new guy. This happens well before we assign him a code name (like Home Depot for the guy I met when picking up paint or “the Sicilian” for obvious reasons), and even before the analysis of the first date. This is even before mentioning how we met. The first question seems to go like this:

“Is he cute?” My gay friends quip, quickly followed by “Show me his picture.”

“What does he do?” My white friends ask.

“Where did he go to school?” My African and Asian friends must know.

“Is he white?” An obsessive-level query by many of my black girlfriends. I might say, “I went to karaoke last night,” not even mention a guy, and they’ll ask “Is he black?” Obsessed!

That covers my typical focus group. I”ll do some undercover research to determine if other people fall back on one of these as the go-to question. Does this hold true for your group of friends? What do your friends say when you mention a new guy?

Dating Dealbreakers That Make No Sense

I’m very happy with my life. Dating is important to me, but a man is really just the icing on the cake. Now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn’t use that analogy since the icing is my favorite part of a cake. But I digress.

I’m also very realistic about who I am. And, I readily admit that I have some dealbreakers that don’t really make sense. Sure, I might be passing up some desirable candidates with these non-starters, but I. Just. Can’t.

The one with bad grammar. It took a while, but I’ve finally discovered and accepted that I have to be with someone who’s an excellent communicator. This eliminates anyone who can’t speak coherently or write complete sentences. Also, if you ask me to repeat myself constantly, I’m tapping out.

The one who doesn’t drink. I’m just done with that. There are too many activities non-drinkers can’t participate in. What does a non-drinker do at a wine tasting? Or a brunch? Or a wedding? The lifestyle difference is just too drastic.

The one who says “have a blessed day.” I know you think you’re being nice by texting this to me in the morning, but the phrase annoys me. There’s something presumptuous about you thinking you can bless my day. I (me! moi!) make my day what it’s going to be, thanks.

The one who calls. Can’t you just text me? I have things to do.

The one who acts old. Age is irrelevant. It’s about attitude. If you act tired and not adventurous. If it’s always too loud. Or always too cold. Or you don’t want to go someplace because of the possibility of crowds. Or you’re still printing things out. If you’re wearing leather pants from 1994, no amount of yoga and meditation will give me enough patience to deal with you.

The one who’s a security guard. This might seem like a weird category, but somehow I have a security guard magnet and nothing I do is breaking down this force field. The horrible suit. The fact that you spend your whole day talking sports. Or, the reality that you have your leg hoisted up on the desk while you’re trying to talk to me … None of this is a win.

The one who doesn’t get what I do. I know that my own family can’t even explain what I do, but at least learn to pretend! Or, just stop asking.

The one who hates New York. One, I just don’t get you and two, I can’t see myself leaving. Except maybe for Paris. For  a while.

This shouldn’t eliminate that many guys, right? So I’m looking to be set up. Anyone have a candidate who does NOT have these dealbreakers?

How to Catch a Cougar

Cubbies, this is the advice you’ve been looking for on how to attract a cougar. It’s based on a focus group of women “of a certain age” who are exhausted by your juvenile, and sometimes precious, sometimes hilarious advances.

Things to not Do If You Want to Catch a Cougar

1. Don’t say any of the following:

  • “You look GREAT for your age.” So basically you’re saying to the woman, you’re old, but you just don’t look it.
  • “You’re only X years older than my last girlfriend.” OR, “You’re X years younger than my mom.” I shouldn’t have to mention why you shouldn’t say the first one. And, you should never ever compare a woman to your mom. And B, never ever compare a woman to your mom.
  • “I like older women.” No one wants to be considered or called an older woman.
  • “Wow! You’ve never had kids? None? Never?!”  Clearly, she’s not dead and she could still have kids. Obviously, you think grandmama can’t.
  • “Why are you single?” It’s bad enough when anyone says this, but so much worse when a young’un says it. It’s not a permanent condition.
  • “I love the old school jams.” I realize this may work on some women, so just choose carefully and make sure you choose a time period that actually aligns with her age! And a personal aside, I DON’T like old school music. And no, I don’t want to see Patti Labelle in concert. I cannot think of one song she sings — yells — that I like. Shes my mom’s generation. Plus, you’re talking to someone who’s paid to see Lil Wayne in concert. Wait, isn’t that where we met?

3. Don’t yell out of your car window to get our attention.
This works on the younger girls. They can prop themselves up by their elbows and lean right in your car window. The age limit on that is 25. Also, it’s not OK to act up when your yelled out advances are ignored. Calling us a bitch just reinforces we’ve made the right choice.

4. Don’t live at home with your parents.
This won’t even advance you past round one.

5. Don’t still be in school.
If you’ve already been working and are changing jobs or something or it’s your second, third, etc.,  degree, no problem. You’re still working on your first — or figuring out what you want to do with your life? You’re entirely too much trouble. Plus, it’s impossible not to feel like we’re robbing the cradle.

6. Don’t assume we’re desperate, or easy.

Sure, as women age, they get less attention. It’s a reality and only a big deal to some. It doesn’t equal unilateral desperation and you’re not singlehandedly  making up for that.

7. Don’t use super shorthand in texts.

If you actually get the phone number of your desired cougar, don’t  send a text with that hieroglyphics —initialisms or  text talk. We just can’t feel good about ourselves if we answer messages that say things like “Wht pt of BK r u from?”