Being single, at 48, throw in a side of sobriety, and it’s like being raised in an Irish Catholic household. It’s on another level of condemnation. My parents, who have been married since they were zygotes, are somehow convinced that the man of my dreams is somewhere in a produce aisle of Market Basket waiting to compare the ripeness of avocado will swoop in and rescue me from my singleness disorder. I don’t drink, so the bar scene isn’t a place you’ll find me looking for a guy. Not unless you have bail money and a stun gun.
Visualize my parents: Sheila is no taller than an end table and big Mike who is not much taller than his bride of 50+ years. Both equipped with the charming eloquence of the brash Boston accent. “Michelle fchriske, are you on one of those dating sites?” Cue the onslaught of questions from 70 something year-old parents who just don’t get it. I have two sisters who are married, toss in a couple of nieces too. Then there’s me. Not married. Not in a relationship. Closing in on 50. And I cannot emphasize enough to my beloved parents, how I don’t give one single fuck about it. My life may not be ideal to my mother who was married with three kids and a house by the time she was 28. It may not be ideal to a woman who loves to drive her kids to soccer or playdates or nuzzle their baby into their neck. It DEFINITELY wasn’t ideal for my 90 year-old Papa (RIP big Pup) who told me I’d never be fulfilled without having kids (this coming from a man who announced at Easter dinner after a high ball or 3, that he’d spawned 7 kids, 14 grandkids and 25 great grandkids “straight from his loins.”)
Fact: I was married in another life. It was like a bad perm, it just didn’t take. I’m not a staunch feminist who doesn’t shave her armpits and thinks marriage is the devil. I’m actually a better person when in a relationship. I’m just currently not in one. Be happy where you are type thing. So what single women and married women find fulfilling can be very different. For me, my dogs, my friends and family, my job, my new found love of travel to other countries, my doing and buying whatever the fuck I want, fulfills me. There are times where I LOVE to feel sorry for myself and sit home watching the TV versions of movies where there’s no swears or recite verbatim the entire script word for word of Top Gun or Pretty Woman on TBS, wearing the most hideous sweatpants I’ve had for 15 years with no waistband and no makeup and eating food out of the container with my dogs next to me while trolling social media and talking to myself. And I love it.
Because I know what I am. I know I’m a pretty decent catch. I’m a pretty cool chick. I am not a stage 5 clinger and I’m not a closet psycho. I just don’t need to necessarily comply with what my parents’ ideas are for what my life should be at this age. I ADORE those two. They’re awesome people. And I know they only want me to be happy and cared for.
One of the best things I’ve ever heard was from Cher was during an interview with Diane Sawyer when Diane asked about her single life: “My mother once said to me, ‘Cherilyn, you should really settle down and marry a rich man.’ I said ‘Ma, I AM a rich man.”
I may not be rich, but I am happy and when the time is right, when whatever damn stars need to be aligned, my Mr Right will find his way to the produce section to find me.