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What's wrong with me? Basically everything.

Mar 24, 2014

When local blogger Olga from Mango & Tomato asked if I wanted to go to see the New York Times "Modern Love" column editor, Daniel Jones, speak at Sixth & I, I jumped on the opportunity. I'm not a die hard fan, but I love the concept of publishing submissions from anyone with a story about what love is to him or her, thus defining love in endless ways.

I first read the column when Orange is the New Black premiered. I was fascinated with the idea of a woman like me going to prison for a crime she committed 10 years earlier. I researched her real-life story and found it to be much different than what the show portrayed. In the show, her fiance, Larry, doesn't remain so faithful when he watched Mad Men without her -- but then again, neither does she remain faithful to him when her former lover ends up in prison with her. And while that story line works for TV, the real story is so much better. Real-life Piper wrote her version in her memoir, "Orange is the New Black", and real-life Larry wrote his for "Modern Love".

Daniel has a book out now, Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject—With the Help of 50,000 Strangers, and he brought along Modern Love columnist Sara Eckel with him. She also has a book out called It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. The crowd, including me, went for Daniel, but I was mostly moved by what Sara spoke about.

In a passage from her book, Sara admits to not having a boyfriend for eight years. She finally meets her now husband in her late 30s, but until then, she wonders what is wrong with her. She heard the same so-called advice from Marrieds that we Singletons often get -- mostly you're too (fill in the blank). She closed her reading with this line, that has been ringing in my ears ever since:

This got me thinking about some of the reasons I've blamed for my singleness over the years. My hooded eyelids have always been a huge problem, and most recently I noticed my armpits are wrinkly. Not to mention I hate doing dishes and I talk too much. Also, I'm too tall for this town, and my aversion to exercise further sets me apart from the norm.

But you know what? I'm not changing. Because the wrinkles in my armpits just mean I've used them a lot, y'all. (I'm assuming it works the same way as smile lines.) And my hooded eyelids? Make a great story for parties when I tell everyone I had plastic surgery at the age of 7 and my surgeon wanted me to also get an eye lift but my parents said no. I will never enjoy doing dishes and I will always find other things to do besides dishes and that's one of my greatest joys in life, avoiding doing dishes, right next to talking. Being tall comes in handy for getting things off shelves (I mean, who needs a tall dude around when you've got me?) and when I need to burn calories I just put Britney Spears on and work it out. 

So actually all those particular flaws make my life pretty dang fun. Why in the world would I want to change any of it? Why would any of us?

Singletons, we're single because we're single. There's no other reason. We just are. And it's fine.


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