So last week Dark & Stormy, y’all remember her right? Riight. Anyway. Last week she sent me this blog post. So basically the writer starts off talking about how beavers "pair up for life and take on the world, with its harsh environment and lurking predators, together." You know building dams and such.
The writer goes on to discuss how her grandparents were married at 20 years old, lived in a room in one of their parents’ home, had kids, saved enough money to buy some land that they leased out and then, "they basically went all beaverish in a rural outpost in the southwest corner of Georgia. They 'dammed up' some land and made a living for generations to come. " And then she wonders if in a day and age when everyone has to have their ish together before they take that big step – will our generation see our golden anniversaries? I mean let’s keep it real, will we see silver anniversaries?
Now anyone who knows me in real life, knows that in an ideal world, I’m all about building dams. So when I expressed my glee over this post, Dark & Stormy said, “but aren’t you doing the exact opposite?” Which is true – I have an undergrad degree, a grad degree, a real ‘job’, bout to be homeowner, etc., etc. And I said, “sure by design. Cause I have to eat. And I’m tired of living at my mama’s house. But if someone I really wanted to marry was like ‘yo let’s get this money TOGETHER,' I’d be all over it.” And I would. But that's not my reality right now.
Now usually when I lament the single life on this here blog, I tend to get a tad overly“bitter” and sorrowful. This is mainly done for effect. I mean it’s like I do be feeling this way, but I don’t stay feeling this way. It’s usually a passing feeling cause something seemingly dramatic has happened in my life to trigger that emotion. And I'm operating on a heightened level and y'all get to hear all about it on Friday! But…
As I get closer to being a homeowner and have been the roller coaster ride that is the home buying process, I realize there’s a reason why people wait til they’re a two to buy a home. There’s a reason why it’s just couples on the HGTV show House Hunters – notice the plural. And why the other HGTV show Property Virgins usually features newlyweds looking for their “dream” home. This house hunting/buying/owning mess is hard. No, it’s arduous. It’s annoying. Frustrating. Oh how I wish I could say, “honey. I have to work. Could you meet the home inspector?” Or, “honey. I’ma need your half of the money for that down payment.” Or, "honey. Can you believe the ish the seller is putting us through? Let's cry on each other's shoulders..."
And when I am going through, all up in, with what has got to be the biggest moment in my life thus far, when I must press on as a one, it makes me feel so conflicted. I’m proud of myself for taking this huge step, but at the same time, I’m like um should I really be taking this huge step alone? Like for real. Do I really need to own a home by myself at the ripe old age of 28? It’s not like I have kids who need a back yard to play. My parents aren’t kicking me out the house. But it feels like, if not now, (when interest rates are low and Obama is handing out 8 stacks) then when? When someone comes to sweep me off my feet and take me away from all this? Ha. These aren't the good ol’ days when people go courtin’ on they porches.
And then I get a little sad cause this is the reality for so many single, childless Black women, who unlike our white counterparts who think them being unmarried is a fluke and the one is still out there – we stop thinking there is a one all together.* And move on accordingly. Climb that corporate ladder. Be that church lady who stay going to everythang. Dress up wayy too fancy to be going out to Friday night dinners with just the girls. Travel the world with our sorors. Become some lil' child's play auntie.** We press on, heads held high, refusing to settle. Still holding out to be wives first, then mothers. Find ourselves dealing with silly nigs on the daily who aren’t ready to build dams together. And yet when we complain about the loneliness/fearfulness/wtf of our situation for two seconds, two seconds, we hear the same, “girl, live yo' life” refrain.
And so we go and do just that. Live our lives. And try to build our own dams alone. The best we can. But sometimes on the hard days, when there's no one to turn to. No one's shoulder to cry on -and daddies don't count. Mamas don't count. Best friends don't count. No one to bring you some wood to contribute to the dam. When you take inventory of your life - and like a never been married 50ish year old woman at Bible Study said the other night, "you go to your empty home on a Friday night and you ain't got no man, no kids, and you working a job you hate. Well..."
Well it's enough to make you want to give up the ghost, put down your wood, walk away, throw up both your hands and scream, damn, damn, damn James! I can't do this no mo'! And then you regroup. Take a deep breath. Return to your senses. And go back to building your life. And take comfort in knowing that you can hire some people to come help you move some of this wood.
That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!
*My homegirl just told me, "I wonder if I can get used to this, being lonely forever."
** This might be its own post, but I think it's all downhill for single, Black women when we start to be someone's play auntie. Next thing you know 18 years have passed and we're still sending them birthday cards and putting their school pictures on our mantle.
Just cause it's Friday!