If you are one of my single sisters (whether by divorce, having never wed, or maybe widowed), how many times have people furled their brow, looked in your eyes, and confusedly asked, ‘Why don’t you have a man?’ Or how many times has someone shared a tale of how online dating proved to be the salvation for a friend who lived alone with her cat for years? Or has someone ever stopped you in your tracks to gently place a loving hand on your shoulder, and with sympathy dripping like warm molasses from their eyes, assured you that ‘you will find somebody one day?’
Well all three have happened to me. Countless times. So on behalf of my similarly situated sisters, let me say, “Don’t think because she don’t got a man, she can’t get a man.”
If I wanted, I could have not one, but upwards of ten ‘men.’ And what better day than Valentine’s Day to reflect upon the bevy of manhood from which I could pick and choose.
Hmmm . . . Let’s see.
I could be the chief financier in a relationship with the ‘man’ who suffers from this mysterious physical and mental aversion to a thing called employment. It is my hope that we will one day see a cure for this loathsome condition.
Or I could be the trusty side-piece to the upstanding Christian ‘man’ who keeps a bible on the back seat of his car, the T.D. Jakes app on his phone, and the word in his mouth, yet disregards that pesky little commandment that reads, ‘Honor thy wife.’ But hey, the Lord is still working on all of us.
Or I could enjoy a budding romance (and I do mean budding) with the conscience brother who scolds me for eating bacon, but whose wellness plan consists of smoking enough weed to bring relief to every sufferer of a chronic illness in the United States. I know, I know, marijuana is herbal.
Or I could be the exalted queen in his small village of mass procreation that includes four baby-mothers, six kids, and zero resources. Now that’s the kind of living I’m after.
Or I could be the the cougar to the oh so cute and charming 20-something who sends me sweet texts sprinkled with heart and kissy face emojis, but warns that should I take him up on that lunch date, I’ll need to pick him up since he’s still saving for his ride.
Or I could be bae to the baller who has ‘DIAMONDS ON HIS NECK, DI-DIAMONDS ON HIS NECK’ (in my Smitty/Swizz Beats voice–youtube it if you’re not a hip-hop aficionado), but not a dollar in his pocket.
Or I could be adored for my beautiful mind until he tires of it and says to himself, “She thinks too much of herself. Needs to be taken down a peg or two,” in the illustrious words of Mister from The Color Purple. Just call me Sophia, Sophia, Sophia.
Or I could be the captive audience for the boss who would rather run down his career and financial portfolio before he thinks to ask about my day.
Or I could assume some type of post traumatic stress disorder when he bolts out of the bathroom–shall I say mid-stream–upon the realization that he left his cell phone vulnerable in the same room as me. Stranger danger.
Make no mistake, I can get a man.
But is he the man that I want?
Much of my adult life, sadly, consisted of ‘trying to be chose’ as the younger set would say. But now that I know the value I bring as a woman and partner, this time around, I will do the choosing thank you very much. And he will not be a man that I, and everyone else, could have. He will be much more.
So to my single sisters, I say stay the course. Don’t let loneliness or desperation cause you to waste your smart, or fly, or pretty on the undeserving. Nurture all of those wonderful gifts that he will one day love about you. Continue to ready yourself for when he makes himself seen. Be patient. He’s out there–waiting to connect with you as you are with him.
The best love is one that finds us when we are whole and open to its possibilities. It shows up and feels like home amidst all of the chaos and confusion of the world. We wonder how we lived for so long without it, and pray that we never lose it. Life is made all the more magical by its presence.
This is what I want. And I will settle for nothing less.
So when you see me without a man, don’t pity or wonder what could be wrong with me.
I assure you, all is well.
I am waiting–decidedly waiting–not for a man, but the man.