I just came for the fried turkey

The holiday season is officially here, which means as a single woman preparing to answer the daunting questions regarding my dating status and whether I’m ready to be a parent awaits me. Ah, yes, the redundancy of invading my privacy asking very personal questions is what I’m now used to as a single woman in my (early) thirties. I used to consider the inquiries regarding my personal life offensive, but I learned to take with a grain of salt like other things. Besides, when the people who ask you the question are older, and from the old school, you just adapt to nodding and smiling to aid the awkwardness.

Each Thanksgiving, I spend in Maryland with my friend and her family. As a transplant in NYC, that is the closest I’ll get to a family when my budget permits me from being with my own; it’s a good time! I’m basically an honorary family member. Nana (my friends’ grandma) cooks her ass off, and I’m surrounded by regular black folks that love celebrating unity, food, and a reason to party. For the past three years, I have willingly submerged myself into energies from all ages. Watching the kids make the living room their jungle gym to discuss adulting with the grown folk, just when I think, I’m good go-maybe they won’t bring it up like clockwork, the topic of conversation commences!

Admittedly, I have falsified my love life or thrill to become pregnant one day to appease them. Learning it’s much easier when you say something someone wants to hear or speak honestly; it’s told with optimism; either way, there’s an objective. Even still, being surrounded by relationships and babies, I never neglect to mumble to myself, “Damn, I am the single friend.”

Society’s interpretation of what “The single friend” is has managed to stand the test of time, no matter how much women have tried to dismantle the bullshit expectations, so because of that, the title that lingers over said “singe woman” comes with-although more- pros than cons, cons. Luckily for myself, I just so happen to not care. The questions surrounding the activity of my uterus and if I’d ever reproduced or not or when or if I’ll marry, doesn’t exactly “trigger” anything within me per se. If anything, it just reminds me of how much unlearning there is to get done. -Laughing but very serious-

Though redundant, my annoyance doesn’t lie in the ideologies of those women when it comes to the topic. I know that misogyny and the withstanding system rooted in patriarchy has played a dominant role in the faux meaning of women, who we are, and definitely who we aren’t. Also, for the sake of Instead not exhausting this topic, these are just a few things to keep in mind while maneuvering intrusive questions when all you’re trying to do is enjoy a slice of sweet potato pie.

Self-validation isn’t deemed null and void without romantic partner fulfillment or children.

Like, at all. A lot of us are still on a journey to self-discovery while learning to love ourselves. It’s only as I’ve gotten older that I’ve been able to depict the two, knowing that they aren’t synonymous. Between healing, the grievances of life, and the joys, There are several factors that people “conveniently” tend to forget when it comes to the human experience.

A lot of it is projection and regressive rhetoric.

Because that’s just how people are. So many people project their own shit onto others that they don’t even realize it most of the time. To be honest, in my opinion, projection doesn’t always come from a negative space; depending on who it comes from, most of the time, it’s an unattended deficiency to what healing is meant to heal. And like many other things, people tend to attach themselves without realizing it.

Most of them have no idea what the dating game is like, LOL.

This goes without saying, lol. Dating can go good or bad, wrong or right, up or down, okay, you get it. Noticeably so, most of the questions or commentary prying into my business are asked by our aunties, grannies, moms, of course, and not surprisingly enough, people who don’t know you like that. Explaining what a “situationship” is, gender wars on the TL, then explaining what that is — see, no. Defending a fulfilling life that can be lived without children are topics that I’ve grown weary of explaining, so I’ve grown tired of explaining don’t anymore. My thirty-one-year-old feedback is cohesive, and you can actually hear the confidence behind the words. Again, laughing but very serious.

The pressure thrown onto women to be multifaceted and uphold titles that we didn’t even ask for isn’t pressure I allow to apply to me anymore. At my age, I know what I’m doing when it comes to navigating my love life. With so many things out of our control, we have control over this one thing. An essential to the contribution of our growth. Being “the single friend” for me has gone from mini moments of asking myself, “Will it ever happen for me?” to “It’ll happen for me when I want it to,” and it’s just that simple. So, don’t forget these critical things if and when you’re asked triggering or personal questions. Remember that you have the power to reconstruct what it means to be single, and you don’t have to explain that to a single soul. Besides, aren’t we all here to eat anyway?

Be good to yourself.

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Jenelle Parrish

Jenelle Parrish

31 Followers

Yall mind if I express myself, real quick? I write love letters to Black women, my biggest inspiration. Twitter @jenellewrites