"and so I sit at home and just pretend/love is not for me..."--Tamia
Recently, a friend's friend suggested that I see a "Christian" documentary by the name of Soulmate.
Now, let me preface what I'm about to say about this film with the fact that it's presumptive and not based in fact, since I haven't watched the entire thing and refuse to do so. But as the friend's friend raved about it as a ministry for single women, I was simultaneously curious and incredulous. For my part, I'm just not one to sign up for "single" things: singles' groups, singles' clubs, singles' parties, singles' events, stampeding to the dance floor when "Single Ladies" comes on like somebody rang the dinner bell in an 19th century orphanage--it's all a bit ridiculous to me. I have never thought of myself as a "single" person. I'm Ms. Brown and one day I'll be Mrs. Brown-____________. "Single" connotes something I don't see as my truth: that I’m not whole somehow, or less than. It's not that the actual word says that; it's what society has attributed to the word that I don't receive. I'm not "single" because I'm not a part of that community of people who revel in the ability to whine about being alone. I'm just a young woman--a whole person-- who is not yet married.
In any case, out of curiosity and at the bidding of the friend, I watched the trailer for the documentary. And afterwards, I had to rebuke what I saw in the name of Jesus. First of all, the trailer opens on the statistic that 47% of Black women are unmarried, which is the first of several major downers in the three minute piece. What about the fact that 53% are married? Glass half empty much? Then come the interviews. [Paraphrasing]: "I'm 52, I've never been married and have no children." "I'm 47 and people ask me if I even want a man because it seems like I'm having so much fun without one!" "My husband contracted HIV in a homosexual relationship and gave it to me."
None of this was sounding particularly sexy.
It's not that the information isn't valid. And not that I begrudge anyone somewhere to go to feel a part of a community and to get a better understanding of their circumstances as they see them. But as for me and my house...nuh-uh.
Bottom line: I refuse to commiserate with sad, lonely people. All that does is create an atmosphere for that loneliness to metastasize and fester, mildew into depression, and effectively block blessings because one is too downtrodden to see the light from the dark place they've fallen into. This might not be true for everyone, but it's my view of the vast industry that caters to "singles", "singles", of course, connoting 'people who would rather be married but just haven't gotten lucky yet'.
I would much rather focus on being joyful about where I am now and celebrating where I know I'm headed--and one place I'm fairly sure I'm not headed, by the grace of God, is 52, childless, and unmarried. Not that I'm better than that or above those circumstances, but it's just not what I feel is the promise over my life. I think it takes understanding what God is doing in your life before you get to the point of desperation, the point when watching a documentary about menopausal women who've always lived alone seems like a good idea.
No one is saying that procuring that level of wisdom is easy, but the fact is that it's more than likely that a huge portion of women are missing the point. I don't believe that 47% of these women are meant to be alone; I just don't buy it. And the changing of this dramatic statistic takes the changing of a mentality of a bloc of women that have become mired in their marital situation, or lack thereof. For instance:
Not that there aren't some things that need to be changed about the corresponding men as well, but I'm not going to get into that for two reasons: one, because we'd be here all night (you wanna talk about a soapbox…); and two, because I truly believe that women changing will force men to change. In fact, I think women changing is the only thing that will cause a change in men. Nearly everything men do is because of the 'power of the p-u…'(more Jay-Z; not sure what's wrong with me right now), and women need to re-learn to harness and leverage that power for good.
I have several best friends: one lives here in Los Angeles, two in the NY Tri-State Area, one in the San Francisco Bay Area, one in the Washington, DC area, and a first cousin who's like a sister that lives in Pittsburgh. I've really loved two men in my life romantically, and been quite fond of a great many more. I live in a courtyard-style Melrose Place -esque Hollywood Hills apartment building with over 30 units and many friendly neighbors. I live in a city of millions. I have family all over the globe that loves me, and I love them. I have a father I adore in Texas, a dear stepmother, and not-so-little-brothers I can't live without. I have a mirror-image mother resting in peace that I carry in my heart everywhere I go. What I am is unmarried. But I'm far from single.
So let it never once be said that I am "single". What I am is simply not married. Yet.