I went clubbing a couple Saturdays ago. It was an unremarkable evening, so unremarkable in fact that I spent the last 15 minutes or so there actively thinking about the unlimited French toast I'd feast on the next morning, and left the club earlier than planned because I wanted to get a head start on sleeping, waking up, and gearing up for brunch.
Fast-forward to Sunday morning. As I laid in bed, fantasizing about the impending barrage of bacon and bottom-less mimosas, I began to think about who I should invite as company. For some reason, eating 8,000 calories worth of food before noon just doesn't feel right to me unless there's a woman present.
Surprisingly, I mentally vetoed each name I thought of. Not because I wouldn't enjoy their company, but because each was either unavailable because of church or other plans, or too available. (In this sense, "too available" means that there was a possibility they'd interpret it as a "date," when I just wanted some company. Since I've never been a fan of that happening to me, I try to avoid doing that to women. Sometimes I try less hard than others.)
Dismayed at my lack of brunch company options, I decided to just save some money and make breakfast for myself. The bacon and eggs were on point (as usual), but since I didn't have any champagne, I was forced to use some two week old sparkling water for my pre-school mimosas.
Now, I don't expect to elicit much sympathy for my voluntarily brunch-less Sunday. It's not just a "first-world problem." It's a bougie Black person's first world problem. But, that experience is a perfect example of, from my estimation, the single worst — and single scariest — part of being single.
Along with being a lover, a confidant, a friend, an unlimited source of extra bed heat, and a (possible) tax credit, in most (good) relationships, your partner is actually your…partner. If you want to see a movie, attend a show, take a road trip, catch up on old episodes of "Treme", or go to Sunday brunch, having a mate means that you also usually have someone to do things with. What the particular thing happens to be doesn't matter too much. You just know that whatever it is you want to do, you can usually assume that there will be company. But, even if you have a healthy dating life and multiple friends, when single, there's always the possibility that, at a time you want company, you could be the odd man out — the last man standing while everyone else has found their (musical) chairs.
Now, this is where I'm probably supposed to say something about appreciating the value of being single and not needing people to do things with. While I definitely do value the increased autonomy — couldn't use my spatula to scratch my back when living with my ex — life does just seem a little better when you have someone to share moments with. Not sure exactly why this is true, but I can't deny that it is.
I also realize that, as a man, I'm not supposed to be saying any of these things. If beer commercials and music videos are any indication, life as a single man — a single Black man, at that — should literally be a box of unlimited and bespectacled Delta Sigma Theta chocolates. But while the whole options myth isn't actually a myth, I can't deny the fact that I do occasionally wonder if my singledom is a bit more permanent than I expected it to be. As much as I've enjoyed it, I think about how I'd feel about "losing" that game of musical chairs when the stakes eventually raise from "brunch partners" to "life partners."
And, since I'm busy not denying certain facts, I might as well say that I can't deny the fact that this thought scares the hell out of me.