November. My absolute favorite month of the year. Not just because my birthday is on the 14th, but because of everything it has to offer: The cool, crisp air laced with the aroma of fireplaces burning; the colors of the leaves changing, giving Baltimore an autumn makeover; crowds gathered on Sundays at favorite pubs to watch the Ravens play.
But most of all I love November because it's a month about giving thanks. And eating, of course. But mostly about giving thanks.
Now, I know the holidays can be hard on single folks. It's easy to feel down and lonely. And feeling thankful may be the last thing on your mind. Each holiday party or family gathering seems to feature we single types surrounded by married or engaged couples, babies, and growing kids, with everyone asking the perpetual question of "So when are you getting married?" Groan.
At this point, I've heard that question so many times I want to just start answering with sarcastic comebacks like, "Tomorrow! Didn't you get your invitation?" or "When my fiancée gets out of prison." But, of course, after the laughter fades, I'd be back at square one. What I don't get is why everyone is so concerned with when I'm getting married. Especially when they've never heard me say I wish I was.
Well, enough of that crap. I refuse to let anyone make me feel like being single means being incomplete. Actually, each year I am reminded more and more of what I have to be truly thankful for. The obvious things like my health, a roof over my head, a job, and family and friends who love me. But I honestly feel really lucky to be single.
Why? Well, first of all, I know my Thanksgiving will be spent with my family. I love being with them so much I often think the ideal mate for me would be an orphan. (You know, so I don't ever have to worry about taking turns between families.) Secondly—and I don't know if it's because they're forced to see their in-laws or because of the season's tug on the wallet—but have you ever noticed that couples seem to fight a lot more around the holidays? Bicker, bicker, bicker. All those uncomfortable comments they try to pass off as jokes, but still make everyone else at the table feel really awkward: "Wow Sally, maybe you can get some cooking lessons from Cheryl. Ha, ha, ha." Followed by: "Well, Bob, if you were home every night like her husband, maybe I would. Hee hee." Ha, ha . . . no one's laughing, somebody please pass the wine.
Of course I know not all couples are like that. My sister Dani and her husband Nick, for example, have a great relationship. They show a mutual respect and are literally each other's best friend. And, most importantly for me, when I am with them, I don't feel like the single outcast. Their natural and happy kind of love is what I am holding out for. Someone to be thankful for. And I won't be settling down until I find it.
So, if you're single like me, remember: Riding solo is definitely better than having the biggest turkey at the Thanksgiving table turn out to be your date.