Monday, April 19, 2010

All the single ladies: the fear that Bridget Jones and Sex and the City have given us

The other day I was surfing the internet (probably while I was procrastinating, let's be real here) and I came across this op-ed from and online women's publication The Lemon Drop aptly titled "Are Bridget Jones and Liz Lemon Making Us Afraid to Die Alone?" Eff. Of course, like a car wreck or seeing old people at a nude beach, I couldn't look away. Basically, the article chronicled single women's fear of being alone. Seemingly, this is only a problem for women; you never hear about men being alone and miserable in their thirties, but more on that lovely double standard later. At the end of the article was a wonderful, pour salt in the wounds, face-it-you'll-be-alone-forever poll that asked: 'What do you think of Liz-Lemon syndrome?' In case any of you don't know, Liz Lemon is Tina Fey's character from 30-Rock. She scheduled a root canal on Valentine's Day because she didn't want to be conscious. Yeah. The options for answering were:
1. I admit it--I'm scared of being single in my thirties
2. being single in your 30s is normal and doesn't mean you binge eat and can't get laid
3. I'm not really scared to be single in my 30s AND I love a good joke about getting poundcake on my cat.

Well, shit. I kept replaying in my head that one episode of Sex and the City when Miranda first buys her apartment and calls Carrie in the middle of the night, convinced she was going to choke on some chicken and die alone and be eaten by her beloved cat, Fatty. I was starting to palpitate and instead of answering, I exed out of the article. Then, when I watched Bridget Jones's diary last night, the scene with her drunk in her P.J.s belting out "All By Myself" nearly brought me to tears.

Today I got to thinking about why, at the tender age of 22, I am so so so afraid of being alone. It's been awhile, admittedly, since my last relationship (enough time for many of my other friends, who were single for less time than me, to already have significant others), but why have a heart attack over it? Then I realized that we're conditioned to feel this way. And you know whose fault it is? Those chicks from Sex and the City, Bridget Jones, Liz Lemon, Elaine Bettis (her only foil being George Costanza), and just about every other pathetic single female on both big and small screens. While Sex and the City tries to make its women seem strong and independent, all four have their downfalls. Charlotte is marriage obsessed. Carrie has no money (and really is irresponsible with the little she has). Samantha is a slut. Miranda fears being eaten by her cat. Seeing such beautiful, smart women unmarried and unattached and lamenting it at every turn is enough to give an entire generation of girls the shivers.

For men, it's different. They have the cool dudes of Entourage, where wives and girlfriends are often such pains-in-the-asses, that they're gotten rid of. And don't worry! If you get rid of one, more will follow! Single men in all movies (and, seemingly, in life) never have worries about getting married or being alone. There will always be some young thing naive enough to be duped into a relationship.

Why is single 30-dom such a touchy thing for me? Because I can easily see myself as Bridget Jones; sad, drunk, desperate. Thankfully, I'm as far from 32 as I am from 12. I've got a lot of growing, learning, and time left to do it in.

Should I sign up for yet? Ugh.


  1. I may only be a freshman but I can sympathize! I do have a boyfriend, but until he recently walked into my life out of nowhere, I was sure I'd be the single 30-something workaholic. All my friends have been in 2-or-3-year relationships since high school. I was the 11th wheel at one point! But keep your chin up! I am sure someone is out there for you.

  2. Oh wow, you need to loosen up! I'm 28 going on 30 and single and I CAN'T WAIT TO TURN 30. Yes, I'm sure this makes me sound insane, but you know what? I spent most of my 20s in college, then law school, then studying for the bar exam, then looking for a job, and now living paycheck to paycheck. I have very high hopes for my 30s and intend to spend them enjoying myself and my friends. If that guy comes around - great, if not, I'll live.

    Just enjoy your 20s. It's the one thing I actually regret in life is not taking more advantage of my high tolerance and not so terrible hangovers. Because they definitely get worse as you get older. Relax!

  3. I just found your blog! Follow mine!

    Also, I feel your pain. I love being single, but I see my friends so happy in their relationships. I'm afraid that I'm going to be single always.