As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was recently at the pool with Bridie and Pepper. Before we were talking about how happy Pepper was when she was single, we were talking about the Duchess.
The Duchess had sent me a text the previous day about this single guy she knew (or knew of, it was never really clear) who was a billionaire, but also really short, but a billionaire and so she wondered if I could look past my height requirement for a billionaire. I think she then sent another text, reminding me this guy made billions and I would be a fool to not at least let her give him my number. When I responded, I told her he should take some of his money, go to China and have his shins lengthened. But that would still only get him a first date with me. I wouldn’t promise anything more.
After we all stopped laughing at my ridiculousness and the Duchess’s relentlessness, Pepper chimed in, “But you don’t even seem to mind being single.”
We then went on to discuss all the reasons why being single is sort of awesome and that is when Pepper revealed she was happiest when she was on her own.
Was she telling the truth? I think so. Does it raise the question: if she was happiest single, why doesn’t she break up with her boyfriend? Sure. But, she loves him (note her reason has nothing to do with a fear of being called a crazy cat lady or always having a date on national holidays). Plus she didn’t say she is unhappy. But as she explained it: “If a person is, on average, happy 80 percent of the time, and you are with someone who is also happy 80 percent of the time, then there is chance that 40 percent of the time one of you isn’t going to be happy and that is going to affect the other person.”
I heart math.
What I don’t love is the misconception that women’s happiness is dependent on whether or not she has a man in her life. A married woman (or coupled-off woman) is a happy woman. A single woman, well she may seem happy when she is out drinking and dancing and laughing, but every night she goes home and cries, while paging through the bridal magazines she keeps hidden under her bed and listening to Adele.
For the record, the only bridal magazines I own have articles in them that I wrote.
Maybe this is why we have so many unhappy women on both sides of the broom. The single women are miserable because they are told they are supposed to be, whereas married women feel like failures because they supposedly have it all and are still not satisfied.
Instead of fighting about who is happier, can’t we just recognize each of us is a unique and complex individual capable of a whole spectrum of feelings based on several factors, the least of which is our relationship status. That it is okay if these emotions fluctuate from elated to miserable and all things in between because we are humans and life happens, and while I am happy 80 percent of the time I sometimes cry when I hear a Taylor Swift song (actually this is embarrassing, but I am working on it). It is okay to be sad sometimes. It reminds us to appreciate all the excellent times.
Plus, I think we can all agree anyone that is happy all the time, is just a freak.