“Beta, you are now 27 years old! When are you going to get married? Tauba, tauba, if you don’t watch out, you’ll never find yourself a decent husband.” This is the constant refrain that is heard by young, single girls, either from their parents, aunts, random people on the metro. (Really, aunty, who are you to comment on my marital status, or the lack of it when you’re wearing a sari that is covered in the whatsapp symbol?) And your circles of friends are no less, with their constant need to set you up with so-and-so.
1. The horror that is Valentines Day
This day is every single girl’s nightmare! No matter how much you try to avoid it by burrowing deep under your covers, 14th February will always make for a day where your Facebook feed will be inundated with mushy love notes, pictures of elaborate dates. All this while you watch Pretty In Pink for the 100th time while eating an entire box of chocolates that you had to buy for yourself. Who said life is fair!
2. The quintessential third wheel
The truly terrible thing about being the only single girl in your group is always being the odd one out. And I mean, ALWAYS. You ask your friend to go for a movie, her first response is can I ask Raj/Rahul/Prem/I couldn’t care less to remember his name. Going for a friend’s wedding? You will surely be the only girl there with nobody to dance with. And oh the self-loathing you feel when your friends and their boyfriends decide to dance in a group just so they can make you feel included. You could almost sink through the dance floor with sheer mortification.
3. Chivalry is dead – maybe
So chivalry may not really be dead. But you definitely think it is. You go out for dinner, and nobody holds the door open for you. Your friend’s boyfriend/husband/fleeting lover may be courteous enough to keep holding that door open for you, but deep in your heart you know it’s only because he pities poor, single you. You almost feel like shutting that door in his pompous, arrogant face, just to watch him howl in pain, but out of the kindness (and the fact that your friend will kill you) of your heart, you refrain from breaking his nose.
4. Disapproving friends
So what you’re single. You go out, have fun, and meet a nice boy. Maybe every few weeks. But the disapproving looks and comments of your friends always makes you wish you never introduced them to your latest flavor of the week. Just because they’ve been in a relationship for a long time (when did 6 months become a long time?) they feel they know everything about the less fair sex and feel the need to constantly disparage your choices in male companions. A healthy trick is to tune out and imagine pushing said friend over her balcony.
5. Babies/weddings/more babies
Facebook has become your latest enemy. You can’t stop yourself from logging on, but every time you do, you wish you hadn’t. Your newsfeed is filled with announcements about engagements/upcoming nuptials/pictures from said nuptials/honeymoons and the worst of the lot, babies! Your own friends begin to treat you as the perpetual bridesmaid, no longer even voicing their concern that you’re still single (I mean, you’re grateful they’ve stopped putting their noses in your life, but it still stings a little. Did they stop loving you?)
6. Blind dates – Ugh
Your friend calls you and says that her boyfriend’s friend at work has a friend who has a brother who has a girlfriend and her colleague at work is perfect for you. You hem and you haw but then you give in. what’s the harm, you think. You gird your loins, you make your way to the designated restaurant at the appointed hour and…… voila, your first instinct to run had been right. You struggle through the most boring conversation about shrimp fishing, fighting the urge to throw the soup over the head of your blind date and run screaming like a banshee out the restaurant. Barely.
7. Cat lady concerns
You’ve grown up making jokes about the crazy cat ladies, who all wind up alone and single, and probably eaten by their cats. But you’ve also sadly reached a stage where you begin to think you’re going to be THAT crazy cat lady. You constantly wake up from nightmares where you and your thirty cats are holidaying together, taking pictures together, where you dress them up in little baby clothes and feed them with a baby bottle. You’re certain you’re not going to become this cat lady. Almost certain. Oh god, please, please, PLEASE let me find someone soon.
8. Is there something wrong with me?
You actually begin to wonder whether you have been imagining how brilliant and intelligent and cute you are all these years. Is it all just in your head? Are you in fact a morlock straight from H.G. Orwell’s The Time Machine? Do you have three heads? Are your feet backwards? You begin to entertain these thoughts and questions with a sense of grudging acceptance. Of course there’s something wrong with you. If there wasn’t, why would you still be single? You begin to entertain the idea of moving to a cave so nobody else has to deal with your hideousness.
9. The constant shoulder to lean on
You soon realize that being the only single girl in a group makes you the most available shoulder for your girlfriends to cry on. They call you at odd hours of the night or day, irrespective of whether you were fast asleep or in the middle of a super important business meeting to cry about how their significant other forgot to buy them the pink bowl dish and instead got a bright red one! You think to yourself that the world has finally gone mad.
Despite all your misgivings, despite the months/years of being tortured by your friends flaunting their love in your face (get a room already) you know, in the deepest, (deeper, deeper still) corner of your heart, that the guy for you is still out there. So don’t give up hope just yet, and definitely don’t listen to the whatsapp sari aunty. Your prince charming is out there, and you better get ready to sweep him off his feet.