The last few weeks have been interesting. I have been back in New Jersey for almost 3 weeks. Being back home I have been removed from the hustle and bustle of life in LA and have been living in the burbs a.k.a The Suburbs Don’t worry, I will be back in LA soon… Time in the burbs as a single woman from the city of LA makes you acutely aware that you are single. The timing of this is quite interesting. For the last few months I have been embracing my singledom. I realized how much I enjoy my “me” time and dating myself. I can get up and go without having to consult with anyone or make arrangements. I can go out randomly on a Tuesday night. I can have cereal for dinner. I sleep in the middle of my bed and most importantly I can hold onto my remote control land flip through Lifetime, Bravo, Oxygen, and the Style Network. When I actually think about it, my TV’s have never seen the likes of ESPN. I think it might cause a power surge and cause my TV to become defective. I go out with whomever I want whenever I want. But most of all I am truly enjoying my “Me” time. At the end of the day, I recommend all single women take the time to “date” themselves. If you have no idea what you want on your own, how can you bring a partner in and be able to articulate all of your needs? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these bitter single bitches who are like, I don’t need a man…” Oh trust me, I definitely want and need a man (the right one) and embrace the idea of meeting my true life partner and living “happily ever after.” But until I meet the right guy I will not rush into the wrong situation.
Anyway, I digressed… For the last weeks I had officially become a New Jersey Housewife (minus the husband). I don’t know how single women who live in the suburbs do it! Damn, it’s rough. I went to the grocery in the middle of the day and it was packed. You would think it was a holiday weekend. It was a Tuesday at 1pm. I was looking all around the parking lot for a spot. I got excited when I finally found a spot close to the front of the store. Only to notice the sign in front of the spot that read: Parking for Customers with Children. What the fuck??? I noticed a parking spot on the opposite side and the sign in front of that spot read: Reserved for Expectant Mothers. Damn! So already I am being penalized for not having children and/or not having a bun in the oven. Thank goodness I have high self esteem or else that could have easily sent me over the edge. When I walked all around the grocery store, which was crowded with mothers and their children. Mostly bad ass out of control children and mothers with the biggest diamond sparkly rocks you could imagine. Oh how I missed the flashiness/borderline gaudiness of my home state. I still have left over remnants of the gaudiness. I was damn near drooling over the rings. You can take the girl outta of Jersey but you’ll never take the Jersey outta me! I quickly broke out of my day dream mode when I couldn’t find the wine section. I finally located someone who worked there. A young teenager who was probably using Pro-Active.
Me: Where is the wine section?
Teenage Worker: Uhhhhh… we don’t sell wine here.Me: Excuse me? (The thought of not having my wine for the week sent me into a minor panic attack. As a matter of fact the thought of not ending my day with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc caused a slight case of hives). Teenage Worker: You’re going to have to go to the liquor store across the street.
How could I have forgotten in my home town state (and a lot of other states) you can not purchase liquor and wine outside of a liquor store? It’s some stupid ass law. It’s inconvenient as hell too. I wasn’t about to lose my spot in Bumblefuck. So I bought my groceries and hightailed my ass to the liquor store and bought a case of Sauvignon Blanc.
Being in the burbs there are also the questions/ interrogations I get from well meaning folks about my dating life. If you are a faithful reader of this blog you know one of my biggest peeves is when people ask me the following questions which I was asked at least 3 times a day:
Are you dating?
Me: I’m dating everyone.
Are you seeing anyone special?
Is it hard dating in LA?
Me: It is. But I think it’s hard dating anywhere. The only difference is in LA you really have to be true to who you are so you don’t get caught up in the hype.
Don’t worry you’ll meet the right guy when you least expect it.
My Inner Monologue: Get the fuck outta here. All single women are constantly looking for the right man. They may not admit it but they do! How the hell are you going to find MR. Right if you aren’t looking.
Each of these innocent questions are always asked and when I give them my answers I feel the slight look of pity. What most married women do not admit is they secretly are terrified for their single friends because they know how hard it is to find the right guy. How do I know this? I was once married and please know and believe I had conversations with other married women at the time. Why do you think so many women stay in shitty marriages (myself was once included in this statistic). Some women are so afraid of being alone they would rather stay in a loveless marriage. What they don’t realize is being alone and married is far worse than being alone and single.
There is also going to a party or a BBQ in the burbs as the single woman. You are normally greeted with looks of Who is this bitch? You have to be keenly aware of the outfit you wear, who you talk to, and the amount of time you are spending talking to them. Some of these housewives (again, I use the word SOME) are intimidated by an attractive single women they do not know who suddenly shows up to a BBQ and is speaking to their husband. Even a simple request like, Excuse me, can you pass the mustard. Can get a side eye from the wife. 9/10 you aren’t even interested in the man even if he wasn’t married. But in their minds you are a threat. I typically stick to the rule of only talking to the guy in a group setting. If we innocently happen to be at the cooler at the same time getting a drink I immediately will get my drink and scurry off. For some reason in LA I am not typically as worried about this. There is a different mentality in a city verse the burbs. The housewives typically think there is a hidden agenda, and that usually doesn’t have shit to do with you. It is something that is an internal flaw or insecurity in their relationship with their husband.
After my 2 weeks of living the New Jersey Housewife life, I needed a break. Don’t get me wrong, it gave me a greater appreciation of my singledom. But as I drove over the Ben Franklin Bridge and parked my car in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love. I went to Rouge and got a table in the window. I ordered a strong cocktail. I needed a break from my typical wine. My thoughts began to run rapidly. I think when we are single we spend so much time wondering what our life would look like once we are in a relationship. We envision what we think that will look like, how much “better” our lives would be. We imagine what our future children will look like (I know I’m not the only woman who will look through a magazine and see a picture of a cute baby with caramel skin and think, That’s what my son will look like). It is so easy to get caught up in the what will BE instead of living in the what it IS. Spending this time as a Real Housewife of New Jersey, I realize that I am not the suburbia kind of women. I definitely want a marriage and I most certainly want kids, but I do not want to give up the life I have for the life I want. Is there any way the two can co-exist? Am I being realistic about my expectations? I was once in a marriage where I attempted to become the person my ex husband wanted me to be and I lost myself and I lost who I was. Now that I finally found ME I embraced ME. I realized all my quirks, insecurities, and pet peeves made me vulnerable and I was loving that. I never wanted to lose sight of that. Being vulnerable is actually a good thing at times. Just when I was beginning to doubt the possibility of having the two things I most wanted (the present me and the future me) God always has a way of speaking to you. A couple who had to be in their late 30’s early 40’s walked into Rouge. They had a great style to them. They were casual but had an effortless style to them. The women pushed in a stroller and the man was holding the hand of his son who had to be at least 4 years old. I normally would have rolled my eyes when a couple came into a place like Rouge with children worrying that my moment of solitude would be interrupted by a loud crying ass baby but this time I was not annoyed. They sat at a table close to me in the window and the women put the baby into a high chair. The man put his son into a booster seat. The couple gave each other a kiss. He whispered something in her ear and she laughed and looked him in the eyes lovingly. When the waiter came over the man ordered a bottle of Cabernet for he and his wife. This hip couple sat with their kids and had their bottle of wine. They seemed to have such a connection between the two of them. They not only were married but they seemed to be… Friends. And that’s when it clicked. All this time I have been looking for something but not exactly sure what it was. At the end of the day when you look for someone who is your friend first everything else will fall into place. He won’t try to put you into a box and you won’t try to tie him down.
For a second I imagined myself with my future hubby and my kids chilling at a restaurant and enjoying our family time. Looking at that family made me realize it is possible for your present and future to coexist. In order to be who you are going to be, you don’t have to change who you are. It is possible. As I made my way back over the bridge in to the burbs, I had to make a pit stop at the grocery store. As I passed the spot that was right in the front that was reserved for the Customer with Kids and was forced to park in West Bumblefuck I didn’t roll my yes or get mad. Instead I parked my single ass there took my long ass walk into the grocery and embraced my temporary life as a New Jersey Housewife. When I was in line with my two items, a lady who was there with her three kids (all under 5) stood behind me trying to tame her wild out of control kids. I looked back at her, smiled and told her to go in front of me. She was so grateful and thanked me a million times as she unloaded her full cart and tried to gain control over her bad ass kids. You see, it’s also possible for the single city girl and the Suburban Housewife to co-exist as well.