A gift, for you! The intro of my book. For FREE! Don’t say I never give you anything.
Meet The Very Single Girl
I like to think I’m a fairly normal person leading a fairly normal life. But for some reason, I’ve always been a magnet for embarrassing, unusual and downright baffling situations. With my friends regularly reacting to my stories with, “That would happen to you,” I realized there might be something going on here.
In my early twenties, I began recording my noteworthy mishaps and musings in a notebook, like freaking Harriet the Spy, and a few years later, started sharing them on my blog, theverysinglegirl.com. Writing a book was always my ultimate goal, but I first used the blog to gauge whether my stories were something the people wanted or needed – “the people” being namely my Facebook friends and family. At gunpoint.
Turns out, my writing was deemed worthy of a cozy place online among the duck-face selfies, mothers’ hourly updates on their children’s bowel movements, and memes of Ryan Gosling scratching his balls while telling you, “Hey girl, you’re gorgeous, baby.”
Another surprise, the blog itself led to its own improbable situations, both amusing and mildly disconcerting, creating its own material in a life-imitating-art-imitating-life mindfuck. That was a disturbing bonus!
“So, why call yourself – The Very Single Girl?”
Great question, you!
I spent my twenties bound to singledom. By choice? Maybe. Was I trying hard to get a date? No. Was I a living, breathing woman? Yes. Hmmm.
Sure, there were a few blips on the radar of an otherwise flat-lined love life, but I was mostly content with my reliable sidekick status as many of my friends fell in love, got married, bought houses and had babies. Suckers. So, I just blissfully blew through those years experiencing all the mishaps you’re about to read while shrugging and winking to a camera that isn’t there.
Ok, who am I kidding? I want all that good stuff too and, tick tock, tick tock, am I right, ladies? So, when I turned 30 I caved and started online dating. And the way things are going, maybe that will be the next book.*
*Spoiler alert: I sprained my knee on my very first date with an online suitor. No, not because I was on my knees, you pervert.
To be clear, I don’t mean to call myself “very single” in the salacious, Sex and the City, “Come and get me, boys” sense.
I mean to call myself “very single” in the inexperienced, crumbs on the couchy, “Where are all the boys?” sense.
But I don’t get it – why am I still single?:
- I’m an expert sunflower seed eater. I’ve spent copious hours honing my craft. Forget tying a cherry stem with your tongue – you really want to see some sexy talent? Watch me shell those seeds hands-free with such swift precision that I don’t have to take my eyes off the TV.
- I watch Survivor (YES, it’s still on… Have you been living under a rock?!). My claim to fame is reciting Jeff Probst’s tribal council speech out loud, to myself, every episode.
- I know all the lyrics to “What’s Your Fantasy?” by Ludacris (“I wanna li, li, li, lick you from your head to your toes…”). I learned them in my early teens by recording the song from the radio onto a cassette tape, then playing and pausing while furiously handwriting each “lick,” “ass” and “tag team.” I believe that was the exact moment I knew I’d be a writer someday. Looking back, I definitely didn’t understand any of the filth I was spittin’ at a rapid speed alone in front of my bedroom mirror.
- I’m kind of a big deal. In my early twenties, I “landed” a critically acclaimed ten-second spot in a promo for Canadian Idol (Canada’s short-lived version of American Idol), which aired during eTalk (Canada’s version of Entertainment Tonight, not to be confused with Entertainment Tonight Canada), with host Ben Mulroney (Canada’s poor man’s Ryan Seacrest). I was at the local auditions lending moral support to my friend who was auditioning. While we waited in line, a producer came around asking for volunteers. Sure! What did we have to lose? Dignity? We were at Canadian Idol auditions, remember. Then, Ben appeared. He draped his arms over the two of us as he said to the camera, “Things are really heating up here on day three of our idol auditions. Can you feel the love?” We were instructed to look up at him longingly as he spoke. That’s it. Autographs granted by request.
- I have a bum chin.
- I always keep a cooler in my trunk in the event of leftovers. I once denied a homeless person the remnants of my meal while everyone else in my party graciously gave theirs away. Hells no! I purposely ate my barbeque chicken pizza slowly so I could eat the rest later from the comfort of my lap while watching Dancing with the Stars.
- In elementary school, I broke my childhood friend’s leg by accidentally stepping on it. I wrote her a rap song apology card. It regrettably didn’t include “lick,” “ass” or “tag team.”
- In high school, I went to murder mystery parties.
I’m the one creepily pretending to conceal a boner with a pillow.
- As a child, I collected my toe lint in a ball under my bed. When it got big enough, I’d play with it until my parents sucked it up with the vacuum and I’d have to start all over again.
So, you must understand my confusion as to why I couldn’t get a date.
I don’t think my appearance was the problem. Even sideshow freaks* find love. And just look at all those couples at Walmart!
*These still exist, yes?
Ok, I can curb the self-deprecation long enough to reluctantly admit I’m not a sideshow freak. I’ve always been told by most people I meet that I look like Drew Barrymore.*
*You’ll see several pictures of me in this book. You won’t see the resemblance. It’s more of an in-person thing. So, don’t think I’m delusional. About that, anyway.
I take it as a compliment, but it may not even be a compliment, as I learned in a very humbling and traumatizing moment in my teens.
Let me preface this with the fact that as a child, I had the low self-esteem expected of any headgear-wearing youth with braces on only her two front teeth to close the gap.
“Buzz, your girlfriend. Woof!” —Kevin McCallister, Home Alone
So, as you might imagine, the Drew Barrymore compliments were a saving grace as I blossomed into a slightly less self-conscious teenager.
A person I had just met said, “You must get this all the time… but you look like Drew Barrymore!”
I smiled and before the bashful, “Oh, gee, well, yes, sometimes, thanks!” could even come out of my mouth, a friend standing next to me, who must have been sick of hearing the compliment, strongly interjected,
“I think Drew Barrymore is ugly.”
We all stood awkwardly in silence for a few seconds as my gaze lowered to the floor.
Sensing our discomfort, my “friend” then tried backpedalling, saying she wasn’t calling me ugly, because she doesn’t think I look like Drew Barrymore.
No, no, in fact, she thinks I’m actually prettier! Prettier than the movie star! That’s what she meant to say!
Nice try, cunt.
I wish I could say such awkward situations dwindled as I got older, but in fact, they escalated. Ohhh… they escalated.
Author’s note: Make no mistake. I’m not here to complain about being single – what an awful book that would be. Like getting cornered by that drunk single girl at the party blaming the world while fishing for compliments.
I’m not bitter.
No single person of a certain age isn’t at least a teeny, weeny bit bitter.
We have Facebook.
We see that the kid who shat in the sandbox is now married to a disproportionately gorgeous partner and has two overachieving, darling children. So, I won’t pretend I haven’t had the “why, God, why?!” moment from time to time.
But that’s not what this book is about. This is simply a collection of true stories featuring a perpetually single girl bumbling her way through life. The main goal of this book is just to make you laugh and to make me impossibly rich.
When my mom read the bit about the toe lint, she said she remembered thinking it was really weird and that she should have taken me to a child psychiatrist right then and there.
It might have saved me (and you) from everything you’re about to read.