Ah, The Single Life...
Lingerie, Single People Need Not Buy…

I was in Victoria’s Secret a few days ago with 2 girlfriends of mine, shopping for some much needed new bras.  Amongst the sexy satin and cute cotton frilly things a friend pointed to a greater than life size poster suggesting that I buy the panties the model was wearing.  I scoffed at her, what need do I have for black, see through lace panties with a large bow on the back?  ”They’re cute,” my other friend said joining in.  Yes they were cute, but then I realized the difference between my friends and I - they were both in long term committed relationships, of course they have time for cute lingerie!  I, on the other hand as I pointed out to both of them, am more likely to bring someone home after a drunk night at the bar where we both feverishly rip at each others clothing, strewing them around the room in a passion fueled quest to get naked as quickly as possible.  We’ve all been there, waking up after a one night stand, barely remembering how we got home that night, let alone what the other person was wearing.  Cute, or even sexy, lingerie is lost on these encounters, not to mention how hard it is to hide a large satin bow under your clothing!

And so my lingerie drawer stays closed but don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be matching my bras and underwear as much as possible, leaving the granny panties for desperate laundry days and wearing nude colored things only when absolutely necessary because even if the guys don’t notice, I do.  Wearing nice undergarments makes me feel good about myself, kind of like I have a secret hidden under my clothes that no one but me knows about.  I won’t be indulging in complicated lingerie anytime soon, but practical pieces?  Sure, it’ll be my little secret.

Ikea Must Mean “Couples Only” in Swedish

Today I had a big day, I’m on this cleaning and organization kick and managed to clean my bedroom which, by the way, has been taunting me with clothes strewn all over the floor and books all helter skelter for about 2 weeks now.  I usually despise cleaning, but this week the weather has forced me inside and since I’m on vacation from work with nothing better to do, why not get my personal life in order.  

Maybe the reason I tolerate cleaning is I know the trip to Ikea will soon follow.  I use to love Ikea, it was my idea of a good way to spend a late afternoon or early evening with my boyfriend.  It seems, however, that no one goes to Ikea alone.  I didn’t notice this fact right away, maybe I was too focused on finding that garbledegork toothbrush holder or that snazafu gadget for the kitchen, but that last few times I’ve ventured to Ikea I can’t help but notice - no one goes to Ikea alone!

As I wandered through the maze of perfectly decorated rooms I tried, consciously, to find a person like myself, someone shopping by themselves.  I thought I had found someone, a cute someone to boot sitting on a beautiful grey, tweed sofa, when from behind a faux wall popped his girlfriend.  ”I don’t know about that couch, honey, the color doesn’t seem right.” She said running her hand over a hideous modern leather monstrosity.  ”The color’s beautiful,” I thought to myself as cute sofa boy grudgingly pulled himself up to examine her choice.  

As I trudged deeper into the bowels of the marketplace I came across children and parents frolicking through the tupperware aisle, hand-holding lovers clogging up the picture frame section and finally I came across a single, mid 30s man wandering aimlessly through the blindingly bright lighting department.  ”Eureka!” I thought to myself, only to find said man joined by his elderly father.  Strange couple right?  Maybe he too had discovered that only couples come to Ikea and had coerced his father into joining him.

Finally, around the jungle of plants and before the maze of cardboard boxes filled with ‘some assembly required’ shelves, a mother and daughter pair helped me come to a realization of sorts.  They were obviously decorating the daughters first apartment or dorm room and were having a heated discussion over a measly tropical plant.  That’s when my epiphany hit me: those children and parents weren’t happily frolicking - they were trying to maintain some semblance of peace while the other debated the merits of blue tupperware verses green, knowing which ever they chose they would be choosing wrong and those hand-holding lovers weren’t in a love drenched stroll - they were debating over black picture frames verses silver, 4X6 verses 5X7, the black and white lake scene verses the black and white close up of an orchid.  

Wherever I turned there were people taking opposing sides, one having to give in to the others wishes and it dawned on me - I never have to compromise.  I may be wandering the hallowed halls of Ikea alone but god dammit if I want blue tupperware I get it.  If I want all silver frames - done.  Maybe I don’t get the tweed sofa as it’s kind of out of my price range and wouldn’t fit in my tiny apartment, but that’s besides point.  Being single at Ikea means always getting your way, never having to hear an opinion and never choosing wrong.  

To me, being the single girl at Ikea is bliss.

The Blah Blah Blah Background Stuff

Alright every good story needs a bit of back story, so here’s mine.  I started dating my high school sweetheart the summer after grade 12.  We were together for 7 years and things just stopped working out.  I more or less broke his heart but I also had a realization at the same time - I had never been truly single in my whole life.  I never had to fend for myself, cook my own food, do my own laundry, clean my own house, the list goes on and on.  Of course I’ve done these things before, I was by no means a kept woman who had everything done for her, but I never had to do these things truly alone.  After a lot of false starts I feel like I’ve just come into my own.  I fell like I’m ready to embrace this wonderful, awful, exciting and boring single life. 

So join me on my journey of self discovery about the highs and lows of really accepting that the only person you’re left with at the end of the day is yourself.