My intention is not to hold a pity party. The only thing I will say is that I identify with Eponine singing “On My Own,” the ageless anthem of unrequited love, much more than Cosette and Marius’ duet “A Heart Full of Love” (and if you don’t know to what I am referring watch Les Misérables, immediately). And cue curtain fall on the tiny violin
Being a single girl in New York City, doing things alone is a necessity. If you want to go surfing, attend a magazine writing networking session, see that new French film, read in McCarran Park, join a softball team, volunteer in the Bronx, or go to Thailand, you’ve often gotta go solo. The unattached motto might as well be ‘going it alone is better than not going at all.’
Sunday night I had two tickets to see Hey Marseilles, one of my favorite Seattle bands. I thought I would surely have no problem getting a friend to go (and hoping for a date) but as Sunday eve rolled in with no concert compadre identified, I headed out alone. On the walk to the L-train I called my mom, and the moment she picked up I could feel my mood turning salty.
“Hiiii Babzie-Boo!” my Mom answered, happy to hear from me. “I just got back from Costco, and am finishing up my Halloween decorations and about to take out the roast veggies. I’m so excited for the Tigers game and Boardwalk Empire. Errr err honey, how are you?”
“On my my way to the show, alone, again. Mom, am I gonna end up doing things by myself my entire life? God, I might as well start thinking about freezing my eggs right now because I definitely will never meet anyone to have kids with. I’ll probably be alone forever.”
Cue the downward spiral, from which no one (not even my loving, well-intentioned mother) could rescue. Luckily, before the fall could continue I had to go underground (saved by the Subway!).
“Bye, Mom, love you.” I poutily replied, and boarded the train to Brooklyn.
At the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I told the bouncer about the ticket situation (leaving out the fear of needing to freeze my eggs). “I bought two tickets to the show but couldn’t find anyone to go with. Could you give the extra ticket to someone that needs on?” I asked, handing off the paper. I looked back and grinned at him, “Make sure they’re nice.” Before heading into the theatre.
I grabbed a Sierra Nevada and settled in close to the stage, nestled between couples and gangly 23-year-old hipsters. I felt conscious about my individual body floating amongst the couplets and trios, but resisted the urge to distract with an illuminated screen, resolving to keep the phone away and work on being a person.
The band took the stage, and soon I was in the flow of the music, nodding and swaying and clapping and bopping with the band, forgetting any awkwardness or apprehension about being there alone, what anyone else might think, or the judgements I’d made of myself.
Simply enjoying the music, enjoying the movement, enjoying the company of one amongst many.
Someone told me once that “Meggie, one day you’re gonna walk into a bar, look to the man on your right, and everything will change.” I’d be lying if I didn’t say that when I attend a show or go to an event alone, this isn’t in the back of my mind. I truly want to meet someone to love, but realize that it’s possible it might not happen soon, or ever.
I have a hunch though. That the more you can luxuriate in your own singularity, feeling your space and your body and your presence in the world, the more apt you are to attract that right person. The more comfortable you are in your own skin, the more ready and able you’ll be to share your place in the world with another.
So for now I’ll do my best to feel good On My Own. Enjoying the solo, knowing that rocking the spotlight myself is the best way to bring in an amazing person with whom to share it.