The Token Single Friend

20 10 2011

See that headline up there? Yeah, I’ve decided that will now be me. It’s not something I’m necessarily proud of, or something I have chosen for myself, but it’s frankly what my life seems to think is the right path for me… at least for the time being. It’s actually, a pretty depressing title, but I think I need to come to terms with this. I need to accept my singledom, if you will.

What’s so great about being single? If not love/care/affection, then what do I have?

But really, I need to look on the upside. When I think about it, there are actually a number of well known single women in our world’s past and present. I’ll start off with the most obvious person (at least to my knowledge, and whom I’ve written about in the past); the movie, American Pie’s character, Jessica. Jessica is that girl in the movie who is single, and frankly very ok with that position. The character, Jessica (played by Natasha Lyonne, see an interview here) is that “experienced, know-it-all” in terms of guys and dating. She’s the reliable friend with a bounty of knowledge.

Jessica, in "American Pie"

Jessica is a fine example of who I could turn out to be. Only, she’s fictional. So let’s learn about some real-life women who are proud to be single. First up is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey said the reason she’s never married and had children was to “work with the world’s children.” That’s a pretty good reason. She has stated in interviews:

“I went to Africa to create the best Christmas possible for kids who’d never had one. And the joy in that room was so thick you could physically feel it. In that moment, it hit me. Now I see why I’m not married. Now I see why I never had children. I am supposed to work with these children.”

Oprah's thumb's up for being single!

Another famous lady who is not only single, but accomplished is the artist, Mary Cassatt. Cassatt was one of the few women Impressionists and lived a life of paradoxes: She was born in America, yet lived and worked in France and while she was a classically trained artist, she preferred the company of radicals of the time. She never married and yet, that is hardly a defining characteristic of her life or her work.

A self-portrait of Mary Cassatt

The fourth lady on my list today is none other than D.C’s Condoleezza Rice. As her Wikipedia page proudly states, Rice is best known for being “the first female, African American Secretary of State as well as the second African American (after Colin Powell), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright).” Aside from breaking stereotypes and barriers, Rice has also just simply never married. She came close though, with an engagement, but ended it citing that it “wasn’t going to work.” I applaud Rice for both standing up and for knowing when to back down.

Condoleezza waves to her adoring fans.

So it seems that being that Token Single Friend may not be the worst thing ever. Especially since for so many others (check out this list) being single is barely something thinks of (or may even know until now) about that person. That’s nice to not have your marital status looming over your life. These ladies have figured out a way to move beyond that, which is admirable. So for now, I think I’ll be joining their ranks. Because I still haven’t found what I’m looking for….

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