I’ve often questioned what life would be like as a single girl in New York City. I’ve been married so long that I may have forgotten what single life is like anywhere. Even so, I can’t help but question if living in the city that never sleeps is more fun as a single or as a couple. Both have their pros and cons, yet no matter what our relationship status is, most of us want what we don’t have.
At this time of the year during the holidays, doesn’t everyone in New York long for a significant other to decorate the tree, cook the turkey, and smooch under the mistletoe? (Don’t most breakups occur after Valentine’s Day?) But during July and August, also known as summer-share-in-the Hamptons season, flying solo may be the better deal, leaving open options for midnight strolls and bonfires on the beach. (Unless of course, housemates are coupled up, then a seasonal beau is a must.)
Yet, life doesn’t really work that way. When we’re not looking, or we want to take advantage of the fringe benefits that accompany being single, love happens. And when we’re searching high and low for our soul mate or even a Saturday night date, he or she can’t be found in the same area code — or in NYC, on the same island.
Long before New York became my home, I believed that I’d never find Mr. Right. Like most eligible females, I had searched for years without any long-term success. Then at 30, I’d given up completely and thought the Sisterhood was my resolve, my final destination (not the Ya-Ya Sisterhood either). I almost committed to living a life without fashion, style or Fendi shoes, forgoing the cool car and decorated house, and skipping Friday nights out with the girls at our favorite hangout for eternal days in a habit.
So when I stopped searching in all of the nooks and crannies of my lonely world, magically, he appeared. Or should I say, he had been there, right before my very eyes, disguised as Mr. Wrong instead of Mr. Right.
Mr. Right may seem like the impossible find to a single woman, because, he is. I don’t believe that ‘Mr. Rights’ exist — I stopped 15 years ago when I met my husband. My man was bald, Jewish, and outdoorsy, drove an old, dented pickup truck, and lived in an unkempt bedroom in a mutual friend’s house. (I was a tidy Catholic, an arty girl who drove a VW Jetta and preferred a full head of hair.)
Back in November 1997, the boy standing in front of me had none of the qualities on my short list. He was so far removed from the ‘man of my dreams’ stereotype, I overlooked a potential great guy for six months. And then luckily, something changed. I opened my eyes and he gave me a chance.
Do I have any regrets, missing the city experiences in Manhattan pre-marriage? Sometimes I still wish I could’ve been that single New York girl, if only for a year, just to say that I’ve been there and done that. (I certainly would have tons of good writing material as a result.)
But most times, I can’t say that the life of a bachelorette in the Big Apple sounds that appetizing — at least not to me.
Instead, I do occasionally imagine how adventurous it would’ve been to live in New York in the early 90s, either in college or as a recent graduate, with a bald, Jewish roommate named Michael who loved pickup trucks and unkempt rooms, didn’t decorate any trees, yet he built one hell of a bonfire.
For the single ladies in New York City and around the world, stop searching for Mr. Right. Mr. Wrong, on the other hand, might be well worth a second look.