—- FODA (acronym): ‘Fear Of Dying Alone’ —-
Single girls do it better. Do what better you ask? Life, I say. Life! Tonight I have a pounding head cold and should really retire to my bedroom and sleep this bitch off, but there goes that whip-cracker again. ‘Rebekka, you should really go to the gym. You have to keep yourself looking nice, remember?’ And I do remember, so I roll myself off the couch and suit up in my American Apparel tights and Lorna Jane citrus toned singlet (because no single girl can go for a work-out looking like a frump) and drag my feet into the hardest, fastest Les Mills group fitness class there is. The point? To give myself a competitive edge over the hundreds of other single women in this city.
If I’m still ‘on the shelf’ at 28, then I’m going to look smokin’ hot while I’m there. I work out five times per week. Most of the time, I really enjoy it. It makes me feel physically and mentally strong, and really pays off when I decide to kit myself out in a little black dress or some super skinny jeans. But sometimes, I just want a fucking break. But I can’t give myself one, can I? That whip-cracker never pipes down. He’s the shoulder-devil of all single ladies whose sole purpose is to tell us to keep trying. ‘Don’t stay at home. You might miss out on something.’ And in tonight’s instance, it’s missing out on an exercise class that could possibly lead to the deterioration of my toned, lean physique, that could possibly lead to every single girl’s biggest fear—being on the shelf forever.
Well, that is not entirely true. I have bigger fears—like not succeeding in my career, not making more money, having my family die, dying too early in terrible circumstances, never being able to eat spaghetti again. But FODA as I like to call it (I know, I’m saaah hipster. It means Fear of Dying Alone) has come knocking at my door, and is quickly becoming an unwelcome guest in my life. As I reach the end of my twenties, I’m feeling the pressure that is placed on single people. We start having to deal with questions like ‘Do you want to get married one day?’, ‘I have a friend who’s single… Maybe you two should meet!’, ‘Have you tried online dating?’
Everyone seems to assume that you’re not okay because you don’t have a boyfriend. You know, I don’t actually mind being single. I have a great job in television. I’ve lived in LA and London. I’ve travelled Europe and South-East Asia. I’ve got some inspiring, intelligent, creative, outrageous and loving friends and family. And (to risk sounding like a wanker) I do get an above average amount of male attention, and date regularly. And I’m pretty happy with all of that. I’m just not happy with the people who take it upon themselves to suggest ways for me to get ‘unsingle.’ Just because it’s their priority in life, doesn’t mean it has to be mine. Oh, but it does, and it is! And it sucks!
There are some Friday and Saturday nights that I would love nothing more than to pull out my Donna Hay recipe book, whisk up a little Donna delight and put myself to bed, alone, early. I work hard during the week and have a lot of fun while doing it. But my little whip-baring mate comes knocking (he is very routine in his weekend visits) and after an hour-long deliberation convinces me I shouldn’t be at home. ‘All the hot single babes are not at home on the weekend, Rebekka. Get out of the house. How do you expect to meet anyone laying here?’ So as my old-mate would have it, I give myself a spritz and head out to the land of man-opportunity!
So, you see, this is why single girls do it better. Because we have to. We can’t just relax back into our his-n-hers arm chairs on a Friday night and eat takeaway with our boyfriends and not worry about getting fat (because we’d still have someone to like us regardless of a few extra kilos). We have to be prettier, fitter, more sociable and have better jobs than all the other single girls out there, and to achieve that, we’ve got to have monumental mojos. It takes a massive mojo to maintain the ‘shiniest girl on the shelf’ status. It takes a lot of soul to keep fit, stay career-focused, pursue your passions in life and be active on the social scene. Our competition is tough, so we have to make sure we are kicking goals.
So, for anyone reading this, next time you’re going to talk to a single girl about being single, just remember you’re stirring that whip-cracker up inside her head. And. He’s. Really. Fucking. Annoying. She doesn’t want him there. And you know what? He probably wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for your questions, so just don’t go there, okay? Most girls, like me, actually have a pretty awesome life, despite not having a boyfriend. And I would even vouch that it’s a better life because of NOT having a boyfriend, due to the fact we make it a priority to kill it at everything we do (thanks to this unwarranted pressure).
Now, I’m going to take an Advil and go to bed. FODA can FO for a while.
Written by Rebekka Schafferius. Photo via Scosha