There are certain times in a single person's life where one's "singleness" seems especially noticeable. Yesterday was one of those days, and it hit me like a brick.
First, I almost bumped into Andrew, the guy I was in love with in high school and much of college, at the grocery store. He was with his girlfriend (who, according to his cousin, he will marry someday), so like the mature person I am I turned the other direction and walked into an aisle where I could inconspicuously watch them until they left the store to make sure he didn't see me. Before you tell me that I was being completely ridiculous, you should know the following: it's always hard to see him whether or not he's dating anyone. He'll always be that guy that I'll never 100% get over, so the thought of meeting the girlfriend and seeing them hold hands and stare lovingly at each other was unfathomable. Once they left the store I continued my shopping, sulking down the aisles and spending a little too much time in the ice cream section. I didn't buy any…at least at that point.
God, please don't let him ask me to officiate his wedding. I'm SO not strong enough to do that, You and I both know.
Later in the day, a friend (we'll call her "T" for the sake of privacy) posted on Facebook that she's "in a relationship" with a new guy (we'll call him "A.") They've been dating for a few weeks now after being set up by friend of a friend. However…I actually found A on OKCupid a day or 2 before T's friends made the connection. After a mere glance at his profile I knew he was a quality guy, so I sent him an email to start a conversation. This friend of a friend coincidentally told A about T around the same time. A few days later, T and I are at dinner with friends when I get an email response from A. A mere few minutes later, T gets a phone call from him. We look at each other like, "Oh shit, how do we handle this?"
T decided that since she had actual connections to him that she should be the one go out with him. I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but decided that I need to put sisters before misters and just roll with it. She said over and over again (even after their first couple of dates) that she didn't think she'd be interested, it would never work out, blah blah blah, and that in the end neither one of us would end up with him and life would go on.
As soon as I saw T's posting on Facebook along with a cutesy photo, I got that heart-pounding-face-reddening-jaw-dropping rush of jealousy. That's bad enough. What's even worse, though, is that I felt angry. Really, really angry. It's the worst kind of anger, too, because I don't know who to direct it towards. Tammy, for going out with him even though I reached out first? Myself, for not pushing harder to agree that I should be the one to date him? To be angry at either one of us is stupid and completely useless. This is not worth ruining a friendship over.
Yet, I can't help the way I feel. Angry. Resentful. Because had things turned out differently, it could have been ME in that picture with him.
Had things turned out differently, Andrew and I could be celebrating 12 years together.
I really, really, REALLY hate this side of myself. The side that can't be happy for other people when they get what I don't have. It comes out every time a friend/family member gets into a relationship, engaged, married, or pregnant. This is why I dread going to weddings and related events (well, this and a million other reasons) and usually have a miserable time underneath my smile. As much as I hate this, I have no idea how to control or change this part of me, so it never really goes away. It's frustrating, and makes me become a person I don't want to be. In the past, I'd let the feelings fester until they exploded (I remember a particularly embarrassing conversation with my friend J 2 days before her wedding in October, where I told her that I'd definitely be miserable at her wedding. I'm sure that's exactly what she wanted to hear 2 days before the greatest day of her life.) I'm trying very hard to be more honest and open with people rather than bottle up my feelings, but that seems to only get me into more trouble.
I talked to T about this last night and was very honest about how I felt. It was one of the most awkward conversations of my life. She felt bad, I felt bad, and nothing was resolved. I don't feel better, and she feels uncomfortable being happy about something she SHOULD be happy about. That's not what I want for my friend. That's not the person I want to be. Yet, despite all of my desire to change, I just don't know how.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on this post--however, I ask that you please not say things like, "The right guy is just around the corner!" or "When it's meant to be it will be." or "God has someone out there just for you, you just haven't found him yet!" When you've been hearing things like that for the last 15 years to no avail, and you've just had your singleness rubbed in your face (twice in one day) those words are especially cruel and condescending.
As Carrie Bradshaw once said, "When will waiting for The One--be done?"