A few weeks ago, Black Twitter blessed my life in a way that only it can. The thread posed this question…What would your real n**ga dissertation be? Answers included:
- “You Got Me All The Way F**ked Up: An Exploration Of The Mischaracterization and False Assumptions Assigned to Black People.”
- “You Got McDonalds Money?: The Importance of Fostering Financial Literacy in Youth.”
- “The Head Nod: An Examination of Affirmation, Validation, and Non-Verbal Community Building in White Spaces.”
- “Who All Over There?: A Look Into Black Anxiety and Introversion
After wiping my tears of pure joy, it got me to thinking… what would my dissertation topic be? Quickly after the thought entered my mind, adulting ensued and I didn’t give it any further thought. That was until a few weeks later when an unfortunate normalcy presented itself once more. After texting back and forth with a new prospect for a few days, he did it. He had asked me to send him a pic. (Insert deep eye roll). (Soldier Boy voice) A piiiiiiiccc?………. I was both frustrated and distraught (cause now I gotta block his a** and I was kinda starting to like him…..kinda.)
“The only thing dudes bring to the table is the audacity.”– the innanet
After going through my process (talking to my sister & listening to several songs about selling drugs I don’t have) ….it came to me. Send Me A Pic: An In Depth Look On Dating In The Digital Age. Because it’s about so much more than asking for pictures, getting ghosted, DMs, or any of the other things that go along with dating culture today. It’s about the topics we spend so much time joking and making memes about….but no one will admit they are actually hurt by. Because let us tell is we catching flights not feelings (but ain’t left the state since 04. Ok sis).
I am often the go to ear for those close to me. Most of these conversations take place on my couch (pic of my real couch above). From what I am told, it is a comfortable and safe space for people to share a range of emotions with no judgement. My loved ones are free to sleep, eat (I fry some MEAN fish), vent, and cry if need be. This shall be my big comfy couch. So often single books, podcasts, blogs, and other media alike are written by married people or individuals in serious relationships. These are people who are often mentally far removed from the current reality of singleness.
For example, a pastor and his wife released a book a few years ago about dating. In it, they go into detail about how they urged singles to refrain from sex while dating for several reasons. I do not agree or disagree with this viewpoint. My issue is that the couple met at 17, had a child a few years later, and then fast forward a few years and were married (and have been now for 20+ years). So how can you tell people to do something you yourself have never done? You have no idea what it is to be single. No idea what it is to date, search, get rejected, be lonely, think someone is the one and be wrong, bounce back, all while trying to stay positive and get back out there. They have no idea what it is to age and wonder if you will ever find someone, to struggle with your worth. They have NO IDEA what it is to have every social gathering in your life be a constant reminder that you don’t need a plus one. No idea what it’s like to have family, friends, co-workers, and complete strangers ask why you are STILL single or remind you that “you don’t have all day.” And lets be real… we are talking about a couple that met at seventeen. How are y’all telling people to refrain from sex while single but ya’ll been hunchin’ since y’all met? You literally don’t even know what it is to be sexually deprived or frustrated.
This story is not unique. I do not discredit this couple and their story or try and make less of it. If they wanted to speak on how to maintain a marriage… go for it. How to balance marriage and children? I’m sure it would be a stellar read. How to balance personal goals in marriage? Oprah’s book club. But singleness? As my good friend would say… have several seats.
Singleness and the navigation within it is unique. It is a set of experiences, emotions, triumphs and failures, that you have to have EXPERIENCED to understand. Oh, and please believe me there are levels to this. Singleness in your teens is not the same as singleness in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc. There is a transition that happens from it being “normal” to being looked upon as odd and against the grain. A shift from people encouraging you to stay single as long as possible, to rushing you to marry the 1st person who is tolerable. So please forgive me, but I do not want to hear a person who is wiping their mouth from a full course meal talk to me about starving. These experiences deserve a voice. They deserve to be spoken aloud and validated. They deserve to be conveyed by someone who has and is experiencing them. So here I am. I have to admit it feels a little odd. Putting myself out into the world. Hoping for the best but expecting everything. This is my big comfy couch. I vow to keep it real, relevant, and honest. For the single…by the single.
Comments encouraged. Thank you for stopping by.