Shut Up and Have Fun (and an embroidery pattern, in case you need a reminder)

We women sure know the rules, don’t we? Getting engaged = getting parties and presents. Getting married = getting parties and presents. Getting pregnant = getting parties and presents.

Relational successes = getting parties and presents.

It’s a real obstacle for all the single ladies that just want to have a party, but can’t justify throwing one.

We’re ingrained to attend all baby showers and bachelorette nights, all housewarmings, engagement parties, and weddings (seriously, how many obligatory parties does one woman need?). It’s the root philosophy of “if you want people to attend yours you to have to go theirs,” and it’s nestled so deeply in our brains that we all show up for these events. But what if you’re one of the ones who isn’t going to have any parties or relational success milestones? What if you stay single forever, or worse, what if you eat off of your grandmother’s harvest-gold patterned CorelleWare plates forever, and using your beach towel from childhood?

Single women do this thing where we make arbitrary rules about our marriage-ability. I’m not immune from this myself. We pick an age where we think we’ll have lost all chances for romance, all chances for children, all chances for looking normal by the standards of everyone we meet. We pick an age to let our hopes die, basically. We pick an age where we no longer get to think “at my bachelorette I’d…” Because we believe there’s no longer going to be a good reason to throw a good party.

Some women even think the age when your hopes die is the age you’re finally allowed to throw yourself that awesome shower you never got to have before. Do all the things you want, and people will come! Who cares if they show up because they feel bad for you, or they’re trying to buck you up or defend you? You’ll have got your party.

But to a philosophy that postpones celebrating till you’re hopeless, a philosophy that says you can’t celebrate being single until it’s too late for you to be married, a philosophy that says you are second class, second tier, second best to married women I have this to say:

Shut up and have fun.

You’re not a dairy product. You won’t “go bad” after a certain age. I’m told, by good authorities, that in fact you’re only getting better. So why wait on that party? Find a reason to celebrate–whether it’s International Squirrel Day, TGIF, or a random day with a serendipitous sale on your favorite dinner item.

You are single now. And guess what? Single people can do what they want when they want to do it. If you want to go out in the middle of the night for chicken strips you can do that. If you want to take a spontaneous trip with some friends or by yourself, you can do that!

If you want to invent a new cocktail, “treat yourself” to something irresponsible, eat two desserts, throw yourself a damn party to celebrate YOU for the love of all that is good in this world, DO IT.

I know too many single women who feel hobbled by this concept that they’re trapped because they’re not married, who think that because they’re single, there’s nothing to celebrate.

My friends, it is the exact opposite. Go out to that new restaurant by yourself! Plan the trip of a lifetime with amazing people — or by yourself! Don’t plan to go to Bali when you’re married, GO NOW. Plan yourself a birthday party. Neaten up your apartment and invite a few folks over instead of feeling blue that you’re eating dinner alone over the kitchen sink again. Celebrate the things you love. Take yourself to dinner and a movie.

Stop telling yourself there are things you can’t do until you get married. I mean…sure there are things you really probably shouldn’t do until you’re married, but that’s an incredibly small list in reality.

Make forever connections with people. Build your family the way you want it. Create a home for these people. Buy usable towels, and maybe a teapot you love, if you can’t afford a full set of new tableware. Love your life and stop imposing false limitations on yourself. Don’t expect a husband to bring the wonderful to you. You can make your own life great.

And frankly, you should.

Please, for my own sanity, shut up and have fun.

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