Of fanny packs and cats: an ode to spinsterhood.

When I was in 7th grade, there was this moment in honors English that solidified for me a very important life lesson: everything you ever need to know, you can learn through television.

One day in class, our teacher asked, “does anyone know what the word serendipity means?”

My hand shot up faster than Hermione Granger’s. I looked around, feeling quite smug, and smirked to my classmates. “That’s right, bitches. I know big words.” In hindsight, “serendipity” isn’t really that impressive of a word to know. Also, I’m pretty sure half the class raised their hands. But you know what? IDGAF. I didn’t speak English until I was about 7, so this feat deserved a self-high-five if not more, in my opinion. I was on a John Cusack high, and wavered my arm back and forth until the teacher called on me so that I could spend 10 minutes describing the synapse of the 2001 rom-com, only to discover afterwards that she had actually called on the kid next to me.

Fast forward 11 years and here we are, the glorious year of 2012, still living my life like it’s a TV show.

I recently went through a breakup with now-ex-bf-of-2-years and I feel a bit like Liz Lemon after she and her Matt Damon pilot bf, Carol, broke up. Jarring any feline purchases (maybe I’ll get a dog and name her Emily Dickinson instead), sweatpants-wearing-fanny-pak-sporting-theMentalist-watching Liz Lemon sounds pretty awesome right now. Someone hand me my potato chip bag slash hair clip and snuggie!

But I digress.

Back to the story.

Like a stroke of serendipity, I recently stumbled upon a post entitled “Possible Reactions When Your Parents Ask ‘Are You Dating Anybody?'” while perusing Thought Catalog for literally 5 hours straight.

Having just very gracefully bellyflopping back into the “singles pool,” I can relate. Yeah, break ups suck. A lot. But you know what sucks more? When people ask you about it, and then you’re stuck reliving it over and over again like you’re in a broken time-turner, and there’s no Sirius to save. Luckily, my parents subscribe to notion that “girls are not allowed to date until they’re married” like most typical Asian parents, but in case yours are actually interested in your romantic struggles and conquests with unnecessary zest and alacrity, here are some responses provided by Gaby Dunn:

(I’m going to c&p the article because I know 90% of you are too lazy to click on the link… hope that’s ok, Gaby!)

Screech in horror.

Talk about your career accomplishments and how you’re “too busy” to date.

Make static-y and police siren noises into the phone and tell them you’re going into a tunnel. Then, hang up.

Similarly, throw your phone against the wall and run out of the room. If they ask in person, slowly back into a bush like this:

Send them a “photo” of your new beau but when they open it, it’s a screengrab of a Tumblr dashboard and a picture of a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

Say “yes” and then describe Andrew Garfield until they figure it out. “Well, he’s British and super cute.” to “He was just in the new Spiderman movie. No, not as an extra. …As Spiderman.” (This also works with Emma Stone, Donald Glover, Jon Hamm, Kate Upton etc etc.)

Tell them confidently that you will be dating someone as soon as you get the formula from Weird Science down pat.

Get a tattoo of the words “#ForeverAlone” on your forearm — and when they ask, roll up your sleeves.

Condescendingly tell them you’re continuing to be single as part of living performance art, commenting on the societal pressure to always be in a romantic relationship.

Flip the table. Storm out.

Proclaim you have five boyfriends named Liam, Harry, Louis, Zayn and Niall and you all live in a lovely polygamous house in Utah.

Immediately start talking and acting like it’s 1920 and you need them to make a match for you with your weird cousin like on Downton Abbey.

Transform into a bat and flap away into the night.

Bellow, “I am Loki, God of Mischief. I can not be contained by mere mortals! I must date among the Gods!”

Draw eyes and a mustache on a flask. “Kiss” your partner by drinking his sweet nectar of alcohol.

Create a life-size Japanese body pillow with a silkscreen of Benedict Cumberbatch (or another similarly attractive person) and bring it to the dinner table.

Reverse the guilt. Be like, “You created me. You saw my childhood. You know what’s up over here. What do you think?”

Stare them down and say, “Nope. Just getting boned on the reg.” Maintain uncomfortable eye contact.

Throw glitter in the air and prance away. (Also, a good way to come out of the closet if you’re looking for one.)

Sculpt a boyfriend out of delicious foods in front of their eyes.

Bring home a trucker/ex-con named Gus and say you got hitched. When they freak out, remind them that you being single isn’t so bad.

Spray them with mace.

Promise you will as soon as you find someone with the missing half of this golden amulet.

Put a top hat and monocle on a cat and introduce him as your betrothed, Mr. Darcy.

Crouch down and cover your head with your hands like during an elementary school tornado drill.

Say you’re waiting for the TARDIS, Amy Pond-style. Sing lines from Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor.”

Toss a smoke bomb on the floor to blind them and disappear into a trap door.

Throw yourself through a glass window, because it’ll distract them and probably be less painful than answering that question.

Although these are all very excellent suggestions, I have a few of my own.

  1. Passive-aggressively shove your  50 Shades of Grey hardcover into your mom’s sternum and whisper “I’m already satisfied” with a wink. If you’re mom is at all curious (and she will be!), she’ll begin her Christian-Grey journey that night before bed, and 10 pages into it, will be so horrified that she’ll never act as a romantic inquisitor ever again.
  2. Tell them that you gave some cute guy your number and he’s “taking time with the call,” you’re “taking time with the fall,” but he’ll call you (maybe).
  3. Explain that you’re trying to draw out your own version of “How I Met Your Mother” for as many seasons as possible, because how boring would the story be for your children if you met their mom at the ripe age of 24?!
  4. Scoff. Boyfriend? Try boyfriends, Mom! Here, come meet them! There’s Johnny, Jack, and the one on the far left is Jose.
  5. Feign an asthma attack. This may seem complicated, but it’s not. There was one point in time when my brother lacked health insurance and I somehow faked asthmatic symptoms well enough that my doctor prescribed me an inhaler. To be honest, I’m not very proud of that moment. To be even more honest, I kind of am.
  6. Whip out your wand and scream “Accio, Tom Felton!” Then act surprised when it doesn’t work. Because it usually/always does.
  7. Laugh at how old school the notion of “finding and settling down with a nice boy is.” Obviously, the cool approach to romance is to get knocked up by your best friend on a whim, find a nice couple in the Pennysaver to adopt the fetus growing in your womb, force your best friend to go to Prom with another girl that smells like soup because you’re crazy hormonal and pregnant and then get mad at him for actually going to Prom with soupy girl, and then after a minor mental in the hospital after giving birth, fall in love with aforementioned baby daddy. Could you ask for a better love story?
  8. Explain to them that you’re taking a break from romance because you’re still scarred from your last boyfriend, who would dress up like Gandolf and shout YOU SHALL NOT PASS whenever you tried to get intimate in the bedroom.
  9. Cry hysterically and toss a million covenant brochures in their faces like a strip club promoter on a dark Vegas street corner.
  10. Tell them that Match.com’s server is “currently down,” but you’ll get on it as soon as it’s back up!

If all else fails, just make an impromptu toast and start dancing. This will answer any and all questions anyone has ever wondered about you.

Now where would one go about purchasing one of those Japanese boyfriend pillows…?


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