An Engaged Girl Just Offered To Buy Me Presents

She wanted to add an item to her wedding registry for ME so maybe the world is good and lovely after all.

Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

I have no idea what just happened. Someone please check my vitals and phone my mother. I’m at my desk, toiling away, fully grimacing through the neck and wrist pain because I’m slowly turning into an old, crusty witch who lives in a house made of sweets, when I receive the most glorious email that has ever crossed the threshold of my inbox. I’ll show it to you, in its entirety:

Are you seeing this?!? Windex your lenses, man—this is HUGE. An actual human woman in a relationship thought to herself, “You know what, I remember being single, and that was tough. Additionally, getting married is some spoiled shit—you know what I think I’ll do? I’ll share.”

I am crying. The thoughtfulness! The kindness! The generosity! I mean honestly if she wasn’t three weeks out I’d attempt to marry HER. It’s as if the particles inside my brain were just shaken like a cheap snow globe from the airport. I have no conclusions, no right words, it’s as if my inner curmudgeon was just served an eviction notice from within my own body and all that’s left inside is a real-life Care Bear. What is this?!

I asked for this angel’s permission to share that email with you and she agreed. Her words bring up for me a recurring theme that I see throughout my single life, and in my work to help others feel better about this single space we occupy: I believe we struggle with feeling like no one ever thinks of us.

I see it all the time, in holidays spent alone, in weeks that pass without hugs, in friends I haven’t heard from in actual months despite the fact that we’re quite close and absolutely nothing is wrong. Single women aren’t typically top of mind to anyone, and over time, the weight of that hurts very much. It’s nice to be thought of by someone else, out of nowhere, isn’t it?

Of course we can put effort into contact, communication, relationship maintenance, all of it. And I think that time is always well-spent. But it’s also work, it’s effort that pains us a little to exert, because we know if we didn’t exert it, nothing would happen. Other people don’t do things for us. If we want things to happen, we have to do them ourselves, always. There’s an exhaustion in that. To pop into someone’s head, to have them think of a nice thing to do for you and then do it, is rare to nonexistent. I find it precious.

While I did not accept her offer to register for something for me, thereby swindling one of her loved ones in an absolutely EPIC fashion, there was no way not to write about it. It’s the email equivalent of a giraffe casually walking through my living room, whistling a lively tune. Someone needs to know this happened.

Despite her generosity, I definitely don’t need actual physical gifts to heal anything inside my single self. I’m well at work on my own self worth and my thought framing around my own single existence, so presents are just icing on the cake I’d inevitably bake with a new set of nonstick pans—but her words are, nevertheless, incredibly sweet.

Do people frame emails? Is that a thing? It’s not often something viewed through a screen brings me this much joy, and makes me feel like someone was thinking of me when they didn’t have to. It’s a feeling so rare it’s bleeding, and maybe because it’s that rare, it’s so thoroughly knocked me senseless like a piñata meeting the business end of a broomstick.

To this lovely human being’s husband to be, you sir are about to marry someone who is thoughtful, kind, and who can put themselves in the position of others to empathize. It occurs to her to do that, and for many people, it never will. I hope you know what a gift she is. Congratulations.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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