Last night was a rough night for me. I have a big fancy fundraiser event to attend tonight for work. I look forward to attending this event each year because it features food from more than 30 of the best restaurants in town, which is food for my foodie soul. But last night, my friend L, who I was planning on taking with me, told me that she couldn’t go. I was disappointed but understood her reason — she’s a divorced mom of three and hadn’t secured a babysitter for tonight. So I had this extra ticket (which wasn’t cheap by the way) and my thoughts were: do I go solo; try to get another friend to go with me at the last-minute; or skip the event altogether.
I decided to send a text to my friend B, who like me is a big foodie and usually accompanies me to this event, apologizing for the last-minute invitation and asking her if she wanted to go. Now, I knew this was a long shot because B is not a spontaneous person. But I was hoping the temptation of good food would make her say yes. And as I expected (and understood), she told me that she wouldn’t be able to make. So I looked through my digital Rolodex (do people still use that word???) to see who else I’d want to share this experience with. I sent a couple more texts and made some phone calls, and got the same response: “Sorry, I can’t make it.” And this is when I got depressed. I wanted to roll around my bedroom floor, like a 2-year old having a tantrum, and scream: “Where’s my plus one dammit? At this stage in my life I should have an automatic plus one!!” But instead, I sent an email to my friend T (who would’ve been my plus one but we live in different states) to bitch and moan.
T gave me my moment and let me vent (thank you T!). I wanted to cry, but to paraphrase one of my favorite singers, Bob Marley, “No man, no cry.” I wasn’t going to cry because I don’t have my plus one. I sure was sad and felt alone though. I decided to send one last text to L to let her know that I couldn’t find anyone to go, all the while subliminally hoping that things changed and she could now go. And I guess prayers do come true — she told me that she could now go because her mom would be able to watch the kids (thank you L’s mommy!).
Even though I don’t have to go to this event tonight solo, today I still feel “alone”. I’ve been thinking about going through my pregnancy alone, which made me sad. Yes, I’ll have my mom and dad, and some friends, but it won’t be the same as having a man there (I’ve come to terms with that, but it doesn’t make the feelings going away).
It’s also made me think about how many women have decided to go through this journey solo. I know I’m not the only one to do this, but since I don’t personally know anyone else going through this process, I sometimes feel like I’m the only one. So I did a little research to find some numbers, and quickly realized there is no hard data on the subject. All reports indicate that the number of women who decide not to wait for their “plus one” and start a family on their own is steadily increasing. One sperm bank in California estimates that between 10,000 – 12,000 single women visit a sperm bank every year. Another report suggested that each year at least 50,000 women decide to become a single mom by choice or a “choice mom”. What I was surprised to read is that not all choice moms are over the age of 35 — there are women as young as 25 who have decided to take this journey. I definitely know that at the age of 25 I would not have been able to do this by myself. So I’m not the only (which I logically already knew this) and there are a lot of women who have done this.
My cursory research has helped ease my “lonely” feelings for today. I still miss having my plus one, but at least I know I’m not alone…