Re-entering the dating pool after marriage is a special kind of fresh hell. I didn't like dating before I got married. And it's safe to say that I hate it with the fire of a thousand burning suns now. It's not just that I'm older, wiser, and have two kids now. It's that the entire game has changed, and the game sucks. It sucks! I've waded into the pool a few times since the end of my marriage almost 2 years ago, and honestly at this point, a lifetime of being single is looking pretty goddamn good. But that's not to say my life is boring or devoid of meaning! LOL, just kidding, it's absolutely boring. So to pass the time, here are 17 things I would rather do than go on a date. It's always a party around here!
It wasn't even hard to come up with 17 things I would rather do than go on a date. It was hard, however, to keep the list at 17. I had to think of you, dear readers, and no one needs a 14 page post on how crappy dating can be. Isn't this supposed to be fun?! The whole idea of meeting new people, having some exciting and meaningless sex, and then gossiping about it all to your married girlfriends? On paper, it certainly sounds fun. But then there is ghosting. And weird, intrusive questions on the first date. There are unsolicited dick pics and harassing messages. It goes from sort of fun to absolute hell on a dime. Why do we even try?
Image: Beauty Brands
By the time the weekend rolls around, there is so much dry shampoo in my hair, it could hide treasures. I have very light blonde hair, so washing requires 3 steps: regular shampoo, purple shampoo, and a 10-minute Olaplex leave-in. That's, like, 13 minutes right there. And then I'm tired, so there goes my night! But clean hair > drinks over awkward conversation, every damn day. Plus, who has time to actually wash, dry, and style their hair for some stupid date? It's way too much work, and my hair doesn't need anymore heat damage. I'll take no split ends over awkward conversation, thanks.
Date night is the perfect night to inflict pain on yourself in the form of a Dermaroller! I love my skin, and I love taking care of my skin, even if it hurts like a bitch. I use this Dermaroller, and follow it up with actual snail goo, like this one. I may be the only single person I know, but my skin looks fucking FANTASTIC, so I consider it time well-spent. Besides, in the battle against aging, dating has to be a handicap. There are drinks and bar air and lots of frowning (I am delightful). Seriously, I am probably turning back time by staying single.
Now, this only happens about twice a month, if that. I have two kids, and they're with me 99.8% of the time. So when I have an ENTIRE NIGHT FREE FROM CHILDREN? You bet your ass I'm sitting on my couch and eating all the good cheese and salami that I've hidden in the produce bin of the fridge. Snuggie not required, but it does help as a crumb catcher. Plus, I get the TV to myself, and there is most definitely wine and/or champagne involved. There's nothing better than a night bingewatching my favorite shows, and getting drunk off bubbly and stinky cheese.
This is another one that falls in the "Better When the Kids are Gone" category, so again, this isn't part of my regular single on a Saturday night rotation. But when I have the TV all to myself, I don't need to watch Trolls for the 193744th time! Not saying I don't end up watching Trolls, but it's on my terms, dammit. I can watch shows with lots of foul language, nudity, and violence. I can watch seven straight hours of cooking shows, telling myself the entire time that I could make that, knowing damn well I could not. TV is self-care, and I don't care who says otherwise. And I don't want to miss anything while I'm out on some stupid date.
[ALSO READ: 10 Dating 'Mistakes' Single Moms Make]
I don't have to worry about driving, someone spiking my drink, or stopping at two when I really want a third because this guy's story about how he learned the value of life through baseball is like listening to paint dry. Canned wine right out of the can? Hell yeah. Glasses are for company. I can burp as loud as I want, and no one will look at me funny when I stumble a bit on the way to the bathroom (who put that wall there?!). There's no danger, no reason to stay on high alert, and I'm drinking booze I already own, so I won't drop $80 on watered down well drinks.
No, I don't mean ACTUAL baby feet, although those are adorable and delightful. I mean doing a Baby Feet foot peel. It's this amazing and horrific mask you put on your feet. For 5 days, your feet feel like blocks of leather. Then begins the glorious purge and peel. It's ... not for the faint of heart or stomach. But I'd be lying if I said I haven't gotten literal hours of entertainment out of removing entire sheets of dead skin from my feet following a mask. I have pictures, but I will spare you those. I use this one here.
Our weeks are so hectic and busy and non-stop. Even though I am almost NEVER without one or both of my kids, it can feel like we don't get a lot of quality time together. So when a weekend rolls around, and we don't have anything planned? You bet your ass I'm hanging at home with my girls, watching them make slime while they drive me up a fucking wall. MEMORIES! We don't even do anything special most of the time. Unless making them clean their rooms while I sit on the couch and bark orders is special. But we're together, that's what counts.
I have a weird thing about my feet: I don't like them to be touched. So I rarely get professional pedicures, opting rather to do my own nails. I like to peel my own feet, and I like to paint my own nails. Great way to spend a date night, if you ask me. Also, that sentence is probably a pretty good indication of why I am still single. This whole post probably is, to be honest. But I don't care! I love me! I am awesome! And my feet are smooth as fuck, with beautifully polished nails. I win.
At this point, I haven't shaved my legs in so long that my pajama pants stick to my leg hair, creating a constant stream of static electricity. I use that like a super power and chase my kids around, zapping them with my fire finger. But every once in a while, I get to the point where it's time to shave, which can take an hour. I tell myself it's in case I do end up on a date at some point, but really, it's because I've reached peak Yeti and am repulsing myself. Then you have to factor in the blood clean-up. Because when your body hair is long enough to brush, there is no razor in the world that is going to glide over that without carnage.
Let's be honest, what sounds like more fun: making small talk with some guy you accidentally swiped right on when you found a crumb on your phone, or finally tackling the disaster that is your closet? Feng shui, Konmari, take a trash bag to everything you own, whatever you want. It feels good to get rid of unwanted junk! It feels even better to get rid of it while avoiding tacking on more in the form of a dead-end relationship. Personally, I like to use my alone time to clean out my kids' rooms and playroom and throw away 80% of what they own. They are disgusting, and no matter how many times I purge the "treasures" (read: actual garbage), their rooms always look like a flop house.
Listen, if you don't take the time to take the quizzes, how else will you ever know what kind of condiment you'd be or where you should live based on your shoe size? Sure, one quiz doesn't take up a lot of time. But you can't take just one. And then you have to factor in all the time you'll spend retaking the quizzes with different answers because your first result was too depressing. Whoops, now it's bedtime! At least I'll sleep well knowing what I should order from Taco Bell based on my eye color and astrological sign. That's what's really important, you know?
Snuggling in my bed in my jammies > leaving my house when it's cold outside. Bonus points for being asleep before the time of the reservation you cancelled so you could stay in. There really are few things in like better than an uninterrupted nap. Or getting to bed early! I used to be able to stay up late, but I am an old now. So 9 o'clock rolls around, and I am ready for my jammies and pimple cream and some mindless social media judging. The best part is waking up the next morning to a bevy of texts and messages from friends who have actual lives and weren't in bed before the news came on.
Why should I go out and actually live when I can live vicariously through my much more exciting friends on social media? And all from the comfort of my own couch, with my own night cheese and my own can of wine. And yes, I know that pretty much nothing we see on social media is real. I mean, it's real, but it's not REAL real. We all post the very best of our lives, and you know what? I like seeing that! I know that everyone has their struggles. It's also kind of fun to check out what people post and compare it to what you've heard about what's going on behind the scenes.
I keep getting new books, making my book stack even bigger. I can't really read them during the week, because my kids are insane and I have a shit ton of work to get through, but weekends are prime reading time! And if you read a romance novel, it's almost like you're not sitting at home alone, with peeling feet and a freshly-needled face. The thing is, I feel guilty for not reading more. So I buy more books. And don't read them. And then feel guilty for not reading again. It's a vicious cycle. But at least with those books sitting on my nightstand, I LOOK well-read.
LOL, OK so I don't really do this. But maybe I should! Let's bring back letter-writing as a form of communication! I'd have to work on my penmanship though. Which is another month of date-avoidance right there! For real though, remember how good it felt to get a real letter or card in the mail? There's nothing like opening an envelope and pulling out a sheet of handwritten words. That stupid little red text and email notification just doesn't have the same vibe, you know? That little red dot stresses me the hell out. I could totally get into writing and receiving some letters.
Sometimes I offer to help my oldest rehearse her dance competition routines and she looks at me with a mixture of horror and pity. But goddamn do I love to dance. And practicing my moves at home just means I'll be REALLY ready to take this show out in public ... eventually. Now, I know what you're thinking: going out for dancing is a great date night idea! And it is, I'm sure. But I don't actually want to dance with somebody (sorry, Whitney). I don't want to worry about groping hands or grinding crotches. I like dancing at home alone, where no one can intrude on my personal space.
And not the fun werk. I mean actual work. 9 times out of 10, my week gets the best of me, and I almost always have work to catch up on over the weekend. And since that work actually puts money in my bank account, it will ALWAYS be preferable to actually going out. Plus I love my jobs, so that helps. Every once in a while, I get in a bit of a funk over how much I work, and how much my work impedes on my ability to have an actual life. But you know what? I'm able to provide for my kids. I can pay my bills every month without stressing. And I feel accomplished and not dependent on anyone else. So I'll work my ass off as long as I can.