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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gray

10 Things I Think... Maybe being a cat lady ain't so bad.

I'm single. It ain't tragic. What is tragic? Dating in the District. Nah. Nope. I'll get me a nice hairless cat named Duke Ellington and publish lots of books instead... I think. Or maybe, I'll have to find me a good old midwestern human who is not enthralled by my accent or unapologetic love of all things St. Louis.

1. When I moved here a facially challenged man asked me who allowed me to be here (in DC) at 30, with no kids and unwed. I asked him who allowed his hairline to recede so far back. How dare I go chase a dream of becoming a scholar-practioner?

2. The men here have a skewed concept of probability. Probability measures the likelihood of something happening. The brothers that approach me start with compliments and then often end up asking for change.

Stranger: Girl, you got the best smile I've seen all day.

Me: *walks briskly*

Stranger: Well, can I at least get some change?

Brother, if you have done the simple formula, you'd know that neither is likely. All my change goes towards unhealthy coping snacks to survive school.

3. There are a lot of beautiful men here. Like tons. A lot of them are so fine that they date eachother. I ain't mad. I just feel like I got left out the fine club.

4. There's only so many times I can tell you what I do before I start to be honest. "Look, I go to class, I work part time doing the work my supervisor doesn't want to, I eat $5 chicken boxes from popeyes, brunch is a splurge and I go to the gym to play with the 15 lbs I put on when I moved here. I live between refund periods, make conference trips into leisure because it's the only vacation I can afford and I know 15 ways to use a rotisserie chicken from Costco so I don't get bored with it. You still wanna do this?

5. I even tried Costco. Surely humans with good sense shop there. Costco is the most, "let-me-drag-all-my-kids-and-spouse-and-parents" to place I've ever been. I don't want to casually meet your mom while looking at cara cara oranges. Brenda is asking me why I have a cart full of jam jar wine and cookies. Not your business Brenda.

6. There's something about being cussed out when I express that I'm not looking to date that just ruins things. Can't quite put my finger on it. I know that there's something there though.

7. The "suits". "Girl, I *insert gov't job*, I make *insert annual income*, I have a daughter (baby is still so fresh it smells like hospital) but my ex and I are just co-parenting. In my spare time I like to *insert some hobby he thinks is really unique and eclectic*. This is the type that should come with a warning sign or expiration date. "Move on by May 2018".

8. The "Oh you bout to be a doctor" type. Listen bro, I have a lot of student loan debt and I hope this degree pays off. That's as romantic as this gets right now. Also, I'm not studying to be a medical doctor, so when you announce to your friends that I'm about to be a doctor make sure no one needs medical attention. If Roy goes down, all I got is a few qualitative theories to throw in his direction. Dude needs a defibrillator and all I have is Black Feminist Thought in my emergency bag.

9. "I love me a southern, cooking, smart woman" dude. First, St. Louis is literally in the middle of the country. Like you can draw a straight line from DC to there. Maybe it's my accent, I'll give you that. If that means you think I'm about to be battering chicken and picking greens all day, I'm likely not the one. When cooking is the second quality you look for that concerns me. You've been eating at &Pizza this long don't let me stop you. The half smoke from Ben's has been your best friend but now you want some "St. Louis style cooking". Bye.

10. Ok seriously, dating is hard. Getting to know another human and yourself at the same time is wonderful and exhausting. Having a crush at 31and anxiety makes this range between cloud 9 and "Did I say that right?" If I want to increase our phone time am I asking for too much?" Showing up my authentic self used to scare me. I used to send my representative. Imagine being in a girdle for months. Nah, you're just gonna have to see the curves and fluff and like it. Maybe, I'll go back and find that dude from soul cycle. He seems like my kinda human. We did sweat together. And I feel like shared sweat is the perfect analogy for a relationship. Anywho, thanks for listening. I would go to therapy, but that costs so I just write instead. Cheers to dating when the time is right and when you are so in love with you that you have to make a conscious decision to share yourself with someone else.

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