While wandering the thrift store looking for a hat to complete my "Let's Phone It In This Year and Just be a Witch" costume, I came upon the makeup section and found some glitter.

As you know, glitter follows the physics of the universe and steadily expands everywhere. You put it on your cheekbones for one night and find it a month later in your freshly washed bedding, embedded in the rug, stuck to the dog, floating in the silverware drawer and jazzing up your work outfits in a way that's maybe a little too flashy for data entry.

I know a couple who won't even buy Christmas ornaments with glitter on them because it makes Jim so angry when he discovers it twinkling in his beard in January. But I gleefully bought that $1.98 vial of glitter, because I live alone and there isn't anyone to give me a hard time when the remote control is covered in fairy dust.


I think this is maybe the longest stretch I've had of being single, and it's been an interesting time. The longer I go without a boyfriend, the more I'm forced to reckon with how that manifests in daily life. I'll be staring at a leak under the sink, or needing help moving the treadmill out of the garage, or sitting down to dinner again with several sets of couples, and acutely feel the lack of a partner.

Sometimes it feels bone-crushingly lonely.

On one hand, it's taught me to be even more self-reliant than I already was. And on the other, it's forced me to ask friends for help more often.


I've never liked asking for help. Being unable to do something on my own brings up old feelings of being vulnerable. I know on an intellectual level that needing to ask my friend to help me change a water filter doesn't mean I'm going to die Bridget Jones-style, "fat, and alone and eaten by wild dogs." Still, I have to admit I sometimes worry about choking on something and being discovered three days later, dead on the floor in my old Felix the Cat underwear.

I should probably buy some better underwear.

But paying attention to everything is a salve. Pretty often, when I'm silently mired in missing the conversation, sex and kinship of a relationship, a friend will talk about the trouble they're having with their significant other and I'll find myself feeling thankful I'm not facing the same conflict. I look at the struggles folks have and think to myself, "I don't want that. And I don't have that. How lovely."

So I bought the glitter, went to the party alone, and felt pretty, happy and thankful for this time in my life where I don't need to compromise. Within 24 hours of opening the package, pulling out the brush and covering my hair in tiny little sparkles, the glitter has already spread. It's all over the sink, crushed into the bath mat and is steadily making its way down the hall.

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