Yesterday I was invited, as I know many of you have been in recent days, to be on a “major network reality” TV show about singles. While it is kind of cool to be asked to apply to a show, even though it refers to itself as “Real Housewives only with single people”, there are several reasons why I cannot even give it a second thought.
For one, I unfortunately do not live in NYC. A lot of the time, I’d like to say that I do, and perhaps one day I shall. But right now, I live the state next door.
For two, my life really is not cut out for reality TV.
It’s true—I can be flirtatious and a total ham. I’ll talk with foreign accents and skip in public. I can perform my own music to a crowd, and I’m not afraid to pick up the mic to belt out a song at karaoke. I’ll serenade a stranger or break dance on city streets for an urban scavenger hunt.
At times, I can do such spontaneous and out there things, I even surprise myself. When I was 19, I met a Canadian halfway in Toronto for romance. Several years later, I flew to the other side of the world for an adventure, after only three weeks of thought and preparation.
But in general, I am pensive and often quiet. When I’m not being a workaholic, it’s not uncommon for me to spend a couple hours a night reading a novel with pleasure. Sometimes I choose that over picking up the phone to answer the calls of my friends who undoubtedly will desire a ridiculously long conversation.
While I wouldn’t say that I am shy—I can literally spend hours talking to strangers—I rather like to observe and study people. As an editor and writer not a TV personality, I prefer taking the time to carefully craft my words rather than try to be on-the-spot witty and charming. And then of course on TV there’s that whole deal that you also have to be incredibly photogenic—though an ex said in undisguised envy that I never take a bad photo, he is sadly mistaken; I just know my good angles and how to hit delete with the digital camera.
I can be warm, generous, and kind. Friends and former lovers have called me “the sweetest thing.” But on the other side of the coin, I can sometimes be cold, shut-off and sarcastic. And though I hate to do this, and rarely do, I have an English major’s vocabulary to verbally toss barbs that people are still picking out months later.
While I am not proud of this, I am also the Queen of the Dear John letter. Afraid of conflict after months of a boyfriend trying to convince me I don’t really want to leave, I feel like writing a letter is the only way I can make my exit.
Yes, I voluntarily blog about my dating life. I relish sharing tales I selectively pick from my adventures in romance. Notice I said selectively. While some stories I seem to spill in all the nitty-gritty detail, in truth there are a lot of things I choose to leave out.
For instance, I’ve only lightly touched upon the whole disappearance of the V-Man. I’ve brushed it aside with first dates and ridiculous correspondences from OkCupid.
It’s not so much that I’m trying to hide it from you. It’s more that I’m trying to process things, and when I do, I tend to draw into myself. I cut off contact with friends. I become a hermit, spending a lot of time alone in my dark bedroom. I swim in these deliciously gray and rainy days and write fiery entries in my paper journal.
I haven’t poured out my heart on here how it feels to be abandoned by one of the only people in my life who I thought would never, could never, abandon me. One of the few true friends through some of the lowest lows and greatest peaks of my life just disappeared out of a crack in the window like a wisp of smoke from the last fire of the winter. Offering no explanation, I came up with two not-very-flattering reasons for that exit, and naturally, he neither admitted to it nor denied it. He said nothing at all.
Just the thought of putting these emotions and all the rest of my single self out there in front of a camera makes me freeze like a deer in headlights. My blog is anonymous for a reason. A few of my readers know my name. I believe only one of you knows me personally.
It’s not that I am ashamed of who I am—it’s just there are parts of me that I don’t think my parents or siblings need to see. There are parts of me I don’t want some of my happily-married-with-kids friends to see. Not to leave out the exes and former lovers. Ay.
So that’s why you won’t be seeing me on reality TV any time soon. I am sparing you from the awkward, odd, sometimes ugly and cruel, single world of SingleinMy30s in the flesh. There’s something to be said for the mystery of just words.