Sometimes folks mean well when they say random goofy stuff. After my uncle’s funeral a few months ago, one of the ministers I’ve known since I was a kid leaned forward in her seat as I went to get a drink from my mama’s fridge, just minding my own business. 

“I’m tired of coming to see your family about sad news. When am I coming to do a wedding?” She batted her lashes. 

I grimaced inside. Ouch. Spotlight on my singleness.

“Welp,” I started, sipping slow on a glass of Sprite to quench my quick tongue, “you’re the one with the direct line to the Lord. Pray up a man for me to marry and we can have the wedding of your dreams.” In retrospect, perhaps I should’ve taken a longer sip. 

I can’t speak for all singleistas, but I’ve got a list of things I know I’m sick of hearing or answering in my adventures in unmarried-ness.

10. Use this time to work on you. Anytime’s a good time for self-improvement. I know some women need to decompress following a really bad or hurtful relationship, but singleness need not be the sole reason to chase a dream or chip away at a personal flaw. 

9. Stop being so picky. A woman wants what she wants. But if expecting a man to have a job, his right mind, some manners and all of his front teeth — and not the Lil’ Jon kind — makes a gal picky, then guilty as charged. 

8. Is that what you’re wearing to go out? No, actually it’s not. I was just about to change into my man-magnet lace bra top and hot pants. I mean, if I need to put ‘em on the glass in order to snag a dude, maybe I should just stay parked at home in my sweats and Proactiv mask.

7. I envy you. I wish I was still single. Can we be honest with each other right here? If you really wanted to be single, boo, you would be. It’s free and available to anybody who wants to have it. Plenty of it to go around. 

6. It’s his loss. That might’ve made me feel better when I was in the fifth grade. Maybe a scratch and sniff sticker to go along with the advice would help heal the hurt. 

5. Have you tried [insert online dating site here]? I know the ads are convincing. Just pay your little membership fee and love pops into your inbox. But I can count on one hand how many people I personally know who’ve scored dates with reasonably compatible dudes on those sites, much less a whole relationship. And besides, the guy in the eHarmony commercial is creepy. Talking about he might not be single after their second date?! Yikes.

4. Let me introduce you to my nephew/son/cousin/brother/co-worker/personal trainer/mechanic/dentist/lawyer/butcher/bail bondsman. There are times when two people seem like they would just so totally hit it off that it’s almost stupid to not try to at least introduce them, then sit back and watch the sparks from your romantic handiwork fly. But sometimes folks just get desperate — even if you’re not — and all it takes for some lucky dude to become their single friend’s next date is the fact that… well, he’s a dude. Not that desperate yet. Try me again in 10 years. 

3. Do you go out to places where you can meet someone? Where exactly are these fabled places where I can just pluck guys like fresh produce off the trees, ripe and ready for commitment? Gimme an address to plug into my GPS. Rare is the woman whose main dating problem is that she’s holed up in her home in like the hermit lady who gets pranked by the neighborhood kids. We’re out there, but short of having an experience that would make prophets out of The Weather Girls, it’s not necessarily raining men.

2. Stop focusing on it and let it happen. Ah, you got me. Here I was doodling “Janelle loves Anonymous” all over my notebooks. I’m a single mother, I own a business and I’m not lamenting the absence of a husband in my household. It would be nice to be married, yes. But my life’s work is not unfulfilled because I never had an engagement ring slipped onto my left hand. 

1. Gasp! You’re so great/wonderful/amazing. Why are you still single? A long, blank stare is usually the only answer this one ever needs.