Believe it or not, my most recent bout of relationship anxiety was a reaction to those nagging questions gynecologists always ask: "Sexual partners? In a relationship? What exactly does 'not necessarily' mean?" You've got me breaking out in a cold sweat, Dr. LadyParts, and my feet aren't even in the stirrups yet!
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, questions like these are bound to proliferate in conversations across the country. Hopefully people will avoid the invasive questions regarding sexual history (it is, I suppose, Dr. LadyParts' job to ask), but it may be expecting too much to escape the holiday without someone asking you to declare a relationship status. Rather than relying on the Facebook-approved categories of single, in a relationship, or the cringe-worthy it's complicated, we have an alternative for you: Quirkyalone.
The Quirkyalone movement spawned from an essay called "People Like Us: the Quirkyalones" by Sasha Cagen that appeared in the magazines To-Do List and Utne Reader in 2000. Cagen declares,
We are the puzzle pieces who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces. Romantics, idealists, eccentrics, we inhabit singledom as our natural state... Better to be untethered and open to possibility: living for the exhilaration of meeting someone new, of not knowing what the night will bring.
Her essay spread like digital wildfire, striking chords with single folk coast to coast. Not sure if you qualify as a Quirkyalone? Take the quiz and answer questions like this one to help you decide:
(My score? 112: Very quirkyalone.)
By 2003, International Quirkyalone Day was established and the celebrations had begun. According to its website, International Quirkyalone Day, which coincidentally falls on February 14th, has been celebrated in over 40 cities since its inception. The holiday is a "DIY celebration of romantic, friendship, and independent spirit."
If this sounds like your cup of tea, there will be a Quirkyalone party in San Francisco at Van Kleef's. The details for Quirkyalone parties in other cities, though, are harder to come by. Cagen's website encourages Quirkyalones to plan their own party in honor of International Quirkyalone Day. The website even boasts a downloadable party pack to get started. If you're not the party-planning type, consider taking one of the site's other suggestions: "Get a massage. Buy yourself new underwear. Be creative with friends."
I think I'll celebrate International Quirkyalone Day with Leslie Knope, an unfinished embroidery hoop, a glass of cheap red wine, and optimism for the year to come.
[Image source: quirkyalone.net]