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Single In The Suburbs, Installment 31


Our writer has gone and done something daring—she got pierced. Will it change her love luck?

By Sara Susannah Katz

To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.

n our last installment, our columnist — feeling like she needed a change of pace — went and got her nose pierced. Does this mark a change in her usual “playing it safe” lifestyle? Find out here.


Saturday, 11:15 a.m.
Today I am doing what I always seem to be doing with my spare time. I’m cleaning my house. With three dogs, two cats and a teenager still living at home, this place is a perpetual wreck. I wish I was the kind of person who wasn’t terribly bothered by dirt and clutter but I’m actually obsessed with it. I can’t fully relax when I know there’s a pile of dirty laundry festering in the closet or kitty litter in need of scooping. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a little obsessive-compulsive but my house isn’t clean enough to be the house of someone with OCD. It is, quite frankly, an enormous mess. And as they say in 12-step programs, it is “threatening my serenity.”

I worry that no one will ever want to date me if they see what my house normally
“Hey,” I said, “Why don’t you take me out for a drink?”
looks like. Unless, of course, I date another slob like Sleep Apnea Man. Maybe I need to revise my online profile to specify that neat freaks need not apply.

Saturday, 1:20 p.m.
My daughter Molly, who had slept at her friend’s house last night, is now home. I call downstairs to her. I tell her I have a surprise.

“Really?” she sounds excited. She must think I bought her something, which means there is absolutely no chance I’ll get a positive reaction to my new nose piercing. At this point, in Molly’s world-view, if it’s not for her, it sucks.

I decide not to prolong her suspense. “I got my nose pierced. Come on up and see!”

I hear her scrambling up the stairs. “You did what?”

She flings the door open. “Oh, Mom. Are you kidding me? Let me see, let me see!”

Molly is at that age where nearly everything I say and do is met with scorn, derision, disbelief, mockery, or pity.

I turn to face my daughter who now has her hand on my chin and is lifting my face to get a better look. “Did it hurt?”

“Yeah. It still does, actually.”

“I think I want to get a labret. Chrissy has one.”

A labret? Molly explains that a labret is a lip piercing. This, I realize, is how my daughter intends to punish me for getting my nose pierced. She is trying to torture me by threatening to get her lip pierced. But her crafty plan will not work because I happen to know that Molly is terrified of needles. She doesn’t even
I’m tired of feeling like a 40-ish-year-old virgin…
have her ears pierced.

“Go ahead,” I tell her, extricating my head from her grip. “Or how about getting your eyebrow done? That looks nice too.”

Molly stares at me disgustedly. I have outsmarted her, and we both know it.

Sunday, 4 p.m.
I’m at the grocery store, trying to figure out whether the avocadoes are really ripe or just rotten, when I hear a guy behind me. “If you’re making guacamole, save some for me.”

I turn to see Kevin (a.k.a. “Just Friends”) grinning at me. He’s wearing shorts and flip-flops—it’s been unseasonably hot around here, and everyone’s dressed for the beach, even though we’re all a bunch of landlocked Midwesterners who must settle for Lake Michigan if we’re craving the shore.

“Hey,” he says, smiling flirtatiously. “Why don’t you take me out for a drink?”

This is the same guy who insisted that he didn’t want a serious relationship even though we really seemed to connect. I was still new to online dating, and while he didn’t actually break my heart, my ego took a good thrashing. And now he’s flirting with me in the produce aisle?

“Um, sorry but you had your chance, and you blew it.” I deliver the line with a smile but I’m dead serious.

Kevin stares at me for a second, then says. “Oh, come on. I never had a chance with you. You are way out of my league.”

I feel myself blushing and pretend to be scrutinizing a lemon. What is this guy saying? That he was really interested in me all along but pulled away because he thought I wasn’t into him? How is that possible? I thought I was transmitting all the right signals. Now I’m thoroughly confused. I’m also aware that I’m extremely attracted to him right now. He is so damn cute in those shorts, and his mouth looks just so, well, kissable.

I decide on the spot that I don’t care if Kevin wants a serious relationship. I’m tired of feeling like the 40-ish-year-old virgin. I tell him that I’m willing to give it another go. I invite him to the tapas place downtown. They have a great wine bar, and I am in the mood to lose my mind a little, if only to distract me from the pain in my nostril.

He agrees to meet me at eight tonight. And unless I am completely off-base, I believe we’re both about to get lucky. My head feels like a helium balloon as I make my way through the check-out. Maybe this nose ring really does mark the beginning of a new and daring life of adventure. We’ll see.


Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 32


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