We've all had that feeling.
Why the heck am I still single, and why am I being invited to all these weddings when I have exactly zero (0) dates to go with?
But then there's also the important side of this: being single is a valid state of being. Society can often make us single folks feel outcast, and it's up to us to make the most of being single.
And also, make the most of people asking us awkward questions about being single.
Cut to Melissa Croce, who was preparing to head to a cousin's wedding, knowing she was about to endure the age-old questions one asks at a family wedding.
Among them, the ever resistant "why are you single?"
Melissa told Buzzfeed:
"There were many family friends who I haven't seen in a long time, and...I was kind of dreading the small talk associated with the event, which I knew might consist of answering the same questions over and over: explaining my job, my life in New York, and why I'm single."
So to subvert that line of conversation, Melissa came up with a solution: a brochure, complete FAQs about job, NYC, and featuring a nifty "choose your own adventure" flow-chart of "Why Am I Single?"
i jokingly told my coworkers i would make a brochure to hand out to relatives/family friends at my cousin’s wedding… https://t.co/eYwtc1YbPZ— Melissa Croce (@Melissa Croce) 1560567364.0
Here's a closer look at the contents of the brochure:
And here's that handy-dandy flow-chart:
The brochure anticipates and answers all the possible questions your family might unsurprisingly ask you for the umpteenth time at a wedding.
"How's living in New York?" reads one of the questions. "Isn't everything so loud and crowded and expensive? Ew the subway!"
Definitely have heard Aunt Barbara ask that one a few times.
Melissa's answer is perfection:
"I was going to tell you an honest answer but your question seems judgmental, so out of spite I'm going to tell you instead that I LOVE IT and IT IS GREAT AND PERFECT and sure it is ALL OF THOSE THINGS but living in New York isn't for JUST ANYBODY, DAHLING, SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST STRONGER THAN OTHERS."
People are already asking where they can get one of their own:
@melissacroce I am SCREAMING and I want one— Caleb Roehrig (@Caleb Roehrig) 1560571504.0
@melissacroce I will literally PAY YOU to make one of these for me since I’ll be seeing my mom’s side of the family… https://t.co/WP5Fp5F57j— Em (@Em) 1560604487.0
@melissacroce This is incredible.— Victoria Ying- SDCC Small Press O-14 (@Victoria Ying- SDCC Small Press O-14) 1560651128.0
@melissacroce Is there an InDesign template for this? 😂 https://t.co/aCSGRpwyQr— Tara Lehmann (@Tara Lehmann) 1560623701.0
@melissacroce *gets down on one knee* Melissa Croce My friend, my D&D dad, my witchy co-conspirator, you make me… https://t.co/1fXWZJhMXa— Emily Settle ☕️ 📚 (@Emily Settle ☕️ 📚) 1560613702.0
And that's not even getting to the flow-chart yet.
The flow-chart starts with four typical responses to "Why aren't you seeing anybody?" or "Why are you single?" and breaks down into further possible responses, one of which is positive and one negative, the negative ones mostly reacting to some messed up societal belief the asker holds about women.
And it just wouldn't be a family gathering without casual misogyny, now would it?
@melissacroce Incredible ☺️— Carolyn Kirkpatrick (@Carolyn Kirkpatrick) 1560588590.0
@melissacroce I’ve definitely already texted this to like 5 ppl— Kelsey Marrujo (@Kelsey Marrujo) 1560613911.0
@melissacroce I’m loving that last page.— Theresa Harpy Trollop Romance Reader (@Theresa Harpy Trollop Romance Reader) 1560702442.0
@melissacroce @wraparoundcurl You are my new inspiration https://t.co/Z2T8oPhB2l— Jilliffer-💤-iffer (@Jilliffer-💤-iffer) 1560698885.0
@melissacroce @JenReadsRomance Genius. Pure genius.— Rachel B (@Rachel B) 1560631764.0
Sadly, Melissa didn't get to hand out the actual brochures at the wedding.
"For one thing, I like my cousin, and secondly, I don't think my aunts and uncles would've been too pleased with me if I did — but I did have to answer many of the questions on the brochure, so maybe I should've after all," she told Buzzfeed.
@melissacroce @bradfordlit I love this chart so very much.— Tara Kennedy (@Tara Kennedy) 1560630893.0
@melissacroce you’re an icon— Heather Job 🌈 (@Heather Job 🌈) 1560610242.0
@melissacroce screaming i have an aunt carol who a) has said those things and b) has incredibly low standards for men— annalee (@annalee) 1561056936.0
@melissacroce @elenawonders https://t.co/dhgT84Wr98— sammy (@sammy) 1560697818.0
@melissacroce You are my hero! I cannot stop laughing at "Just like you did, Aunt Carol?"— Leigh Kramer (@Leigh Kramer) 1560698235.0
"People loved it! Many wanted me to make them one for their own family events," Melissa said.
"What surprised me were people online who related to it and told me so, especially those who seemed to feel a bit like outcasts in their families. I hadn't thought about it when I made it, but this is definitely a relatable thing — going to a big event and exposing the basics of your life to people who mean well, but are also strangers in many ways."
@melissacroce There's a family reunion coming up and I am the only one of my siblings who is *still* single. I need to make one of these. 😂— Aimee Alexander (@Aimee Alexander) 1560650276.0
@melissacroce Omg the NYC FAQ is perfection. It’s ALL perfection!!!! ❤️❤️❤️— Erin Stein (@Erin Stein) 1560604828.0
@melissacroce OMG I don't know you but I want to :D— Ammi-Joan Paquette (@Ammi-Joan Paquette) 1560692156.0
@melissacroce Omg - Marry me? 😂😂😂— Courtney Smith (@Courtney Smith) 1561063283.0
All we know is, we've gone and put in an order for 500 personal brochures for our next family function.
See you at the printers!
Or you could fend off questions by declaring your status at first sight with this shirt, available here.