There are a lot of amazing, brilliant, undeniably fabulous things about being a single girl on this cruel, cold, cutting Planet Earth.
All I've been hearing lately from my friends, and sisters, and co-workers is about how goddamn lonely single life is. I mean, I get it. As a textbook co-dependent, I'm fighting the ugly demon of loneliness all of the time. (It's a full-time job this "mental health" stuff, isn't it?).
However, I'm in therapy, and it's helping. I'm actually starting to enjoy dating myself. I've come to discover there is a laundry list of things to do in the world that are far more fun when you're single.
Not just "relationship" single, but another kind of single: friend single.
It feels good to get down and dirty with your bad self, by your bad self.
Like, when you want to give yourself a mind-blowing orgasm with your new $150 rose gold vibrator. Or when you just want to watch sh*t TV without feeling pressured to provide "witty" commentary to prove to your friends you're "self-aware" and better than that dumb Kardashian show. Or when you just want to binge eat strange things, like protein bars slathered in heaps of creamy, luxurious Nutella without getting food-shamed.
You know what my personal favorite thing to do solo is? I love to pregame before a sexy, salacious night out in the city, all alone.
When I was in a relationship with my ex, pregaming was far less fun than it is now. We would argue about me being vain and narcissistic while hogging the bathroom mirror. She would get irritated that my bronzer had spilled all over her freshly bleached sink. She would dutifully lecture me about drinking too quickly (lies!).
I would get bitchy and annoyed and drink more just to spite her (Girl-on-girl relationships are wicked, aren't they?). We would leave for the party tense, arriving at the host's house in a dark cloud of stiff kisses on the cheek and overly enthusiastic, forced "hellos."
Have you ever noticed when couples arrive at a party together, they're always so sorely tense? It's like you can just tell they're going to have a massive fight/breakup by the time the third martini rolls around. It's because pregaming and coupling just doesn't MIX.
Pregaming with friends is equally as annoying. My friends refer to me as the "music nazi" because I'm very controlling about what we listen to while we get ready (which is only because I'm convinced I have better, more evolved taste than they do). So the diplomat of the group (yawn, grow a pair) forces us to "compromise." I'm forced to listen to sh*t top-40 music, and my buzz is killed in a scalding hot second.
And, of course, when I invite friends over to my gorgeous little apartment to pregame, they come armed with cheap vodka and dirty weed but happily drink all of my expensive champagne. It always ends in a huge argument about whether we're going to take the subway to the party or a civilized Uber. I'm sorry, but who the f*ck wants to get on the subway when you're in 5.5-inch Jeffrey Campbell platforms, a "way too thin for winter" leather jacket and a mini dress?
So now I pregame alone, and I love it. Because I'm good at it. I didn't realize how good at it I was until I posted this picture on Instagram:
I was happily buzzed enjoying my solo pregame, when I was met with an onset of sudden text messages from a slew of my single girlfriends.
"How do you pregame alone? That sounds so depressing," my bestie Ruba Facebook messaged me all the way from bloody London.
"Zara, you make pregaming look glamorous. How does your broke ass do that??" Lauren, an ex from long ago, slyly commented.
"Hey, should we even go out? Your apartment pregame pic looks perfect! Better than a bar!" My partner in crime and former co-worker Laura texted me. ( I delicately responded with, "Hell no, bitch, we ARE GOING OUT!")
It got me thinking: Pregaming alone really is one of the best things in the world. The only reason we find it lonely is because we've never been taught how to do it right. We've been programmed by the MAN to believe we're barren little lushy losers if we dare to get a little tossed before the party by ourselves.
I say f*ck that, and f*ck the man! I'm single. Here is the single girl's guide to pregaming, solo:
Buy yourself some gorgeous flowers.
I'm completely obsessed with flowers, in particular, pastel pink flowers. You know why? When you're in a relationship with a boy (or a more "masculine" woman, as per my experience), he tends to despise anything pastel pink. It's a vicious threat to his masculinity.
I'm pretty much on the same page as fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld who says:
"Think pink, but don't wear it."
I don't wear pink, but I like to keep it in my brain. I like to gaze at it. It's soothing, and pretty, and brings back feelings of the unabashed, shameless expression of girly-ness that we were allowed to have as kids.
Also, flowers give me a falsified sense of "togetherness." A girl who has fresh flowers in her apartment appears to have her sh*t together. It creates the perfect illusion that EVERYTHING IN HER LIFE IS IN ORDER.
So when you're alone and vulnerable, you can look at your gorgeous, anxiety-reducing, baby pink lilies (or roses, or controversial carnations even) and think -- damn girl, you're doing OK, you independent woman, you. No matter how much of an emotionally unstable, binge-drinking, bad decision-making train wreck you are, flowers will provide you with the perfect emotional Band-Aid for your gaping crazy girl wound.
Never pregame alone without flowers. Ever.
Pro Tip: Just make sure the flowers aren't dead or wilting. Dead flowers in a vase while you're getting ready alone will really send you flying down the shame spiral, and let's save that for tomorrow morning when you're hungover and shuddering because you kissed that disgusting f*ckboy in the light jeans
And don't even get me started on men in light jeans. Men in light jeans made me lesbian.
Drink something sexy.
Drinking alone can get very weird if you're not careful. Stay away from the hard stuff; you don't want to get too tossed because that can send you into a dark vortex before you've even had the chance to play with your new red lippy. The next thing you know, you will be weeping in a silk nightgown slow dancing to Lana Del Rey by yourself. It can get very "Grey Gardens."
But you also don't want to drink a beer alone. I don't drink beer at all, but if I were to drink beer, I would do it on "roomie" night or something. If beer makes you feel sexy -- go for it, but most girls I know feel the opposite. And feeling sexy is the key to setting up your perfect night out.
I say go for wine or champs. There is something dignified about drinking wine alone.
Zara's recommendation: Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc. It retails between $12 to $18 depending on how expensive of a zip code you live in, but it's a really lovely sauvignon blanc for a really good price. It's a good thing to always have in the fridge anyway, for guests.
Make getting ready a sensual, creative experience.
Doing makeup alone is super meditative. When you have a gaggle of girls around you fighting for the mirror and the flatirons, gabbing about what MAC lipstick YOU NEED TO WEAR TONIGHT -- it's stressful.
Plus, us women don't get enough time in the world to really just bask in our own vanity without apology. Get in your zone alone, kittens! It feels f*cking good.
I like to put on a sultry, beautiful female singer like Halsey, Lana or Courtney Love (if I'm feeling a little recklessly romantic). Let the music dictate how you do your makeup, and your makeup just might dictate your night.
Even if you think you suck at doing makeup, have fun. Play. No one is around to tell you less is more, or your eyebrows are too severe, or smokey eyes are all the rage -- so do whatever the hell you want! You are YOUR palette, and that's some self-love, you know?
Speaking of self-love....
Get down with yourself.
Dust off that old vibrator from underneath the bed, and get down and dirty with yourself! Remind yourself that you don't need another person to get off. After you've had an earth-shattering orgasm, you will feel gorgeous, empowered and relaxed.
What's sexier than a girl who is gorgeous, empowered and relaxed?
Make yourself a chic little platter.
Girls, you need to eat before you go out. Trust me, I'm so staunch about this step because every time I've woken up with my brain pounding outside of my head, eyelashes stuck together and no recollection of getting home, it's because I DIDN'T EAT. Don't lie to yourself and say you will eat when you're out.
Sharing a plate of overpriced truffle fries with your friends isn't enough to coat your stomach (I wish it was too, but trust me, it's a surefire recipe for a blackout) for a six-hour booze bender.
So make yourself a chic little platter with some cheese. Don't eat some trash out of a tinfoil container. If you get takeout, put it on a pretty plate, light a candle, put your music on, drink your sauvignon blanc, and bask in your glorious independence.
So now my sweet babes, you're perfectly primed for a fabulous night out on the town. Get a little tipsy, look fierce, speak your mind, fall in love, lock lips and have the best night of your life.