There are tons of analogies out there about what it’s like to be in a relationship.
If you watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette as much as I do (don’t judge), you know that you can’t get through a single episode without one of the contestants making some comparison between being in a relationship and whatever fun sporty, adventure-y activity they’re doing on the show. The Bachelor/Bachelorette and his/her chosen date-of-the-day will be canoodling on a plane/boat/tractor, and then you’ll hear a voice-over: “Sky-diving/shark-baiting/hay-baling is a lot like being in a relationship…”
But no one’s ever spouting off analogies about what it’s like to be single. And if they are, they’re never comparing being single to something fun and sporty and adventure-y. Instead they’re comparing it to something that involves lots of cats and eating ice cream all the time. (NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.)
But, after last weekend’s solo Valentine’s Day adventure, which included watching a curling tournament and taking a curling lesson, I’ve come up with my own fun, sporty, adventure-y analogy for being single, and it goes something like this:
Curling is a lot like being single.
Hear me out.
5 Ways Curling is a Lot Like Being Single
1. It’s not particularly popular.
As far as relationship statuses go, being single is not exactly everyone’s top choice. If it were, there would be a whole category of films called Single-And-Totally-Fine-With-That Comedies. And Disney movies would star princesses with career aspirations.
As far as sports-involving-ice go, curling is also not exactly winning any popularity contests. At least not in Michigan.
Last weekend, when I arrived at the USA Curling Nationals, I made my way into the main hockey stadium where I was greeted by lots of ice and absolutely no people. Where were the teams upon teams of competitive curlers? Where was the huge crowd of screaming, frenzied fans? And, most importantly, WHERE WERE ALL THE CONCESSION STANDS?
After all, this wasn’t just any curling event — it was the national championships! Surely, this was some kind of big deal!
Or not so much.
After walking around the dark, echo-y halls for a bit, I made my way back outside where I discovered the tournament was being held in a small rink next to the main stadium. I was greeted by two bored-looking ticket-takers and a small concessions stand selling beer and some sad-looking soft pretzels.
When I made my way into the arena to watch the tournament, I discovered a low-key affair. There were no kiss-cams or t-shirt cannons. There were no furry mascots running onto the ice. There was just a small, supportive crowd, who would occasionally offer up mysterious words of encouragement to the curlers, stuff like, “Sweep!” and “Nice curl!”
2. Comfy pants are not only acceptable, they’re encouraged.
I don’t know a whole lot about being in relationships as I’m hardly ever in one, but according to what I see in the movies and read on the Internets, being in a relationship means you occasionally need to wear pants with waistbands and you can’t get away with eating ice cream with a spatula.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT ANYWAY?
When I first showed up at the curling tournament, I was wearing jeans, fashion boots and a cute sweater.
As soon as I walked into the tournament and saw the competitors lunging across the ice, I knew my jeans were not up for the task. Seeing as my jeans were barely up for the task of walking. (Let’s just say it’s been a long, bacon-filled winter.)
I promptly turned around, drove home and put on a pair of sweatpants. Luckily, I have about twenty pairs of sweatpants to choose from and they’re all covered in cat hair BECAUSE I AM A CLICHE AND I DON’T EVEN CARE.
3. Also encouraged: beer.
Okay, so I’m sure I would drink beer if I were in a relationship, but I probably wouldn’t drink it from a wine glass (because I’m fancy… and because that’s the only glass I own) while eating my weight in nachos, watching Downton Abbey and wearing a fluffy bathrobe in the middle of the day.
Wait. Who am I kidding? I totally would.
But you get the point, right?
Being single means pretty much anything goes.
So, apparently, does curling.
When I arrived at the small ice arena where the curling lesson was taking place, I was informed that beer was welcome on the ice.
Now if only I could have brought my couch out on to the ice, this would have made it the best sport EVER.
4. It looks easy, but it’s actually really, super, duper hard.
As much as I like being single, it’s not all beer-drinking and sweatpants-wearing and cat-cuddling. Occasionally, it can be really super, duper hard and I just wish I had someone around to help me do stuff. Like the dishes. OMIGOSH, YOU GUYS, HOW IS IT EVEN FAIR THAT I HAVE TO DO ALL THE DISHES ALL BY MYSELF ALL THE TIME???
Curling is kind of like that.
It can be really, super, duper hard.
Even though, when you’re watching it you think, “Whatever. This looks super easy. It’s just like bowling. But on ice. I’VE SO GOT THIS.”
(Mind you, I totally suck at bowling and anything involving ice, so I’m not entirely sure why I thought I’d be good at curling.)
At my curling lesson, I learned that curling was pretty much the hardest thing ever. You have to do a whole bunch of things at once. And you have to do all of it while standing on a big slippery, sheet of ice.
If you’re the person shooting the rock, you have to be able crouch and lunge and slide across the ice and shoot the rock and not fall on to your face while you’re doing it.
And if you’re the person doing the sweeping, you have to be able to sweep and run and watch the rock and watch where you’re going and not fall on to your face while you’re doing it.
Pretty much the only task I was remotely good at was the one where I got to stand at the end of the ice and point my broom at where I wanted my teammate to shoot the rock. (Okay, honestly, I sucked at that, too, because I was too busy taking selfies. But, at least, I didn’t fall down while doing it.)
5. But it can be a lot of fun if you surround yourself with a good group of people.
As annoying as it can be to have to do ALL THE THINGS all by myself all the time, it would be a whole lot harder if I weren’t surrounded by such an awesome group of friends, family members and coworkers.
Sure, I can’t call any of them to come do my dishes for me. (OR CAN I???)
But it’s nice knowing I’ve got people who’ve got my back.
If not my dishes.
(SERIOUSLY, DOES ANYONE WANT TO DO MY DISHES???)
After I arrived at my curling lesson, I was handed a broom, led out on to the ice and told to find a group of seven to eight people to play with. I instantly went into panic OMIGOD-NOBODY’S-GOING-TO-EVER-WANT-ME-ON-THEIR-TEAM mode. I blame years of elementary school gym classes, where nobody ever wanted me on their team. Honestly, I can’t really blame them. I didn’t want me on my team either.
I kind of milled around watching groups form. From what I could tell, I was the only person at the lesson on my own. Everyone else had come with a partner or group of other people.
I eventually made my way over to the smallest group, which consisted of a college-aged couple and a thirty-something woman with her parents. They welcomed me in and told me their names. No one asked me why I was by myself or made me feel weird that I was.
And when it turned out that I was pretty much the worst player on the team, they never made me feel bad about that either. They cheered for me every time I shot a rock and high-fived me every time I went out to sweep and complimented me on my stellar standing and pointing skills.
While we didn’t become fast friends or anything, it was just nice knowing they all had my back.
Again, if not my dishes.
(But, seriously, I wonder if any of them would have come home with me to do my dishes. That’s something you can ask people you’ve just met, right??? RIGHT???)
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED CURLING? HOW DID YOU LIKE IT?