5 Ways Curling is a Lot Like Being Single

February 22, 2015


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.

curling 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.

curling selfie

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.


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???)




I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On February 22, 2015 at 2:28 pm Rose said:

    Have you seen the movie “Men With Brooms”? It’s a comedy about curling – No lie!

  2. On February 22, 2015 at 2:43 pm zoe said:

    I don’t understand curling even a little bit but as a single person who likes beer, I am intrigued 🙂 Though I don’t think it even exists in Italy so it might have to go on my long-term to-do list…
    zoe recently posted..Australia: sometimes I have no idea what to do.

    • On March 1, 2015 at 1:49 pm Sally said:

      I recommend taking a lesson before you watch because the lesson does make it easier to understand what’s going on. Or at least just drink a lot of beer until you don’t care what’s going on.

  3. On February 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm Alouise said:

    Back in junior high I went curling a couple times for gym class. If I remember correctly I did fall on the ice several times.
    Alouise recently posted..Rock and Roll Tour in Yorkville Toronto

  4. On February 22, 2015 at 10:36 pm Carmel said:

    I have not tried curling, but I have a feeling I *would* fall on my ass while taking a selfie. Because I’m me. And once I fell while on cross country skis…and I WASN’T EVEN MOVING. That takes some serious skillz.
    Carmel recently posted..156 TUESDAYS

  5. On February 23, 2015 at 12:57 pm becky hutner said:

    i’ve heard a comedian describe curling as the ultimate canadian sport: cold, polite & boring. i can repeat this of course, only because i’m canadian.
    becky hutner recently posted..Proof I AM a Canadian in Los Angeles.

  6. On February 24, 2015 at 3:09 am Madhu Bhardwaj said:

    Come live in India. Some one will come and do your dishes twice a day for about a thousand rupees a month. Roughly $20. No curling though.

  7. On February 24, 2015 at 10:02 am Priya said:

    I don’t know Sally – i think you’ve got the hang of this Curling thing 🙂
    Priya recently posted..I Want To Write Stuff But I’m In New Zealand

  8. On March 5, 2015 at 1:02 am Ceri said:

    Oh my god, I clearly need to get into this. I love being single – have done for nearly 2 years – and clearly I’m missing curling from my life. 😀
    Ceri recently posted..My Five Favourite Things in February

  9. On March 5, 2015 at 9:52 am Choi Kum Fook said:

    Honestly speaking, I have no idea about the game of curling. Anyhow, I come to know it from your post, thanks Miss Sally! Is it popular in USA?

  10. On March 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm ChristineNevada said:

    I did try curling once. I did okay at it. There is a group here in Las Vegas, believe it or not! The instructor still says hello to me when I run into him during my skating sessions. It seems like mostly middle-aged couples out here doing it. They are a totally fun crowd, but they meet while I’m usually working!

    • On March 6, 2015 at 8:13 am Sally said:

      The club here seemed to be mostly middle-aged (except for the one guys 15-year-old son who was apparently some kind of curling wunderkind). But I was surprised that the curlers competing in the championships were quite young… there were even a few tattooed bad asses. Not what I was expecting!

  11. On March 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm Amanda C @ UnrestingSea said:

    Not only did this post make me laugh, it has made curling a top priority on my to-do list next winter.
    Amanda C @ UnrestingSea recently posted..Top of the World: Passage Peak

  12. On April 12, 2015 at 1:22 am casey said:

    This entire website makes me so damn happy. You’re hilarious and an inspiration.


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