Any gay man or straight woman over 25 who has been single for more than a few years might understand how strange it feels to have friends of a similar age on their fifth long-term relationship in a row, third divorce, or first time being single ever since high school (and horrified by the prospect, of course, even if you're seemingly always in their new shoes).
In short, you love your friends and take joy in supporting them, but sometimes you feel a bit out of place and have to joke about it. Valerie Harper's
brilliant Rhoda Morgenstern
understands and her humor is available to help.
Approaching thirty and being a single gay for more than four years, I find Rhoda's voice in my head sometimes. The writers of “Mary Tyler Moore
” created a character who expressed precisely what it's like to be single in a world of well-intentioned, seemingly perpetually coupled people.
For those times that a friend wants to ask you advice you're not sure you're qualified to give anymore.
Mary Richards: You know how it is when you're dating somebody...
Rhoda Morgenstern: No.
For when your friend's newest boyfriend walks into the bar where you're enjoying a drink with said friend and you seem to have become invisible to strangers newly in like.
Rhoda: Allow me to introduce myself: I'm another person in the room.
For those days when a friend is sad about being single for more than two weeks for the first time in ten years while you actually have just had that elusive thing known as a promising first date.
Rhoda: You're having a lousy streak. I happen to be having a terrific streak. Soon the world will be back to normal. Tomorrow you will meet a crown head of Europe and marry. I will have a fat attack, eat 3,000 peanut butter cups, and die.
For when someone sets you up on a date with her or his single acquaintance, and you have to go in with skepticism.
Rhoda: When was the last time you went out with someone really terrific?
Rhoda: Last time for me was when my father took me to a ball game.
For that time that a date gets canceled by means of a text just before the intended meeting.
Rhoda: The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food.
For those times you try your hand at a date with a youthfully optimistic guy who just graduated college and hasn't gotten around to even trying to find a real job or stop using paper towels as napkins.
Rhoda: I know exactly where I was twelve years ago. I was at a party like this, sitting on a couch like this, drinking wine from a paper cup like this. You've come a long way, baby!
For those times you wish you could point out the ineffable difference between you and some of the people in your life.
Rhoda: Mary, sometimes I think you live in a shampoo commercial.
Rhoda: Well, you know those girls in the commercials? They're always getting rid of their split ends and falling in love outdoors.
For those times you pat yourself on the back for knowing what does and does not an effective panacea make.
Mary: Oh, Rhoda, chocolate doesn’t solve anything.
Rhoda: No, Mare, cottage cheese solves nothing; chocolate can do it all!
For those times you are well aware the person puzzled you're still single probably secretly envies you, because at least you have less failure behind you.
Very vague acquaintance from high school: You're still unmarried? I've been married twice.
Rhoda: She liked it so much the first time!