Every Single Day’s first foray into fiction.
Meet Sally. Sally wants to live in a little house by the sea. She wants a house and a husband and a dog, and when she steps outside she wants sea air to breathe. That’s what Sally wants, she doesn’t want less. She wants a house, a husband, a dog and she wants to smell the sea. That doesn’t sound like too much to ask, to me.
Sally agrees. She doesn’t think she wants too much. Sally thinks she wants something average, something everybody gets. A partner and a little house and a pet. Not too much. She lives her life and works at her job and pays her taxes and hosts book club every other Tuesday. She has friends and family and everyone loves Sally. Sally is easy to love. Because she’s a good person who is kind and thoughtful and smart and witty and she’s doing just fine, our Sally. Except Sally is single, so that’s what people see.
“Are you seeing someone, Sally?” That’s what they always say. Not, “How’s work” or “How’s book club?” or “Any plans for the weekend?” They see her single first; they don’t see Sally. Their questions and looks and pats on the arm all make Sally sad. They make Sally wonder if there’s something wrong with her. If there’s something wrong with not having the things she wants yet. There’s nothing wrong with Sally. But Sally is single, so that’s what people see. And all Sally wants is a husband and a dog and a house by sea.
Sally has always gone in order, and she wants to go in order now, because that’s the way everyone goes. She went to high school, then college, then work — in order. She wants to go in order now. She wants the husband and then the dog and then the house by the sea. That’s the order the world shows Sally, and that the order Sally wants. Sally doesn’t think she’s asking for too much. Everyone gets to go in order, why not Sally?
Sally is specific. She wants a German Shepherd. She thinks they look regal and sweet with giant happy ears and a boop-y nose. Sally wants a small house with a small backyard and a mailbox with a little flag on the side. She doesn’t really care what color the house is but light blue sounds nice. She wants big windows and a breakfast nook and a washer and dryer, of course.
Sally wants a specific husband, too. Sally wants a husband Sally wants.
Sally wants to love her husband. She wants to want her husband, too. She wants him to want her back. She wants to feel part of a team. Sally wants her person. She likes dark hair and light eyes but who cares, really? Someone smart would be grand, someone funny’s a must, and someone who loves doing the dishes, just for grins. (Sally hates doing the dishes, but she’ll gladly do the laundry in exchange.) Sally wants a husband, the right husband for Sally. She wants a husband who also wants her and a dog and a house by the sea. Sally doesn’t think she’s asking for too much. Sally thinks she’s asking for something average, something everybody gets. Sally knows everybody gets it. Sally has Instagram.
Everybody else got what Sally wants, but faster, so they say silly things to Sally.
“You’re getting old, Sally.”
“You didn’t try hard enough, Sally.”
“You didn’t do enough Sally.”
“We got what you want, but faster. So something's wrong, Sally. You’re single Sally, something’s wrong.”
So Sally listened to what they said. She did more, tried more, wore makeup, dyed her hair, went on apps, went on dates, she tried really hard, our Sally. She met a few people and did some fun things and it was good, Sally guessed. But Sally wanted more than good. Sally wanted her person, not a person. And Sally simply hadn’t met him yet. So then they said…
“Your standards are too high, Sally.”
“You’re too picky, Sally.”
“This one’s good enough, Sally.”
Good enough. That was new to Sally. Good enough felt a little bit good and a little bit sad. Sally didn’t know why good enough was what everyone wanted for Sally. They got more than good enough. They got what they wanted. But they got it faster. Sally was slower, so Sally should settle.
Sally thinks about settling. She’ll get things faster, if she settles. She’ll get a husband and a dog and a house by the sea. She’ll get them if she listens to what other people think is good enough for Sally.
Sally thinks about that: good enough for Sally. Good enough for Sally means less, less than what everyone else got. Why would anyone want something for Sally that was less than what they got? Why is something less enough for Sally? Sally never thought she was asking for too much. But things took time for Sally, so Sally should settle. Sally should settle for less than what she wants because what she wants didn’t come as fast as it did for everybody else.
Fuck. That. Sally.
Sally doesn’t want to settle. Sally doesn’t want less. Sally wants everything she wants, the way she wants it. The way she wants it doesn’t sound like too much to Sally. She wants her husband and her dog and her house by the sea. And she wants it to be as good as everyone else got, not less. Sally doesn’t want to settle, just because some things take more time for Sally. Sally thinks maybe it’s okay if some things take time.
Sally says no. Sally decides she won’t listen to people who got what they wanted, but faster. Sally decides it’s okay to go out of order. She’ll get what she wants in any order she likes. Sally won’t settle, because settling for less than Sally wants is asking too much of Sally.
Sally is single and she doesn’t want to settle. And now she has a mortgage and a house by the sea. Sally’s German Shepherd’s name is Shelly. Sally won’t settle, because Sally doesn’t deserve less. Sally knows she deserves everything she wants. Sally knows settling is just someone else’s schedule. And now life feels very good in her house by the sea.
Good job, Sally.