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Summer Lovin’

Picture it: PITTSBURGH, 2016. Three friends set out to have the best summer of their lives, while remaining single. They called it “Single Summer” and it was going to be glorious. But shortly after summer began those three friends failed because—did I mention they were lesbians? I’m one of them, and this is our story:

(All names were changed to protect the identity of those herein, except for mine.)

It was late spring of 2016 when Mag, Claire and I all found ourselves newly single. Aside from some occasional lingering heartache we were all welcoming our new relationship statuses.

Ok, so I wasn’t technically recently single like the others. I had been single for quite a while but I was dealing with a relationship that I created in my mind and it wasn’t working out, and everyone knows that’s more devastating than reality. Fake relationships lead to some of the longest breakups. So I was all for climbing aboard that Single Summer ship.

We gathered in my backyard at a place we called “the parlor,” poured wine and toasted to a summer filled with laughter and debauchery; devoid of feelings, emotions and attachments. Single Summer had begun.

The demise of Mag:

Mag fell off the wagon rather quickly. She had dinner with her friend Shelly one night shortly after we made our pact, and they ended up making out on her couch. She sent a group text the next morning and told us all about it. We nicknamed her friend Couch Shelly, and teased Mag like a bunch of fourth graders, but she assured us she was still single and ready to mingle for the summer.

It wasn’t long before we noticed Mag’s communication was becoming more infrequent and her responses shorter than usual. She had been spending a great deal of time with Couch Shelly. At that point, Claire and I looked at one another and said, “She’s a goner.” I could no longer feel the pulse of her single-girl heart. Mag was no longer with us.

The contemplation of Claire:

Claire was the most complex member of our group. Single summer was her idea and after orchestrating it and constructing a spin-the-bottle table for the parlor, she sort of bailed on the idea of acting single. Deep down she wanted to but realized she hadn’t been truly single in decades. So she took time for herself without the possibility of connecting with anyone beyond friendship. She feared not only losing herself, but getting close to someone else too quickly. Claire also feared oxytocin, most commonly known as the love hormone that’s released after sex—sex with women in particular. I like to refer to it as the moment a girl’s crazy leaks out. Tomayto, tomahto. Either way, Claire wasn’t ready for all of that. So she acted as if Single Summer was my idea and she planted a garden instead.

And then there was one:

I didn’t mind playing spin the bottle alone. Ok, another lie. I was the last woman standing and the only one who committed to the plan. That’s huge for a Sagittarius. I tried not only to meet someone, but also to meet many not-so-special someone’s. I’m not afraid of oxytocin. I’m more afraid of getting into a relationship and becoming that couple who posts on one another’s Facebook pages what could be sent privately in a text (You know who you are).

I had a love-hate relationship with relationships—much like my feelings toward iPhones. I keep trying to leave them, but they make the best emojis. And they tell me when to wake up. So, disappointed in my posse, I grew closer to my Netflix account, or as my therapist calls it, “gave up.”

As I await summer 2017 with all its possibilities, I can’t help but reflect upon the lessons that each of us gained this past year.

To trust again:

While Mag may have been the first to jump ship, she did so with bravery as she wasn’t accustomed to soft landings. She’s still very much in love with Couch Shelly. They’ve become a family. And I’ll never stop calling her by her nickname.

To trust oneself:

Claire seemed to be the flighty one, not even knowing the rules of her own game before backing out, but she listened to the voice within and planted more than just flowers last year. Claire proved to herself that she didn’t need anyone (*finger snap). She’s now ready for her next adventure.

To trust no one?:

I jest. I’ll be honest, I enjoy my alone time and my make-believe relationships, but underneath that all lies a desire for something very real. It’s just taken a long time and a lot of self-love to get there. We get by with a little help from our friends. But I’m still open if Julianne Moore calls.

Chrissy Costa is a local comedian known for her dry wit, satirical style of comedy, and big earrings. Before doing stand-up she studied sketch comedy at Chicago’s famed Second City. You can follow her on Instragram and Facebook. (She / Her / Hers)