Why Leslie Jones’ “Dying Alone” Fear Is a Real Threat in The Age Of Non-Dating
And the supposed Black woman curse
Social media has been too much of a companion lately — and while I do enjoy the heightened engagements on Twitter and the enviably staged photo shoots on Instagram — you simply can’t beat the real thing when it stares you down.
SNL star Leslie Jones recently posted a message on Twitter that garnered a shitload of attention and responses from followers and celebrities — alike.
Wow. Yeah. So, after stumbling upon that tweet — there was nothing else to do but reassure Leslie that her physical and emotional wellbeing both deserve to be pampered accordingly — regardless of her single status — and to also thank her profusely for abandoning the security of filters by being refreshingly honest.
My notifications pretty much stayed lit throughout the day — until I couldn’t deal with the bombardment of approvals. I ended up deleting my words of wisdom— and promised never to make that mistake again.
Afterwards— I perused the scene and discovered that the common themes were basically to wait for God’s miracle to manifest:
And to keep hope alive — despite the overly-extended waiting period:
And of course there are countless references to her physical attributes — which in all honesty is neither here nor there — when you consider that “being beautiful” isn’t the main requirement for finding a life partner. If it were that clear cut — there wouldn’t be so many lovelies with dark complexions — binge-watching alone on a Sunday afternoon.
Jones’ deep confessions expectedly went viral within a matter of seconds — and of course reputable online publications seized the opportunity to make an already sensitive issue — even more gut-wretchedly uncomfortable with splatters of headlines like this one:
“Leslie Jones doesn’t want to die alone, and the internet kept her company” — Mashable
Based on the avalanche of attention — Jones finally addressed the traffic she had created by assuring everyone that she was aware of the fact that bad days come and go — and despite a temporary snag — she knows she’s not alone.
The truth is that my initial reaction to the original post was a tidal wave of relief that overwhelmed as I grasped how much we as Black women — tend to share the primal pangs of anxiety when it comes to finding the person who loves us more than we can imagine.
The plethora of research results and emotionally-wrought think pieces — seem to suggest that Black women are royally screwed when it comes to successfully nabbing a worthy suitor who will stick around long enough for the natural progression of things.
One essay in particular that was featured in Thought Catalog — a highly popular Millennial dashboard that caters mostly to a White audience — was quite troubling for many reasons.
Aside from the weirdness of it being showcased on a site that attracts readers who can’t relate to the online dating struggles of a young Black woman — there was also the righteous embarrassment of witnessing how Black women are constantly used as bait for the pleasure of gawkers who enjoy the notion of us squirming under the pressure of our celebrated predicament.
When Jones admits that at the age of fifty — she is forced to contemplate the inevitability of lifelong singledom — her fears go beyond just the heaviness of lifting weights for the muscle tone that won’t be caressed by a future companion. It’s a reality check that can hit you when you’re standing in line at the drugstore — and notice the packets of tampons that you’ve stopped purchasing with regularity.
The betrayal of the media and even by our own protectors that share the lie of how Black women are the least desired and therefore the least likely to settle down is the anthem that needs to be aggressively retired.
This current age of non-dating isn’t a “Black thing” or a “Black woman spell” — but rather a virus that is eating all of us alive — whether we feel it or not. The tools that were manifested to draw us closer have only managed to tear us further apart.
Basic human connection is a major challenge that produces trials — that at some point initiates the method of sabotage. There is a fickleness that permits very little investment that doesn’t prevent the years from flying by — as your status remains unchanged and your dreams for the warm body and bundle of joy — slowly but surely disappear in the dust of midnight clicks with strangers.
Very few of us can excitedly remember the last time we went for a walk with someone that made our hearts dance.
The crisis of being able to deeply fall with intensity of sight without the grip of a metal object will not be solvable and even when the surroundings are live — concentration is too low to pick up frequency.
So, in the end, I also have to admit that I’m frightened at the prospect of dying alone and childless — and that reality won’t fade away just because I’m owning its authenticity.
But, at least we’re not alone.