Let’s say you have a hypothetical friend who, hypothetically speaking, is hypothetically going through heartbreak just before the holidays.
Perhaps that heartbreak is a result of the storied Turkey Drop, their partner’s accelerating MAGA politics, or a wishy-washy potential partner who avoided defining the relationship until they realized they were too cheap and unmotivated to buy your friend a present. Either way, there’s always a flood of newly minted singles throwing themselves at short-lived hits of dopamine just before the holidays, and this year, with the relationship-shredding effects of covid still playing out, it feels like an army of freshly minted singles might just be planning a Chrismukkah Coup. (I am…refusing to disclose whether this is autobiographical or not.)
The newly single women in your life are not doomed to a life of misery. Quite the contrary, actually: Studies have shown that single women in many cases earn more, live longer, and are generally happier than their married counterparts who have children. But no human with a beating heart can deny the obliterating blues that follow a breakup, and many of us (hypothetically!) feel the need to fashion those blues into an ironic and deeply personal identity performance as The Sad Girl.
Despite its gendered language, The Sad Girl is a vibe and aesthetic applicable to people of all genders that can serve as a lifeboat in times of heartbreak, despondency, or general misery. So if your newly single friend (totally not me you guys, so silly to keep suggesting that, I am just vaguely and generically miserable, like I suggested just now!) needs to lean in to sadness this holiday season, let them temporarily live out their manic pixie dream girl fantasies in peace. Don’t forget to tack on a cackle: Depressed girlies love self-deprecating humor, and for the love of SZA, don’t get them a fucking daily gratitude journal. Now, kindly follow the trail of Milk Bar wrappers right this way.