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Hobo Johnson infamously (to me and my bff Mikey at least) says “She makes my Mondays feel like Fridays, She makes my Ruby Tuesdays take like Benihanas”. It’s become a phrase we've strived to achieve in our respected romances. Who doesn’t want the start of their week to feel like the party we’ve associated Friday with? Who doesn’t want every day to feel like their birthday?

It’s no secret that I’m a dater. I’m not a serial dater and by no means a serial monogamist. But I’ve enjoyed my fair share of drinks and shenanigans in New York City. And my content surrounding this topic always piques the interests of my prime demographic and outliers alike.

“How are you still single?” is the most common response to my thread of posts.

Shut up.

It's because there’s no red cup. There’s no looking at the figures. I’m single because I'll compromise but won't settle. However, unless you’ve known me (or my parents) since the dawn of time then you're probably a little confused. I’ll explain these ambiguous phrases:

Red Cup means showing up. It means being there, even if you’re not physically. It means putting your partner first. It’s the center of fun, flirting, care, and with the beauty of routine. It’s an act of service with a little gift-giving. Red Cup is and has always been my standard. But what’s the namesake? We've had the Red Cup (yeah, b*tch it’s a proper noun) in my parent’s cabinet for as long as I can remember. It’s a short glass, rounded at the center with a small divot in the bottom. It’s thick glass and lived a life. It’s the glass that my dad, after working a long day, would come home and make a cocktail for my mom. It wasn’t expected but it became a spark in the otherwise mundane. It is a gentle reminder of “I love you and I appreciate you” without words. Even now, when health isn’t at its peak and making the cocktail needs to be done in a smoothie mixer rather than a cocktail’s still done. Fridays at 5 PM, that cup has its usual New Amsterdam vodka and Newman's mango-flavored orange juice swirling inside. I love that d*mn cup and all I've made it stand for.

We've been told 1,000 times to expect nothing in my parent's will, but this cup? It's been in the Drop Dead Book under my name for years. It's the physical sentiment and nod to my parents' love; it's proof that there will be someone, without thought, giving a bid of affection on instinct. Bird Theory, get f*cked. The Red Cup Movement is the indicator to me.

I'm just shy of obsessed..and a huge portion of my willingness to stay single is attested to the Red Cup. I've had suitors give the same attention and affection but seldom in an unprompted tone. I've never had someone stay and keep the pattern after the honeymoon phase. I've been called a 'thoughtful salmon' a lot recently, and without the caller's knowledge, I've considered it a testament to the love my dad has shown my mom. I've observed how my dad has shown care and displayed my own takes to the only person who has unknowingly prompted me to want a little Red Cup of our own. But alas, my shelf and their shelf sit with zero.

"Looking at the Figures" is a code as well. It's about blending lifestyles and sorting the baggage that comes with falling for someone. Patricia and Tom had been dating for more than a handful of years without an engagement in sight. You'd think, like most couples, that my mom would drop hints. Or they'd get vulnerable and discuss their future before he got down on one knee. But my bloodline seems to stick-a-candle in tradition. Patricia, as she explains it, told him "sh*t or get off the pot" around the topic of marriage. And my dad's reply? "I have to look at the figures." He wasn't joking.

I've dreamed of many different versions of my hopeful wedding..but never of a proposal because this is the example that I knew - before my Instagram timeline became flooded with beach and overly-floral proposals. I've never expected a huge spectacle with a giant diamond ring. I've expected a difficult yet fruitful conversation that shows true vulnerability, compromise, a bit of humor, and a desire to commit.

Recently, I've reached a point where I've had to literally look at the figures. It's ironic, and unfamiliar to me, but comforting to walk in the same steps as my dad. I've had the "sh*t or get off the pot" conversation. And like my dad, the figures could work. I'm able to roll the dice and bet on myself, and what a relationship could become. Like my parents, I can and want to make a heavier choice for the sake of moving a relationship to the next stage. It doesn't guarantee financial security but I'm willing to pay the cost for romantic possibility. Does it put weight on shoulders? Oh for sure, but there is no reward without risk and there is no diamond without pressure. However, unlike my parents, my conversation did not end with the same, "Okay, so we're doing this" conclusion.

I'm single because of the Red Cup and the Figures. Sometimes they've got a blue cup or their figures are skating while yours are eights. It's not a fault of either party. I'm single because until recently, I had lost faith that someone could meet my chaos, accept my unapologetic sense of self, and was going to give the same 'thoughtful salmon' behavior that the Red Cup stands for. I had never considered the idea that I'd be the one looking at my own figures in a twist of history repeating itself. Unfortunately, and for Kate Middleton's current sake, history does not always repeat itself. I'm not walking away with my hand in another clammy palm.

Or maybe this is all false and it's just that the club can't handle me right now.

Regardless if the club can handle me or not, I'm not walking into it. I'm back to a dating pause. Hinge, you've won because your desire to be deleted has worked. You're off my phone. Will it work out for me? Yes. When? I don't know. However, I do know that I'm deserving of a Red Cup. I'm deserving of a one versus a zero. And that looking at my figures turned out to be more beneficial to my own character growth than expected; it has guided me to the next chapter of growth and "adult decision making" as Patricia would say.

Red Cup, I fill you up...if only for myself for now.

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