I'm out with two couples. It's actually the second time today that I've been the lone single girl hanging out with two couples, the proverbial fifth wheel. This time, we're at a pizza place, one of those make-your-own individual pie places where they fire it up specially for you in an 800-degree oven. It's time to order. I go last, and by the time the waitress comes around to me, I realize it: each couple has ordered a single individual-size pizza to share. Each couple will get its own pizza, and then there will be me, the single girl, overweight to boot, wallowing in an entire pizza with no one to share it with.
I'm not the kind of woman who needs to be a part of a couple but more and more I want to be that kind of woman; with every passing year I wish more and more that I had a sixth wheel to split my individual pizza with. But, for now at least, there is no sixth wheel. Or fourth wheel, or eighth wheel, or second wheel, depending on how many couples I'm with. I'm always an odd-numbered wheel.
I order the special on the waitress's recommendation – no bargaining, no substitutions, no compromise. Just going for it and taking what comes. Our pizzas arrive, and mine is beautiful. Delicious. Heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese. And, hey, I skipped lunch today. So I eat the whole thing myself and think: sometimes being single isn't so bad.