Lifestyle writer and single mom Alyssa Shelasky is raising a two-year-old – and dating at the same time, just like Bridgette Bird in the new SHOWTIME comedy series, SMILF. Based on a Sundance award-winning short film, SMILF takes a hilarious and unabashedly honest look at the life of Bridgette, a twentysomething single mom from South Boston as she navigates dating, sex, and a career, all while raising a tiny human. SMILF is loosely based on the life of series creator Frankie Shaw.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes [insert artsy fourth grader/earthy camp crush] in the baby carriage …
Even when I was seven, I knew that shit was stupid.
Which is fortunate, because my story played out differently from any fairy-tale rhyme. Mine goes something like this: failed engagement, forbidden love, wrote a book, Italy, heartbreak, fibroids, sperm donor, miracles, salt bagels, magnificent baby, sold a TV show, Tinder, hot guy who could fix things, love, closeness, co-parenting, Eames chairs, cohabitation, frozen pizza, intimacy, tutus, everything.
I know. It's a lot. And that's exactly what I wanted out of life — a lot. I had a reckless heart, a wild soul, and an infinite passion for art and humanity and any boy with long hair, divorced parents, and inner depth. On my seventeenth birthday, I lost my virginity on a kibbutz with a complicated kid I had been madly in love with for years. It went on all night long, and I enjoyed every second of the experience. I've always attributed my healthy relationship with sex to that cosmic night.
And so it went. Off-the-charts chemistry with on-the-fringe men basically defined all my long-term relationships. I was comfortable with this construction. I savored the challenge of seducing, then taming, these artists and outlaws. And I loved the way they kissed.
Until I didn't.
Three years ago, I was in New York, recovering from what I swore would be my last bad breakup. This one was with a gritty Roman who had swept me away to Italy with the promise of, among other things, little Brooklyn-Roman bambinos. A year later, he decided his true calling was to ride motorcycles and live in India and not be with me. He wanted yurts and skirts and I wanted labor pains and lullabies, and suddenly our burning love was burned to the ground.
That's how it always ended.
Because despite my taste in such difficult men, I always wanted to be a mother. This has been my most defining truth in life. After the Roman, I was overwhelmingly ready. It felt dead wrong to wait for a man's permission to get pregnant. I was done with it all.
So I decided to pursue motherhood with every bone in my body and every buck in my bank account. I met with the most beautiful and affirming Single Moms by Choice; I read every book and blog on the donor decision.It felt thrilling and joyful and profoundly right.
The day I officially decided to move forward with the process — locked in the IUI appointment, narrowed down the donor — the Sexiest Man Alive (literally, People Magazine once named him this) flirted with me at a party. This was after I told him I'd been browsing sperm all day and that my "shop was closed" for a while. He asked for my number. I asked if he knew Colin Farrell.
Forgive the star-fuckery. I'm just trying to illustrate how the universe took care of me once I took control of my own destiny.
Famous Guy was the first of many lovely men to ask me out despite the fact that I was about to be, and then became, fully pregnant. Dating was hardly at the top of my priority list, but the dalliances were easy, fun, and feather-light, which was so refreshing after years of intense relationships.