Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, ...
Credit: Everett Collection

So last night, I decided to watch When Harry Met Sally… because it’d been too long since I’d seen the Mr. Zero scene. (Billy Crystal and Bruno Kirby doing the wave while discussing Harry’s divorce is cinematic perfection, is it not?) When I got to the part of the film where Sally (Meg Ryan) freaks out because her ex-boyfriend is getting married, I had the surreal experience of realizing that I am now the same age as Sally.

Sally: And I’m gonna be 40.
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday.
Harry: In eight years.
Sally: But it’s there. It’s just sitting there like this big dead end. And it’s not the same for men. Charlie Chaplin had babies when he was 73.
Harry: Yeah, but he was too old to pick ’em up.

I don’t want this to be a pity-the-single-girl post, but as I find myself suddenly aware of what it means to be single in your early 30s (and deciding exactly how wrong it’d be for me to ask my sister, a divorce lawyer, to keep an eye out for a male client who has a civil relationship with his ex and a child who plays tee ball), I think it’s a good time to ask which films and TV shows give singletons hope and which ones give us panic attacks. I’ll admit that this is the first season that I’ve watched The Bachelor and felt a ping of fear: Are things that bad out there that women will sharpen their claws anytime a decent prospect appears?

Your turn.

addCredit(“Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan: Everett Collection “)