Singular, Not Plural

lonliness_tm.jpg

Well, as if Hallmark wasn’t raking in the dough with specialty cards for the weirdest things, such as “Gravel Pit Appreciation Day” and the always popular, “Smile! You could be in Darfur!” money holder, I just find out that this week is “Singles Week”.

And yes, I’m sure there are cards for the occasion.

What is “Single’s Week” all about anyway???

I guess if any one of America’s 28-million single adults exits his/her recently moved into the “I’m-newly-separated” apartment this week and sees his or her shadow, it’ll mean six more weeks of that vile Ben Affleck celluloid snooze fest, “Forces of Nature” playing round the clock on one of the Cinemaxes.

So, the yeahoos at Yahoo have commemorated the week by publishing ten reasons why “IT’S GREAT TO BE SINGLE”.

1. You can make last minute plans and stay out all night.

2. You can lie on both sides of your bed and have all the covers to yourself.

3. You can flirt without someone saying, “Who are you looking at?”

4. You can make your own decisions.

5. You don’t have to remember your significant other’s birthday.

6. You have no one to clean up after.

7. You can leave the toilet seat up or down (your gender will determine the direction)

8. You do what you want, when you want.

9. You can listen to your favorite radio station in the car–and sing along as loudly as you want to.

10. You can actually hold on to the remote control.

A little lame? Sure. Simple? Completely, but also fairly accurate. Most of these hit the single nail on the head.

Therefore, the person who disagrees with this list must be wrong. That means he or she drinks lukewarm grape Ne-Hi soda while eating nasty egg salad sandwiches AND collects framed K-Mart posters of ducks in blue gingham bonnets and considers it high art.

REALITY CHECK: Of course, there are advantages to being single. There are pluses to being married. There are also downsides to both. It’s all a matter of perspective.

I’ve never been married and haven’t been involved in a real, committed relationship for almost five years now. I’ve convinced myself that I ‘needed’ this emotional down time and in a way, I have needed it. And in another way, I’ve used it. I have to admit that I’ve used it to deflect the possibility of another relationship. That not only keeps others out, but can keep you in. When it comes to what motivates us, fear can often play a role larger and more pivotal than pain.

More on those emotional maladies in another post.

Suffice it to say that I AM OK.

Yes, there are times when I feel “awkwardly single”. That sentiment usually coincides with the major holidays when one is automatically rendered insignificant brine shrimp in a sea of paired up langostino. It doesn’t matter that most of the Hims and Hers who comprise the coupledom surrounding you are completely miserable and the concept of marriage bores them both to the point of voting for Kucinich.

That doesn’t matter in the least.

This is how it is on Planet Laurie: you can be alone and not be lonely. And at the same time, you can be in a relationship with someone sitting less than 10-feet from you and at that moment, experience more gut wrenching isolation than you ever have in your life.

I think one of the first lines of defense in combating this, is learning to be OK in your own skin; we must be content with being alone and when appropriate, we must be able to fulfill our own wants and needs–this applies to everyone, single and otherwise. We’re responsible for our own happiness. The minute you hand over the reigns of your life to someone else, you’ve lost the game. Never do that.

There’s nothing wrong with a little solitude. It’s educational…IF you allow it to be. You can learn an amazing amount about yourself; such as realizing strengths you never knew you had.

This might seem odd, but I have no problem going to a movie by myself or going to dinner all alone. And no, I’m not talking about the drive through at the Burger Czar— -I’m talking about dining at a nice, white linen napkin kind of establishment.

Some people seem to find that off putting. I get the weirdest looks from other diners while when I walk into a restaurant on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. It’s a furrowed brow and raised eyebrow’s worth of sympathy, pity and a little suspicion.

The fact of the matter is, I don’t mind being alone with myself. I’m OK with being Laurie; being with me. Sure, I’m a lousy kisser and rarely put out, but I’m an alright date. The best part about this is that I’ve evolved into this woman. I wasn’t always this content to be by myself. But I now like me more than I ever have. I’m perfect company. And while I don’t prefer my solitude, I want to hammer home the point that I’m OK with it. Everyone should be.

Nothing is sadder and more pathetic than the desperate co-dependent. This is the person who deems her own reflection to be the enemy. Tragic.

As a single person, yes, it’s true— I have certain freedoms my married or invovled counterparts don’t have. I have me as my sole responsibility. My decisions are my own. And furthermore, I have things in my house just the way I like them. I buy my favorite food; my favorite drinks and consume them where and when I want and as much as I want.

I can take my time in the shower and use up all the hot water.

But my married/involved counterparts have one thing I don’t have— someone to scrub my back in the tub.

Ah, sweet misery of Life.

We want what we can’t have and sometimes we have what we don’t want.

Well then, I guess this must mean I disagree with the Yahoo list. Oh damn the dreaded aquiescence!!!

If you’ll excuse me, I must go now.

I have K-MART art to hang, a Ne-Hi Grape Soda to chug back and I gotta eat a nasty egg salad sandwich which I know I’ll eventually throw up.

 

17 comments

  1. Yeah, good way of putting that. However, my experience has always been “when it rains, it pours,” so if nothing else, I have hope for an adulterous future. (j/k)

  2. Ewww to grape anything…burp. If I’m sitting alone in five years THEN I may buy a case of Grape soda. Til then I’ll hold onto hope.

  3. LOVE YOUR BLOG! I added you to my blog roll and subscribed… look forward to more! My thoughts on this one: Correct-a-mundo! Being single does NOT mean alone! (It’s my mantra actually). I was married for 12 years, separated for 2 – had given everything to my marriage… and when that was over, I decided to live life to the fullest. NO SACRIFICES. You know what? I did. BEING SINGLE IS GREAT, as long as you realize some other person will not satisfy your needs the way you think.. that you must be tough on yourself whenever necessary to become who YOU SHOULD BE… and you’ll attract someone just as great. Someone that deserves YOU and all the blood, sweat and tears it took to get there.

    You know what? I eventually met a man (who I now live with), and I still don’t have to make sacrifices. Compromises, yet – at times – but only with love and trust and a partnership… So it’s possible to he happy as a single person AND as a couple. It’s all up to YOU!! Enjoy the journey!

  4. I’ve recently started a “new” relationship AND decided to start blogging about it. I’d enjoy your perspective if you have a chance.

    As for your post. Life is about compromise and your post illustrates it perfectly. Some say choose the lesser of two evils. I say choose the best of 2 goods. It is good to be single, but it’s also good to be in a relationship. Both have upsides, both have downsides… but both are a choice.

    Grape Ne-Hi, yuck.

  5. Good to know that there’s someone else out there who can go out to dinner or a movie alone and not be wierded out by it.

    My wife’s class schedule is such that we rarely get to see eachother during the week, so if I dont’ feel like cooking for one, I’ll go someplace nice by myself. I always get the impression that the staff thinks I’m some sort of food critic (since I usually bring something to doodle on/with), so the service and food are always excellent. However, I think those sitting around me feel sorry for me though, but that could just be because I carry on an audible conversation with my invisible dinner date. Next time I’ll ask.

    Another good set of observations, LK.

    Cheers.

  6. “when one is automatically rendered insignificant brine shrimp in a sea of coupled up langostino.”

    That there’s good ritin

    Loved this article. Good for you.

  7. I have done both, now it is time for me. You are so right, I was married for 15 years and (today would had been my 26th wedding anniversary), I have learn to be single again. It has been another adjustment, but, I’m now happy with it. Grant you, someday I would like to find that perfect mate (maybe not so perfect) but, it will come when the time is right. So, right now I having fun and I get to shop to I drop! Isn’t that so neat? And grape soda is down the drain and maybe I’ll eat another egg-sandwich, but on toast! Great story, Lauire, you always have the right words!

  8. When is “Gravel Pit Appreciation Day? These guys do so much for us and I think we should “go the extra mile” to honour them. Had not realised that it was “Singles Week”. As a spinster like yourself (I hope the term does not offend you, but I will understand if you chastise me) I feel a great empathy with what you have written and would like to comment further when my current sherry haze has worn off.

    My Dear British Friend,

    I am so honoured (your way of spelling) that you’d colour (your way again) my blog with your presence that I don’t care what you call me. Spinster is fine. Filthy whore…whatever. As for the sherry, you’re seven hours ahead of me over there in the You Kay, so you drink to your heart’s content. I’ll join you soon in hoisting a cordial.

    In your honor tonight dear Martyne, I’m going to boil some meat and slather gravy on it.

    Cheers!

    LK

  9. Between both parties this year, it’d be a many-cheeked ass.


    Your comments FFE, are always so, so….
    interesting. Sometimes, I wonder how you derive them.

    Personally, I like Obama this year, I tend to lean more Conservative in my politics but in ’08, I’ll probably lean towards the Dems. I’m quite impressed with Barrack at this juncture . I like his youth and political “newness”. He seems unsullied by all the Beltway bullshit. Hillary? Can’t stand her. Kucinich? Seems weak in all aspects. Edwards? Never . Guiliani? Sorry, but I feel that a man’s private life IS reflective if how he’d act in public office. He completely lacks integrity in my eyes. Tancredo? Like his stance on the border but it stops there. Romney? An emphatic no. Fred could be the only thing that would come in between me and my vote for Obama. The jury is still out.

  10. Historian by training and former journalist by profession – it’s a dangerous, cynical mix.

    I live for the paradox – Bill Clinton was the best Republican president since Eisenhower and Shrub is the worst Democrat president since . . . well . . . . maybe Kennedy.

    And, except for the fact he was a lying, sociopath, anti-all ethnicities, paranoid, para-fascist, hirsute reptile, Nixon was a pretty decent foreign affairs president with actually a few domestic policy coups to his credit. Of course, those successes stemmed from the fact he was a lying, sociopath, anti-all ethnicities, paranoid, para-fascist, hirsute reptile.

    Obama might have some hope to him, but like you said – the rest on both sides are marginal to repellent. And, after having observed Fred Thompson for two decades (he’s from my next-door neighbor state), the only substantive thing I’ve ever heard come out of his mouth was during his brief appearance in “Hunt for Red October”:

    “The Russians don’t take a dump, son, without a plan.”

    I need more caffeine in the morning . . . .

  11. “I think one of the first lines of defense in combating this, is learning to be OK in your own skin; we must be content with being alone and when appropriate, we must be able to fulfill our own wants and needs–this applies to everyone, single and otherwise. We’re responsible for our own happiness. The minute you hand over the reigns of your life to someone else, you’ve lost the game. Never do that.”

    I love this … married or not, as you pointed out, this applies.

    I love your writing too. I don’t get to it as much as I should but always enjoy it. It flatters me that you would read my humble blog 🙂

  12. Kennedy’s assassination made the disenfranchised of the mid 60’s regard him as the martyr he wasn’t.

    I can’t stand Clinton, not only because he was/is a prevaricating slime ball, but because he signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and in doing so literally destroyed radio. Odd that a Democratic president signed legislation into law that gave way to the diessemination of arch conservative radio as owned by Clear Channel…Cumulus,etc.

    So many people lost jobs the second the ink dried on that piece of paper. It’s tragic what has happened.

    Rush Limbaugh and Hannity should thank their lucky stars that Clinton was so ill advised on that one.

  13. Sorry I’ve taken so long to get back to you Laurie, but my mother was taken into hospital yesterday. Nothing serious, but a necessary distraction. I am extemely flattered by your comments. I have to say that the feeling is entirely mutual. As C Montgomery Burns might say, I like the cut of your jib lady. At times you are hilarious and at others you give us an interesting insite into your thoughts and emotions. I try to do the same in my own simple way. Plus you have given me an inspiration for a future post. Coming soon to a blog near you. Thanks for making an old(ish) lady very, very happy.

  14. I’ve always been comfortable with going somewhere like the movies by myself. Of course, those around me aren’t too comfortable and I refuse to believe it has anything to do with where my hands are or why I’m moaning.

    What are they paying those people at Yahoo for; this list sucked. And be warned, I sing as loudly as I want to in any car.

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