Saturday, February 21, 2004

The Joy of Singlehood 

The Joy of Singlehood
Everybody’s looking for love, or as Eddie Murphy put it “dookin pa nub.” We have, in fact, become one nation dookin pa nub, and hell-bent on finding it, for as long as it shall last.
One of life’s more poetic sojourns now mocked by “reality” television programs. We watch a handsome gaggle of total strangers winnowed down two total strangers, who say “I do.” Then they make headlines the next week announcing that their romance has fizzled. Perhaps because once the cameras were turned off, their nub did too?

It’s great conversation for the water cooler, I’ll give you that. Entertainment news reporters can't get enough of the “man on the street” interview, wanting to know who you think s/he’ll pick and if you think s/he’s chosen the “right one.” And now all of America is on it, voting to determine whom this bride/groom-to-be stranded in Loserville shall become betrothed to, based on nothing more than sound bytes and how they look. So much for the self-righteous sector of America, we have indeed dug a deeper trench for ourselves. As for me, if I want to get all worked up about a romance that’s bound to go nowhere, I’ll post my profile online.

Ah, if only life were like the ski lift lines where, in an effort to expedite skiers to the top of the mountain by traveling in pairs, I’d yell “Single!” at every street corner. A spirited fella might join me in the journey across the street, where we’d probably chat about the weather or last night’s episode of “The Bachelor.” Could happen. At least it springs from something more organic than reality TV shows offer.

I just happen to think that relationships aren’t about the economy of travel. Nor do I think that my tax filing status needs to be remedied. In my opinion, there are essentially two kinds of marriages in this world: Those who marry right out of high school or, better yet, college, simply because it seems the logical flow of life. And those who wait to discover who they’ll be when they grow up and find a mate who’s a good complement to their well-honed life. When did I become a sport for the married people to play? “Find her a good man!” I picture my friends rifling through their palm pilots and church directories, trying to come up with my perfect match, perhaps then expecting Don Pardo to show them what they’ve won. In all honesty, the results of such well-intended efforts only deepen my bliss as a party-of-one.

I embrace my Singlehood as fully as I embrace my own life. If my value as a person rests solely on whether or not I’ve got the coveted golden band on my left hand, than I’m in deep shit. But if I live in a world where forming opinions counts at all, where the stamps in my passport represent more than restlessness, and knowing what I’ll be doing on any given weekend - without having to look to my husband for the answer - is at all okay, than perhaps I’m not totally off track here.

Oh sure, I’m envious of my friends who have a complete set of dishes, sturdy dressers in their bedrooms and a house, all courtesy of a first marriage. These are the things that slip down the priority list, in favor of travel and other self-indulgences.

Being single does have unexpected blessings, borne of what feels like pity, but I don’t mind so much. The florist, for example, who slips a few extra flowers in the bunch, handing them over with a longing look of compassion, hoping to brighten another day in my sorrowful Singledom. I’m glad for the fuller bouquet and nevermind the pity.

Then there are the unexpected daggers thrown directly at my single-hearted self.
Recently, the tailor’s assumption, when inquiring about the likelihood of getting a new lining sewn into my very ragged, very beloved velvet overcoat responds, “tsk-tsk, Better to have your rich husband buy you a new one.” There is no appropriate response. Better to find a tailor who’ll just give me the estimate.

There are any number of approaches to finding and keeping a mate I suppose. The one I most admire, for it’s sheer moxie and determination, is a friend who bitterly but sincerely quipped to her reckless mate, “I don’t care how much I hate you, I’m never breaking up with you!” I’m sure that sort of attitude will find her much success. Depending on how you define “success.”

But the way see it, I’m engaged to life itself. And while I do look forward to getting married and especially the day when my children ask me, “Mommy, what was the big deal with Y2K?” I’ll be responsible and whimsical while being asked all the questions about my barbaric, uninformed life pre-Internet. But until I’m there and they’re here, I’m happy living a life that is fulfilling and frivolous, in equal measure. And really, there’s a lot to be said for not having to share the clicker.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Sit On It! 

Hey ladies, haven’t you heard? There’s no need to hover and squat in order to piddle in the public toilets. And not one of you has perfected the posture, thereby always leaving a piddle puddle on the seat for the rest of us. Blame gravity for the inaccuracy of your pee stream, and probably the high-heels crippling your attempted stradle, made more impossible by the pantyhose and knickers around your knees while attempting this ill-fated act. Haven't you read all these studies lately? God love those civil-minded scientists who have actually swabbed seats, sent the samples to their labs, and found no harmful bacteria, grossteria or any other microbiotic cellular beasts. In fact, the toilet seats are actually cleaner than public transit handrails and drinking fountains! Yes, drinking fountains! Turns out, our hands are veritable petrie-dishes! So why are you stradle-peeing and leaving a mess for me? I understand you feel too delicate to come in contact with anonymous ass matter and feel disgusted at the thought of imaginary butt bacteria making contact with your clothing. But it’s time to be realistic and stop pissing me off! There is no "eww-factor" about it, except when I have to pee, enter a stall and find a piddle pool on top of the toilet seat. "Eww" is when I yank off a hefty wad of wafer-thin T.P. to wipe up after you and then realize that there’s none left for me to wipe with. So work with me and the rest of your bladder-bound sisters: get over yourselves, your image of a delicate woman who wouldn't be so crass as to actually rest her bottom on the spot where a bevy of other bottoms have sat, in order to relieve herself. Give it up, join the masses, the seats are clean. Right up until you piss on it.


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