This is Gary. He’s my date tonight, and I plan to bring him to Tim and Kathy’s for Thanksgiving. He’s alright just the way he is. I don’t even think I’ll add water. Size is intimidating.
So, as I ponder the infinite aloneness of my life over the past couple months, I have to say it hasn’t been as bad as I feared. There is literally NO ONE in my life for the first time in a very long time. And so, aloneness is a relatively new and unusual sensation. One that I am trying to get to know, so to speak.
I decided to embrace my single life and get to know it just as I would a new guy. Only this time, no need to worry about shaving my legs, waxing my eyebrows, or wearing anything remotely alluring, save my Cheetah undies which, I still find hard to believe were so under appreciated.
I have to dig deep to figure out what single women “do.” I haven’t been truly single since before my marriage (1996). And at forty, going out to Shampoo or Transit Nightclub is not really an option unless I’m looking for a twenty-year-old with a fake I.D. and a pocket full of MDMA.
Hey kids, meet Curtis. Mommy picked him up last night at the club.
Not gonna happen.
My first stop was the bookstore. Might as well get in all those books I blew off the past few years. And aside from books that personally interest me, I think, let’s buy something on being single. Bad choice. I find, “Better Single Than Sorry” and “The Single Girl’s Manifesta,” both of which are pink. Then there’s “Flying Solo” (also pink) and “Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent.” Why these books all have pink covers with hot girls carrying shopping bags around is a mystery to me– As if pink and shopping were icons of singledom. What about fat, ugly girls that are single? Ones that only wear black or can’t afford to buy things other than baby clothes at the Good Will because their baby daddy is a dead-beat? Where are the books about being single for them?
Then I decided to watch re-runs of Sex in the City as well as the Sex in the City movie. Corny as hell, and yet, I couldn’t help but wonder how many lives have been changed due to the fact that those girls make being single look so appealing and fashionable (Oh! Ok…now I get why single and shopping go together…I merely have to remember Carrie and her Manolo Blahniks). Thing is, those bitches don’t DO anything but BE single. They meet and talk about men that they’re not dating. They go to parties, shop and redecorate their apartments. Surely there’s more to being single than writing a column about it!
So let’s see…what’s left? Books, DVD rentals…? According to the rules of western society, right about now I should be heading to a museum.
And that’s it. Those are my options. Books. Watching old movies. Going to a museum.
Well, fuck that.
How about writing. Raking leaves. Rock climbing. Running. Masturbating. Painting. Volunteer work. Charity. Meditation. Cycling. Going back to grad school. Road trips with the kids. Getting back to the lit mag. Submitting my short stories to lit mags. Drinking Spanish wine. And laughing. Laughing over dumb shit like Gary. Who, by the way, “never looks at your credit card bills…”
I definitely think the image of being a single woman needs to be expanded to include more than the picture of a rundown chick, curled up on her sofa in ugly PJs watching some dumbass love story in black and white. Yet, I don’t believe it should go to the opposite extreme where single girls are all portrayed as Stepford Wives (before they married, of course), toting around pink shopping bags. Haven’t we advanced enough to change those dull, extremist, unrealistic stereotypes? I mean, heck. Sarah Palin almost became vice-president.
Hm. And on that scary note. Maybe it’s best we wait a little longer for true progress….
At any rate, I’m the type of person that meets people relatively easily. I’m friendly, outgoing, cute and all that other fun stuff that makes it easy to meet guys. Thing is, I might never be single again. This might be my one shot. I might never know what it’s like to really dig being totally selfish, doing my own thing or having the solitude and peace that comes with true and deep aloneness.
Relationships place demands upon people. And it’s not that I can’t make sacrifices or don’t particularly like demands. I’m ok with those things. I inherently like being part of a couple. Despite oftentimes losing myself in the act of coupling, which sometimes takes a lot out of me (As I’m sure it does everyone). Thing is, the old, outmoded idea of clinging to a man or depending on one seems to me now (at this point in my life) horribly unappealing that I find more value in waiting than dashing into something just for the sake of not being alone.
Anyway…all my pondering led me to realize that there’s nothing more I should be doing than what I am already doing. And that what I’m doing ain’t so bad. Even if it means not going to museums or buying up half the King of Prussia mall, or bringing Gary to dinner tonight. And speaking of Gary…despite the fact that “he’s polite” and “never chews with his mouth open” he is pink.
Oh well. I may simply have to overlook certain things.