can die if he doesnt get any'
Ive just come back from an out of town wedding. Hes my oldest
friend, shes a lovely girl and I had an excellent time, but there
was one downside: I was about the only person there without a spouse or
fiancé or live-in significant other. Not that many years ago Id
have been among the majority there in that respect, family members maybe
not included, and it would have been like one big singles mixer.
This time I stood out like a sore thumb; sitting with people talking about
their kids, dancing with women whose husbands or boyfriends were too tuckered
out to keep up with them, and gritting my teeth as person after person,
close friends and virtual strangers alike, told me one version or another
of the big lie, the one Ive been hearing most of my adult life,
"Colin, theres a woman out there for you."
On the scale of big lies this one is right up there with "The check
is in the mail", "Size doesnt really matter" and
"A guy can die if he doesnt get any." Well, folks, Ill
wait a couple of days for the post office, and Ill take the rolled
up socks out of my boxers, and I guess Ill have to make out a will,
but there is not a woman out there for me.
Dont get me wrong: I like women. Im a normal, healthy, straight
male who would be thrilled to be in a stable, committed relationship.
But thats just not going to happen. Im single, always have
been single and always will be single. Call it fate or destiny or self-fulfilling
prophecy if you like, I believe that its just my lot in life. I
dont know if its nature or nurture, wiring or programming,
and I dont really care. Its just the way I am. Its one
of those grown up truths Ive come to accept over time, much like
Ive come to accept that Im never going to have super powers
or inherit billions of dollars from a long lost uncle. And while Id
still like to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or buy
a Caribbean island, most of you would likely think I was a complete fool
if I went around being depressed about those things. Or worse than a fool
if I exposed myself to radioactive materials or racked up mountains of
debt waiting for them to happen.
So why is it that when I tell people that Ive resigned myself to
being a life long bachelor they feel compelled to repeat the big lie?
Its not like Im miserable being single. Even some of the people
who tell the big lie will admit to me in the same breath that Ive
got it good. Im not tied down. I can come and go as I please. I
can walk around my apartment in my underwear and belch with impunity.
I can follow my passions with a freedom that none of my married or seriously
involved friends could ever hope for. Im a fairly happy guy these
days, and no tiny part of that happiness comes from the fact that Ive
managed to accept my bachelorhood as a permanent condition. I used to
be stressed out by being single, by the pressures people and society put
on me to be part of a couple. These days that stress isnt there.
Until somebody tells me the big lie, and then I get to thinking.
You see, I have hands. And theyre pretty good hands, what with the
and the manual dexterity and all that good stuff. I like my hands and
Im satisfied with them, but birds have wings, and they can fly with
their wings. I like my hands and I like what I can do with my hands, and
Id never actually trade them for wings, but sometimes I find myself
watching birds and wishing I could fly. And sometimes when people tell
me the big lie, especially when its people I love and trust, people
whove known me for years, sometimes I believe them for just a little
Ive admitted that Id be thrilled to be in a romantic relationship.
I dont know if Shakespeare was right about loving and losing, but
I dont think finding out would be the end of the world for me. I
said that Ive accepted being single and Im happier for having
accepted it, not that Im happy about being single. Most of the time
thats not an issue. Yes I occasionally falter: I meet a woman who
completely fascinates me and I start to consider the possibilities until,
for whatever reason, nothing happens. Its not a big deal, and I
can count the number of times its happened in the last decade on
the fingers of both hands with a Bronx salute or two to spare. I get over
it. But when I start to believe people who are telling me that theres
someone out there for me, that some womans going to snatch me up
and make my head spin or some other version of this lie, it does not help
me. In fact it generally makes me pretty damned miserable for a while,
until I remind myself that it is a lie and that I will always be single
and thats no bad thing.
I understand why people tell me the big lie. I understand that my friend
the groom wants me to be as happy as he is. I understand that my parents
want grandkids. I understand that my ever shrinking pool of single friends
may see my acceptance of being single as a threat to their own potential
to find a life mate. And I understand that people who dont really
know me think theyre doing me a kindness by being encouraging. But
except for that last group, who Im generally able to ignore with
ease, these people should know better. I tell them how I feel and still
they persist. I roll my eyes and they think Im kidding. Im
writing this knowing that many of them will read it, and I have absolutely
no doubt that it just wont sink in.
And Im not the only person on the planet to feel this way, folks.
If you know any single people then you most likely know someone who feels
the same way I feel. We dont want you to pity us. We dont
want you to set us up with your co-workers cousins hairdresser.
And we dont want you to be trying constantly to encourage us or
cheer us up. What we want is for you to stop lying to us. Even if you
dont think its a lie, even if you truly believe that were
going to meet our true love right around the corner, just keep it to yourselves,
thank you. We dont need to hear it.
© Colin Hasslett September 2002
Wish I Were an Asshole
Or Damn my Parents for Raising me Right Anyway
Angry Young Man or Bitter Old Fart in Training?
Ive been the kind of person who walks around wanting to punch those
shiny, happy people right in the pie hole and then ask them what theyre
so bloody cheery about.'
© 'Mr Nice Guy' Colin Haslett - 2002
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