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From our Lifestyles Archives
My Spinisterish Tendency
Dannah Sylvia T. Rubio

In praise of the single life
It might be a case of a severe deficiency in estrogen or something worse – I may be (unbeknownst to everyone including myself) afflicted with a personality disorder that makes it impossible for me to conform to stereotypically female behavior. Either way, I have honestly never been quite as interested in those creatures of the opposite gender as the stereotypical female is.

For more than half of my life, I would occasionally make up illusory crushes just so I wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb from amongst my peers – all of whom had a ready reservoir of crushes to swoon on, successively or simultaneously as they saw fit. To this day, talk about guys does more than tax my patience and assault my senses – it lulls me to the deepest level of REM sleep that no amount of promethazine and dichloralphenazone could ever succeed in doing. And while some of my friends have "graduated" from comparing prospective beaus on the basis of looks to sifting the chaff from the grain on the basis of bank accounts (yes, some people can be that shallow), I’d rather be home alone reading about the Romanov dynasty of Russia or the Mughal dynasty of India (yes, I am a geek).

Having said that, I have to admit I am – and have been for quite some time -- head-over-heels insanely in love with two of the Westlife guys, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan. Much to my inconsolable heartbreak, however, there aren’t too many Mark and Shane look-alikes roaming my corner of the planet.

Levity aside, I am perfectly happy with the idea of staying blissfully unattached for all of eternity. I once revealed this spinsterish tendency of mine to one of my friends. She gave me a look that made me doubt if I was human or some ghostly apparition from outer space. Thereafter, I was treated to a harangue with the basic thesis statement "Never say never". Being the feignedly nice person that I am, I pretended to listen whence all the while wondering how long it’d take for her to tire of yakking her brains out. It took all of 1,800 seconds, and boy was I beside myself with joy when her passionate, pompous and argumentative tirade finally drew to a close.

The rest of the times I’ve divulged my predilection to lifelong singlehood, I’ve been greeted with either the annoying "I-know-something-that-you-don’t-know" chuckle, or the equally annoying "It’s-just-a-phase-It’ll-pass." chuckle. For the life of me, I fail to comprehend why everyone around me seems to take it as a mathematical "given" that one bright and sunny morning or one starry, starry night, if not in the near future then in the distant one, I shall walk down the aisle and nine months thereafter bear children "sprung from my loins". I also don’t understand why people don’t understand that that kind of future appeals to me just as much as a wrestling bout with a half-man, half-bull eater of human flesh does. Why, pray tell, must everybody be so dismissive of the possibility of a single life that is just as whole and complete as a married one? Let me put your apprehensions to rest. I am no man-hater. While there is a certain segment of the male population that I’d relish applauding being burned at the stake (rapists, adulterers, pedophiles, etc.), the men in my life (my dad, my grandpas on both sides of the family tree, all my male relatives, friends, teachers and professors, etc.) have been so very, very good to me, and for them I nurse nothing in my heart but the most deeply-felt fondness, affection, and gratitude.

It’s not that I fear men. (There are only two things in life that I fear: death and oral exams.) It’s not even that I mistrust them. (I happen to have unquestioning faith in the goodness of 95% of men 95% of the time.) Nor is it that I think they’re all beneath me. (I may be arrogant but I’m not that conceited.) It’s just that, knowing myself as much as I know the Philippine National Anthem, I am not at all cut out for the married life – not in this lifetime nor in the next.

You see, I’m not particularly fond of compromises, and marriage, built on mutual love, respect and fidelity though it may be, is also all about compromises. Consider the following hypothetical situations. Wife A wants to migrate to the Netherlands; Husband A wishes to stay in the Philippines. Wife B wants to donate a certain sum to her brother whose business enterprise is in shambles; Husband B deems such an unnecessary and wasteful expense. Wife C wants to accept a promotion that will mean a higher salary but lesser time spent with the family; Husband C objects to her acceptance of the promotion. In each of these situations, either the wife or the husband must give in; they cannot have it both ways. For someone like me who is used to having everything done her way, situations such as these are anathema and to be avoided at all costs.

And if you of the marrying kind don’t buy my reason for seriously entertaining the thought of staying single for life, I can live with that. For as long as you respect my fascination with the single life as much as I respect your attraction to the married one, that’s good enough for me.

Dannah Sylvia T. Rubio 2003

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