The People vs. The Problem with Being Single

This morning I forgot to brush my teeth before I left the house.  How does that happen?  It’s fairly simple.  I woke up.  I headed straight to the bathroom, reached in the cabinet, grabbed the mouthwash and swished.  Spinach dip, calamari and red wine the night before will do that to you.  I jumped in the shower and got dressed, grabbed my things and headed out the door.  Oh yeah, I fed the cats, cleaned the kitty litter, and unpacked my gym bag too.  You startin to get the picture?  It wasn’t until I was halfway to work that I ran my tongue across my teeth and cringed.  I made a quick pit stop at the drugstore en route and purchased a travel toothbrush and toothpaste to rectify the problem.  I am guilty of rushing.  I may even be guilty of not-flossing as often as I should.  But, I try my darndest not to be guilty of apathy or neglect.  Once I recognize a problem and have the means to correct said problem, i.e. funds to purchase aforementioned oral hygiene supplies, I do it.  I know plenty of people who would have complained about their fuzzy teeth situation, told a few other people about it, swore an oath never to forget brushing again, and just gone about their day wishing the foul breath away.  Maybe that’s you.  (No finger-pointing.  It’s not allowed here.)  I happen to know a few people exactly like that.  I’m just not one of them.  I like answers.  I like solutions.  I like to fix stuff when I recognize it needs fixin.  That’s probably what bugs me the most about this marriage thing and what has led me to my present state of mind.  I’ve always wanted a meaningful, monogamous relationship.  I think it would be great to be part of a wonderful union such as this.  My current state of extended singleness (You like that?)  leads me to believe that I am someone who may possibly have a few relationship issues that need fixin.  And all the exes said, “Amen.” 

Let me clarify for the feminists up-in-arms.  “I” am not broken and “I” do not need fixin.  I am perfectly happy growing, learning, and loving each day the person I am and am becoming.  Nuff said?  Cool.  Moving On – as we say on set.  It’s this relationship thing that’s got me a bit twisted.  IT or my attitude toward it is what I think needs fixin.  My simple fix?  I don’t have one.  Get one, you say?  Easier said than done.

When I am about the business of problem-solving (which BTW is “A-number one” on my resume – me – great problem solver – insert :::beaming smile:::) I usually (A) try to identify certain attributes unique to the situation or challenge that may give me insight as to the type of challenge I’m dealing with; (B) think about what has worked before and how it can be applied to the present; (C) consider all my resources; and (D) think about the possible outcome or consequences.  Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Superior Relationship Court is now in session.  The Honorable Me – or dishonorable if you count that trip to Cancun – presiding.  YES, I get to be the judge.  It’s my blog!  “The People vs. The Problem with Being Single” state your case.  [Exhibit A: Certain attributes unique to the challenge of relationships.]  I think people are crazy.  Myself included.  I think people are complicated.  I think just when you have people mastered, they smack it up, flip it and rub it down, changing your entire impression of them, breaking up a perfectly good boy band and requiring lots of lotion or water based lubricant to gain any understanding of what their true intentions may have been.  Conversely, I think people are wonderful creatures just waiting to amaze us and make us love them for all the reasons we knew we did in the first place.  I think there are people who are genuinely good who want to share positivity  and happiness with everyone they encounter.  None of these attributes negate each other.  They actually (and often do) CO-EXIST which is all the more baffling to me.  When it comes to relationships, conflicting principles make for extremely rocky waters.  Throw two people with opposite ideologies in the mix and you’ve got yourself endless nights of discussions concerning the Milky Way or why your momma won’t stay out of our business.  I’m just sayin.  {Exhibit B: Defer to prior successful solutions.] This can’t possibly be applicable here.  If what worked before was still working I wouldn’t be explicating the state of my singleness.  It’s safe to say I don’t know what works – for me.  However, allow me to expound on what I have observed works for other people.  Stroking the ego of the opposite sex to the point of exhaustion.  Turning a blind eye to the folly of your mate even when the risk of disease, embarrassment or harassment from a scorned, adulterous, lover lays waiting at every un-protected turn.  Sexless, loveless, roommate-esque cohabitation.  Excuse making.  Indentured servitude. (Well, what else would you call it?)  And my absolute favorite in a facetious world: Flat out denial.  These seem to work for some people.  However, I am not willing to apply any of these supposed solutions to the challenge at hand.  Thus, my single status.  [Exhibit C: Limited resources.]  I’ve tried gyms, bars, grocery stores, networking events, fix-ups, online dating, and hailing strangers on Hollywood Blvd.  Well, everything except that last one.  I still have my dignity.  [Exhibit D: Examining the possible outcome or consequences.]  Although this is the last exhibit, it is certainly not the least and has been the foremost on my mind as of late.  What’s the worst that could possibly happen?  Spending the rest of my life unmarried?  Having my best friend escort me to the award show?  Listing myself as sole purchaser on the beachfront property in Brazil?  No matter how I view the end result there’s nothing that seems so dark or dim about being single that frightens me to the point of running to the altar with some fool who won’t drive 25 miles to see me on a FIRST date.  As my mother would say, “There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely.”  I’m not lonely.  Sometimes I may get a little lonely.  But, I don’t suspect it’s any more than married people.  Besides, I know men and women inside of relationships who are lonelier than me.  I wouldn’t trade places with them for anything. (See earlier post – Greener Grass http://wp.me/pCt83-21)

The truth is there is no apparent solution because singleness isn’t a problem, at least not in my court of opinion.  If it were I would constantly view myself as “flawed” or someone who needs “fixin.”  I hope I don’t portray myself as such.  I definitely hope my friends and family don’t view me that way.  If they do, they haven’t been very diligent about setting up potential award show escorts who look dashing in a European made tuxedo!  In all seriousness, I’ve learned to view relationships as a positive addition to my life rather than a necessity.  That was huge.  I hope you caught that.  It wasn’t always that way.  Once upon a time, I thought if I didn’t get married I would be viewed as a social pariah.  I thought it was somehow reflective of my worthiness-to-mate like a lame lioness ostracized in the animal kingdom. (I have absolutely no idea why I typed that analogy.)  Once upon a time, it took time, circumstances, many learnings, growth and wisdom for me to realize my true worth.  Today, it takes courage to say, “No, thank you,” to bullshit and know that someone who recognizes your value is just around the bend.  Tomorrow, it will take a little bit of serendipity to meet the man of my dreams here on earth.  In that magical moment, it is my prayer we both recognize the addition we bring to each other’s lives and decide we want to be together.  If not, I will neatly tuck him in the pond of my relationship experiences and continue to fish in the ocean of life while happily single.

Persnickety Self Adjustment: When something needs fixin, it could be your point of view.


8 comments on “The People vs. The Problem with Being Single

  1. “Recognize the addition that we bring to each other lives and decide we want to be together” That’s it! When a couple can grasp this concept, the deal is sealed…

  2. Itiswhatitis….but you gotta brush your teeth:)

  3. I like this a lot. There is no problem with being single, because I know far too many beautiful, educated, black female professionals in their 30s and 40s for whom the single life is choice, not some measure of society’s view of their desirability or worth. My single friends enjoy a multitude of spontaneous pleasures that are gone from my life until my 4yo is self-sufficient, or she finally gives me a stroke– whatever comes first. All journeys in life yield their own unique gifts, and all these gifts are good.

    • Thank you, Rhonda! I know many of those women as well. Whatever state you find yourself in – single or married – be happy! Thanks so much for taking time to comment. xoxo

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