I like being single, I’m always there when I need me. ~ Art Leo
I can’t quite put my finger on it, I was stuck on up in my own head, as I am oft to be, walking quickly through the city park by where I work, taking a much needed break from work. Just random thinking I suppose; or perhaps it’s the murky tides of angst and indecision that occur when seas change and you know you feel some “thing,” but you are unsure what “it” is. A Second Life friend is marrying Saturday, but unfortunately I had to RSVP a “can’t attend” because I’ve another wedding to go to, three the next three weekends to be exact. But the one Saturday, one of my posse is marrying, and not for the first time, but the second. I kind of admire her optimism, I’m not sure I would be able to summon enough strength to run through that rodeo twice. Our culture is so odd to me. I kind of have the feeling men look at marriage as proving their love by sacrificing their manhood, they give up sharing their “utility” with other women. For women on the other hand, giving up sex with others to only have it with one man isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a culmination of some princess dream they have acted, reenacted and dreamt of their entire lives.
Gown: Desir, Charlotte **NEW** . LM
But curious as to the ambivalence I was feeling, when I returned to my desk I googled “weddings and being single” to see if I could figure out what I feel. Unfortunately one of the articles that came up said I was single because I’m a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish, or not good enough. Yep, she went there. And no, it didn’t make me angry, I seldom become so, nor would I take the word of a thrice divorced person as the know all of how to be married, if anything I believe perhaps her standards are set too low because if you think about it, she’s had as many sexual partners as me, she just married and discarded them which to me seems a lesson in futility, or at the last, social wastefulness. Getting married is the easy part, STAYING married now that’s the davil in the details. But as I thought about it, I knew I needed to qualify my single-ness, if not for myself, then for the other women of a certain age who happen to find themselves in this light, because I’m not one of this authors labels. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure I can be the first and possibly the 5th on occasion, but I’d say it’s rare at best and typically when I am hungry or tired.
So my answer to her is, and it’s the take from. There are no set labels that encompass any class of people and shame on you for trying to do so. Sometimes, women are single because life happens. Sometimes women have confusing childhoods marred by their shyness of character and oddness of intelligence. Sometimes a woman’s first relationship is controlled by an emotionally abusive man, who manipulates and isolates her enough that when she is finally free of the chains, she spends a few years between doubt and self-loathing and believing she made a mistake in leaving him because he’s all she deserves. Then one day she learns to love and respect herself again, just enough to meet another man. A nice respectful sort of man, who loves and cherishes her, but the angst and tension of letting someone close causes her to be unable to sleep or eat, so scared she will end up emotionally enslaved again. So much so, she makes the only choice she can. She lets him go because she loves him. Maybe she is a person who continues to try to date, even though she dreads it, you know the dates, the one where you quietly eat your dinner while listening to him tell you about how he cheated on his wife and the mistress left him when she got what she wanted but he still loves her and you wonder whether he thought he was having dinner with you or with his shrink. A woman, who is, now older and softer around the emotional edges, wakes up each morning and is truly happy for the first time because she loves her life, with or without a man. Happy she has a male friend in her life, but feels no urge to buy into cultural mores that no longer fit her values because she is the catalyst of her own happiness, not controlled by some archaic social standard that declares if she isn’t married she is a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish, or not good enough. Maybe, just maybe, her unmarried defining label is simply, life happened. Well, you get the picture, but then that’s just my take on it, probably not worth the time it took to read it.