A Singular State of Mind

Originally posted on nikbunting.me on October 18, 2011.

It’s one of those days where things keep popping up that are of a common theme, even if it is tangentially at best. You know, those things that aren’t “news” but manage to crop up everywhere anyway? Or seem to, at any rate.

Today we have All the Single Ladies.

It all started off with Jeri Ryan linking a vid in her Twitter that was of Laurel and Hardy dancing to Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies”, which you really should check out. I’m not a fan of Laurel and Hardy (much like the Three Stooges, they just don’t do it for me), but things mash up pretty well.

Next, there’s an article in The Atlantic: “All the Single Ladies” by Kate Bolick. It provides a solid overview of what being a single woman means and has meant, as well as a good look the culture of marriage and male-female relations in general. There’s a lot of food for thought. And I will say, it’s always kind of nice to find that my own thoughts on marriage, being single, and my life choices aren’t so far off base or “strange”.

I like being single. I have no desire to get married and/or have children. And I shouldn’t feel bad or weird because of that. But it’s tough when your closest friends are married and/or have kids, and your peers on Facebook constantly post about getting engaged/married or having a baby or their kids’ milestones. There are those moments where you pause and wonder, “Is something wrong with me that I don’t want a husband/partner or kids? That I’m pretty damned happy with the life I have without those things?” I really hate those moments because I know I like where I’m at (save the whole figuring out what I want to be when I grow up issue) in my life. I like who I am and the things I’ve done and the friends and family I’ve surrounded myself with. I’m in a good place.

Do I get lonely? Sure, I am human. But then again, I’ve never been afraid of my own company. I don’t mind doing things alone (except for when I manage to talk myself out of doing stuff, then into, then out of it, etc.). Maybe it comes from being an only child with cousins either too old or too young to be “friends/surrogate siblings” growing up. I didn’t mind amusing myself with books or stranding my Barbies on desert islands/making up convoluted, soap-opera-esque tales for them or writing stories once I discovered that passion. I’m a mostly solitary creature by nature and am rather possessive of my me-time.

That doesn’t meant I don’t enjoy hanging around other people and socializing (when I’m in the right mindset). Or hell, even dating. Sex is rather fantastic as well. Although when I have dated, I always cut and ran when things started to get too serious, not to mention the fact that I always got a bit grumpy when the significant other wanted to spend too much time together. I’ve long said that my best relationship was the one where the boyfriend and I talked occasionally on the phone and got together once maybe twice a week. That was perfect.

Some of that’s because I do have emotional/attachment issues and don’t want to become too attached to or reliant upon any one person. Once I let you in, you’re in, but even then I still might try to keep some distance. I don’t like to be vulnerable. But again, only human here.

Maybe I’m missing out on some essential human experience, but if I’m happy, does that really matter?

That’s not to say that life couldn’t surprise me. Attraction has a way of throwing your best of intentions out the window. If Mr. or Ms. We Connect and There’s No Denying It happens along, well, who knows? I’m still pretty certain that if I do meet a person that I want to spend the rest of my life with, I’m not going to want to spend every living moment with them. I like my space. So, if we don’t have separate places, the shared home will certainly have to be big enough to accommodate that need (the older I get, the more I understand the separate bedrooms maintained by married couples for all the disparate reasons they may have).

The no kids thing, that I know won’t change. I enjoy the time spent with younger cousins and my friend’s kids, but I have no desire to have that for my own. I’m rather happy with being surrogate Aunt and not Mom. And frankly, I have a hard enough time looking out for my cat (fortunately, we’re of similar temperaments, so that helps as much as it doesn’t sometimes), not to mention myself. 🙂 And lord knows that my mood swings and emotions are bad enough with PMS, pregnancy sure as hell wouldn’t do me any favors.

The upside to the prevalence of All the Single Ladies is that it always brings to mind that vid of John Barrowman dancing to the song, which is no bad whatsoever. And makes me grin like a fool. Grinning is good.

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