Sunday, 11 November 2012

Ten Great Things about Being Single

Day 94
271 Days Remaining 

Well, here I am three months into my yearlong dating sabbatical, and I have to admit I am starting to get a bit antsy.  I`m working through writing these memories about HB, and there are some that get me going a you have any idea how amazing sharing a kiss after over a year without can be? I remember longing for him for sooo long and then finally being able to kiss him on the lips - oh wow; it was insanely amazing. Sometimes it gets me thinking about when my next kiss will be and who it will be with.  Tingle tingle.  But it's at least another nine months until I get that feeling again...sigh.

But, along with the head-to-toe tingle that comes with that first kiss also comes a whole mess of other things, some of which I am definitely happy I don't have to deal with these days.  In that vein, I decided I needed to remind myself of some of the great things about being single.  I actually really love being single in a lot of ways, so I'll write them down here, so I can remind myself the next time I start wishing I had a man in my life.

1. I have the remote all to myself. No more helplessly watching him flip back and forth between channels every time a commercial comes on or the show I'm watching gets boring to him (even if it's right at that very last moment where Tyra smizingly says “Two beautiful girls stand before me...but I only have one phow-tow-graph in my hands...”). Although, if I get bored with the show, I'm perfectly able to switch channels myself, and the two shows I'm switching between will not have anything to do with monster trucks, foul-mouthed cartoon children, or the latest Apple gadget. 

Yes, I enjoy this show...but most men don't feel like watching it with me.
2. I am not accountable to anyone but myself. Hurrah! I'm the only one who matters! I don't have to make excuses or give reasons if I'm late; I don't have to check the mail if I don't feel like it; I can talk on the phone for an hour with my sister in Alberta without someone asking me if I`ve thought about how much it will cost; I don`t have to pick anyone up from the dentist on the spur of the moment when he`s forgotten that he will be on heavy-duty drugs and unable to drive (although I have to admit, I do like being asked to do those types of things).  Point is, whatever I decide to do, I can do it with myself - and, depending on what it is, of course, my kids - in mind.

3. I can hang out with male friends – even ex-boyfriends – and no one will get mad at me for it. I can go for coffee every weekday and dinner every weekend if I want to – who's going to complain?  I can drink coffee until I'm basically living in the bathroom, and I can do it with every ex-boyfriend I've ever had if I want to.  I'm the only one who will complain about them being there and I'm the only one who will freak out if one of them ever tries to kiss me (or I try to kiss one of them).  Of course, it's safer to do this with coffee rather than any alcoholic beverage.


4. When my cell phone signals a text message I don't find it urgent to immediately read it.  Although my first instinct is still to jump to it, I don`t automatically assume that it`s my boyfriend texting me to either a) say he loves me; b) ask me to do something for him (such as pick him up from the dentist because he`s forgotten he will be on heavy-duty drugs and unable to drive), or c) get upset at me for doing something that shouldn`t be a big deal but for some reason is hugely important to him.  Since I don`t have a boyfriend to do any of these things, I can ignore it until I`m ready, and perhaps it will also condition me so that when I do again have a boyfriend, I will realize that no text message is important enough to need to read the instant that I receive it.

5. I can watch chick flicks in my pajamas without someone saying “This is stupid."  At least, I can when my kids aren't there.  I can pull on the flannels and click through Netflix until I find something that no man in his right mind would want to watch with me - and I`m even at the point now that I can see movies that we used to watch together and not get all mopey and self-indulgently (and/or self-destructively) watch them on my own and weep through them because I remember watching them together.  And I can eat chips and dip and drink rum & Coke and not sit there waiting for someone to say "Don`t you think you should be eating something healthier?"

6. Grocery shopping is a lot cheaper.  It's not just that many of the meals I make now are made just for myself, but it's also that I always used to walk down the aisles and see little things that I knew the man in my life would like, or worse, search out obscure things that might please him (Ohhh, soy milk; I should have some of that on hand, and those spinach pizzas are on sale today... or Ohhh, I remember one time he mentioned that there were these little red candies from the Galapagos Islands that he used to like; maybe I should visit ten different stores to see if on the off chance I can find them...) and sometimes I would spend more money than I should have on those things.  Not only that, but for just myself I can get away with dumping a package of tortellini in a pot of water and then stirring in some tomato sauce, which is a lot easier - and cheaper - than the meals I used to like to make for HB (his favorites were my mushroom & goat cheese risotto balls with spicy marinara sauce, and seared sesame ahi your mouth watering yet?).  Delicious, but definitely more time-consuming and expensive.
7.  My hair, my business.  I can wear my hair straight because I feel like it and not because someone else prefers it that way...or...I can wear my hair curly because I like it that way. In fact, I can put my hair into a Mohawk, chop it all off, shave the word "banana" into the side of my head or braid it into a million tiny braids if I were so's my hair and I can do whatever I want with it!

...although maybe not this...
8. I don't have to worry that any pretty girl I pass on the street is someone he's slept with...or wants to sleep with...or - worst of all - is currently sleeping with.  Granted, this is not something that was a legitimate concern for me with any of the men I've loved, but there is something about finding someone who you really love being with and want to keep around that can incite a gigantic feeling of insecurity.  Add to that general lack of self-esteem I had for too many years the fact that for a very large part of our relationship, HB and I had no physical contact whatsoever, and the worries become a little too real.  How did I know whether he was "getting it" somewhere else?  I didn't.  Most of the time I didn't worry about it, but when those jealous and worried feelings came up, they were not fun.

9. I can hog all the Cheese Pleesers...and eat them as slowly as I want, without racing to get my fair share because he will eat them way faster than I ever would.  I don't know what it is, but apparently I tend to savor, while it appears men in general just like to shovel food in their mouths as fast as they can.  I would pour a giant bowl of snack food and maybe get ten bites before the bowl was empty.  One learns to pour two bowls and keep one's own bowl slightly off to the side so that he doesn't see that you are actually not eating from the big bowl he's busily emptying.  Now, they're all mine...and, apparently, I can eat them while wearing only a black lace bra and sunglasses, which is great.  No one will be there to get distracted by the fact that I am practically nude while eating those delicious puffs of cheesy corn.)

10. I don't have to pretend I'm interested in American politics, RPG games, or terrifying movies...or try to learn about and drum up an appreciation for American politics, RPG games, or terrifying movies, simply so I'll be able to offer something to the conversation rather than nodding and smiling. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much genuine interest I have found in some of the things that people I care about have been interested in, but I don't want it to always be about what he loves!  It's just me now, so I don't have to feign interest in whatever I like, because I know I'll like it. 

A few more things to consider when I start moping about not sharing my life with someone:

- My time is my own.
- I can sit and have a bubble bath as long as I want (the possible downside being that if you fall asleep in there, no one's going to come looking for you before you drown).
- I can decorate the house how I want.
- I can dress the way I want.
- I can go to bed when I want.
- I don't have to fight for who gets to cuddle with the dog (unless my son is one but him gets the dog when he's around!).
- Not every song Adele sings makes me think she's describing my life - I can`t be the only one who does this, can I? 

Going over these points made me realize something: for many of these things, they would not be issues if I were in a relationship that was a good one.  Trust wouldn't be an issue; worrying about impressing or pleasing him wouldn't be an issue; always doing things the way he wanted them wouldn't be an issue, because he would love me for who I am and not what I did for him.  Here's hoping that when I finally find the man I settle down with, I can still keep doing a lot of these things.  I don't think I should settle for anything less.

Have a great day and enjoy being single - or otherwise.  I'm going to go eat Cheese Pleesers in the bath and turn my cell phone off.  Then I'm going to style my hair into a Mohawk, speed-click through forty weepy girlie movies on the television, cook myself some Chef Boyardee and eat it with an ex-boyfriend.  Hey, why not?


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