Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Tale Of Two Cities

Last Tuesday night I hung out with movie.girl again. (Again meaning like I did about a month ago.) We caught Spider-man 3 on iMax. Good stuff. Hung out afterwards - beer and conversation. She was also kind enough to snap a few photos of me so I now have new photos for my online dating sites. I may be slightly balding and I don't like my smile in the photos. Needless to say, neither of those constitutes a disqualifying condition for the photos. I think I've said it before but I'll say it again. It's always a good time when I hang out with movie.girl.

Last night, I hung out with a law school couple, Captain Kate & Sr. Pete. It was the first time I've seen them since the birth of their daughter, Anna. Pretty cool. I think the world changes a bit when you have a kid. I think that's also an understatement if there ever was one. Their daughter is doing well - about 10 lbs now. Considering she was premature, this is doing very well. Yay Anna! Yay Capt. & Sr.!

Tomorrow I'll be at work, trying to finish things up in time to be away next weekend. I have a truckload of things to do. I should have gone into work today but I reeeeeally didn't feel like it. I spent a small portion of the day cleaning the kitchen floor (damn dogs) and the rest being lazy and a little tired (late night last night). Tomorrow will have to do.

Next weekend I'm visiting my college roommate. His will be the second wedding of the three I attend this fall. His will also be the second of the three in which I am a groomsman. I haven't seen him in a long time (at least a few years). One of my "principles" (so to speak) is that if I'm invited to a friend's wedding, I should visit with the couple in advance thereof. It's kind of silly to show up at the wedding and only be able to say: "Yeah, I was his roommate in college. No clue what he's up to now." If I go to a friend's wedding, I damn well want to be there as a friend and not a familiar stranger.

I'm going to include something a bit more substantive here, even though it's unrelated to the previous parts, largely because I don't want to emphasize it or make mountains out of molehills.

I've been single far more often than not. In the past 11 years, I have spent all but 6 months and 1-2 months of it single. I'm pretty bad at meeting women. I don't go on dates very often. I'm very much a loner, though I would probably rather not be.

That's the setup. The punchline is that I don't think many couples "get" what it's like to be single. A while back, a couple I know made a crack about being single to someone. I didn't laugh. It's generally not something you joke about or even talk very seriously about.

Society has programmed us to believe that we need to find someone else. We need to be one half of a couple. While not everyone has bought into this, many, many have. I certainly have. It's one of those things that I "know" without any solid basis or underpinning. It's one of those things I constantly hope for. It just is. It's the reason some people feel funny about going to see a movie on their own. It's why getting a table for one for lunch or dinner can be an unpleasant experience. It's why I'm annoyed every time my grandparents make an off-handed comment that I need to find a "nice Jewish girl". Society says we must pair off and so, like the lemmings we are, we march.

I'm not contravening this. It's probably in society's best interests to suggest as much. It doesn't usually bother me. But I really suspect that most couples don't realize the pressures a single person feels. Whether or not these pressures are real (e.g., comments from parents or grandparents) or illusory (e.g., a table for one), they are felt. While the individuals in these couples were once single, I think they've "forgotten" what it's like and how rough the single world can be.

This isn't a complaint. It's.. an observation. I don't care. I try not to let most things get to me - that's my goal/nature. (Though, at times, I suspect I am incredibly judgmental and unfair, but who isn't?) I just wish couples, or even the world at large, appreciated that single people sometimes feel this pressure. That sometimes, comments directed in that nature are not well-received. The topic isn't verboten, not at all, it's just also not one that some people take so lightly.