[Just had an epiphany: Wouldn't it be cool if all gossip magazines had a mandatory disclaimer similar to the one above before each of their articles? Would society improve?]
Lately I've been ruminating about my single-hood. To be honest, I'm always ruminating about my single-hood (and other important international issues), but lately I've been obsessing about it to a degree even my normal ruminating self would find deplorable. I'm not sure what triggered this momentum in "Reflections on Being Single", but I suspect it stems from being exposed to two main triggers:
1) Impending graduation (from my postgraduate college) reminding me how old I really am and how long ago it was when I had just turned 18 and thought,
2) Reading Kate Bolick's popular cover article for The Atlantic, titled "All the Single Ladies". I honestly don't remember how I stumbled upon this, I believe I was searching for one of her articles on property that she had written for the Wall Street Journal, and instead the cover page image of The Atlantic flashing "What, Me Marry?" turned up on Google News .
Given that 20% of my brain at any given time is preoccupied with single-hood, hence the title caught my eye (and my imagination). I instinctively assumed this was an omen from the universe to help me learn to relish my situation. Boy, was that was one enormous error of judgement... I started reading the gargantuan piece thinking I was one of a niche crowd of happy single women and ended it with the dreadful feeling that I'm only a small cog in a social revolution that implies that most emancipated single women aren't really choosing their lack of marital status - rather they are left with no choice! What was even worse for insecure li'l me was that all the examples spoke of women who chose not to marry but (at least) had boyfriends! I have never, ever even been in a relationship, so even calling myself a cog is an overstatement! I have to be a nail, a nut or a bolt in this revolution. Probably a nut. Most definitely a nut.
Since then, my brain's resource allocation to "Worrying About Being Single" has been automatically doubled to 40%. (Note that worrying is one of those things that our brains does as a reflex reaction - hence my conscious, thinking side has little say in what my retarded, worrying side chooses to spend time worrying about). I know you must be thinking "Stop Whining Already!" I'm wary of stereotypes and I detest people who ape stereotypes. But I'm NOT aping the Spinster, Bimbo or Boyfriend-Seeking-Control-Freak.
|Bimbo (mostly for PR and fame though)|
|Control Freak (Thank you Miranda!)|
I AM NOT ANY OF THE ABOVE!
Unfortunately, I'm also not yet the Strong-Independent-Woman-Who-Is-Happy-On-Her-Own (how I wish I could be!).
|Strong, Single, Independent, Happy Woman|
The (research) question I pose to myself is thus,
"Why am I single when I would like to be in a relationship?"After much brainstorming and mindlessly writing down whatever comes into my mind, my mind battled itself in the following (uncensored) conversation:
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: You're unattractive. You're quite clearly just not good-looking enough. No wonder no guy wants to be with you.
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: What nonsense! I'm decent-looking...I'm not great-looking or drop-dead gorgeous but with a bit of dressing up I do belong to the 'average or above' category. Besides, guys have asked me out...you remember that guy who peed in his pants in Grade 3? He asked me out in Grade 6.
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: The one you danced with at the prom in Grade 7? (sniggers)
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: You don't have to bring that up! I felt sorry for him so I said yes to the dance...(Aside: He had a boner throughout the dance and it was the grossest, most disgusting dance experience in my
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: Yeah, you had to avoid him like the plague after you realised he'd interpreted your consenting to dancing with him as dating.
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: Forget that. Besides, I don't think guys go only for beauty or attractiveness, they like a girl's personality. I've been asked out by many guys since then...
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: Enlighten me, why exactly are you single then?
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: I never said yes...
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: And why didn't you say yes?
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: The guys who ask me out are invariably the weirdest, creepiest and most unattractive (to me) of the bunch. In Grade 10, he was a bratty drug addict and completely disinterested in his studies. He didn't fit my idea of an ideal boyfriend. In college, the first guy who asked me out was a chain-smoker, and the second one was a spoilt-rich-kid sports addict. Neither cared much about their academics, the only difference between the two was that the former cleared his exams while the latter flunked most of them. Then there was the College Creep who maintained his record of asking out a girl a week and invariably receiving negative responses. He tried stalking me on Orkut, thank God I had the guts to reply, "Get lost" before it got any further. Then there was that Oddball from another stream who came to ask for my class notes. Though this one clearly cared about his studies, I didn't find him romantically appealing at all. I thought I should not hurt his feelings though and went for a coffee, which I clearly stated was only to be friends, but after that he started stalking too. I realised then that I had to be mean and told him stay away from me and avoided him, not even replying to his (unsolicited) birthday wishes. I don't want to talk about anymore of my 'encounters'. (Sigh.) Basically, it seems that the guys that ask me out are the ones I don't like. And the guys I do like never ask me out. In fact, most of the time they don't acknowledge my existence, or even if they do it's never anything more than as an acquaintance or a distant friendship.
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: So you're stuck in No-Man's Land? You're not amazing enough to be with the guys you like but you consider yourself far above the level of the guys that like you?
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: No I wouldn't say I'm far above the guys that like me...I'm just very different from them. They might see me as something that I'm not, and I know just by looking at them that I won't get along with them. Similarly, I don't think the guys I like are out of my league...in fact sometimes they appear very similar to me - in background, interests, style and communication. I seriously believe that if they take the first step we'd be able to discover how well we gel together. But I don't know how love works in this world. They never take that step in my case.
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: Aren't you being a hypocrite? If you can judge a guy you don't like before dating him, don't you think the guy you like can judge you too? And thus the endless loop of broken hearts...
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: That's possible. But that also means that I'm the girl they don't like. And they pine away for a girl they like... (Panic sinks in) So I will never be able to date a guy I like! My resolve to wait for the Right Guy will erode, bit by bit, and I'll eventually say yes to a guy I don't like! (Hyperventilating.)
Pessimistic/Critical/Evil Me: I think you're being too pessimistic.
Slightly optimistic/Realistic/Rational Me: I think you're being too optimistic.