Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Single

In a of moment of clarity today, while debating over the endless choices of single portioned frozen pre-prepared meals at the local Supermart today, I recognized, that along with the other single and lonely men also laboring over their weekly President’s Choice menu options alongside me, that I deserve more out of this life. Somehow, as I maneuver my loaded grocery basket of processed food stuffs through the food aisles I become aware that I'm terribly lonely, and that whoever said Supermarkets and grocery stores were a great place to pick up single women should be dropkicked directly in the gentials by Jean Claude Van Damme!

For some lucky men, the delicate art of flirting and establishing meaningful relationships is as easy as selling reclining chairs to senior citizens. They make it look so friggin' easy. Some men could have a dog turd stitched to their forehead and still manage to find a few numbers from interested women for a Friday night. Me? I bitch on the Internet about my inadequacies and bake cat treats for my cat. No dame is beating any path to my door!

It’s been almost an entire decade since I’ve dated, romanced, or even been considered as part of anything that could be remotely concieved as a mature adult relationship. The most intimate experience I’ve had in the last 8 years with another living creature, outside of my cat walking across my lap in the middle of the night, was in a barber’s chair while leafing through the cracked pages of a vintage 70’s era Hustler magazine selected from the fanned out display on the end table in the corner of the shop*. Where's the living creature you ask? Well, there was at least someone else in the room at the time when it occurred.

I’m a nice guy and I follow all the normal prescribed dating rules. I smile when making eye contact with pretty girls, I am courteous and attentive to others around me, and I don't fart in public**. I heed all the popular advise in trendy Men’s magazines that I recycle from the laundromat, I try and keep up on current feminine issues, as well as try to observe all the tips given to me by friends and family about the attracting and wooing of available members from the opposite sex. And still, it’s President’s Choice purgatory for me! Obviously people have either been giving me wrong advise, or I’ve completely missed my calling as the main attraction of a traveling Freak Show appearing as ‘Koko, the Retarded Muleboy’.

WELL NO MORE! I’m doing things dead fucking opposite from now on! Obviously the tips and suggestions that I’ve been following so far are not mounting up much successes, so I might as well do exactly the opposite to see if that works any better. What's the worse that can happen? Either I'll finally meet and fall in love with that perfect woman at long last, or I'll be serving 15 to 20 years as the girlfriend of some dude name Big Tony in Gen Pop.

Lets just look at some of the more misguided common tidbits of wisdom that are regularly offered to single, desperate schleps and losers like myself:
  • “You have to learn to put yourself out there.”

What the fuck does this mean exactly? How can I NOT put myself out there? Do I not do my laundry every Sunday afternoon at the laundromat like half the rest of the planet, or eat my tuna fish sandwiches in the cafeteria at work with all my co-workers, or even struggle with my bags of President’s Choice grocery items every payday like other normal people? How else can I make myself any more available? I'm "OUT THERE", dammit!

So how do you "put yourself out there exactly"? Just because I wouldn't dare shackle myself before jumping into a tank of eels or eat a plate of deep fried pig snouts in reindeer spuzz, doesn't mean that I'm not boyfriend material! I’m not putting myself “out there” anymore than I’m doing right now until I have more reason to be out in the first place!

  • “Just be patient.”

I’d like to take out a contract on the lives of each idiot who ever offered me this little gem of enlightenment over the years! Were these moolyaks ever even listening to me? What else did they think I’ve been doing all this time by myself? So let me clue them all in right now: I already HAVE been patient, you dipshits! How much longer am I supposed to wait exactly?

I guess it’s just easy for some people to brush off my plight of loneliness as something that has just been delayed in automatically being remedied for me. "There are plenty of fish in the sea!" Well, this tuna has swam a zillion miles and waited for a pretty long time already, and if I’m kept waiting any longer I fear there won’t be much left to offer anyone in the way of romance unless I resort to mainlining pure Viagara on a daily basis. It’s easy enough for these people who go home regularly to their loved ones each night to eat their shared meals and discuss their days, before performing the “beast with two backs” like two howler monkeys during a full moon dry heat. However, this advice does very little in the way of offering me any real comfort or hope.

  • “Stop looking so hard.”

Oh, sure! That’s another easy thing for them to say! But it's also a damn-fucking-near impossible thing to expect from anybody after nearly a decade of abstinence in Singledom already! That’s like recommending a starving person to go on the Atkins Diet! How does this advice even make any sense? How can you find what you’re not even searching for? A willing, intelligent, nubile-bodied sex goddess could pass within groping range from me and I’d never know because I was dutifully following a friend’s advice by “not looking so hard”. Hey, thanks a lot Dr. Ruth! But I think I should keep my eyes open and letching at all times thank you; lest Ms. Right should walk by in a skimpy cocktail dress whistling my favorite tune.

  • “Respect their needs".

Huh? Are they trying to imply that women haven’t been flocking to my side because I’ve in some way been too uncourteous or self absorbed? Hey, I like to open the door for the ladies, put down the toilet seat when I’m done taking a leak, and even freshen their drinks after they've finished! I’m a regular Arthurian Knight when it comes to chivalry and proper manly conduct and etiquette. My mother didn’t raise any livestock let me reassure you. But still, after 10 years, WHEN IS SOMEBODY GOING TO GIVE A SHIT ABOUT MY NEEDS? I would have thought that by now even a little sympathy booty might have been thrown my way. But apparently, when it comes to my own needs I’m to receive no more respect than that of an indentured manservant for all my polite and noble efforts.

And this one is my favorite:

  • “Just be yourself”.

Now, these people in particular I would like to have ritually executed. Could someone be anymore fucking vague or condescending in their giving of worldly advice on how to establish meaningful relationships with women? Once again, if I wasn’t being myself already, who the fuck else could I have possible been? Apparently, there is something that I am doing now in being myself that is actually repelling all possible romantic interests already. Maybe I should just be someone else completely different. Surely it couldn’t have any more worse results than that of whatever it was that I was doing normally for the past 10 years already!

It seems to me, that when I look around at other attached men holding hands in the mall with their wives and girlfriends happily sharing timeless moments over plates of pecan pie and coffee; I see them as how their girlfriends would want them to appear. In any other circumstance as a free single man, I no doubt expect these same guys would still be scratching themselves in their flannel pajama pants and ripped football jerseys at 3:30pm in the afternoon in front of the boob tube, instead of out shopping for promise rings with their significant others in matching jacket and loafers.

Never being one to pay much attention to competitive sports growing up, I fail to see the point in playing a game where I'm continually getting my ass kicked. I have no more idea how to score in this crazy dating game than I do about Molecular Genetics. All I know is that I'm tired of President's Choice meals and spending my weekends crying in the shower with a bag of Oreo's.

To hell with everyone's stupid advice! I'm going to quit casting out the futile Blue Steel gazes to women in the Frozen Food aisle and just be satisfied with the late-night "pawjobs" from my cat. I'm a sexual camel at this point. At this rate, my best bet is to hold out on my stores of spent masculinity until the coming Armageddon when I will at last be in demand by surviving post-apocalyptic babes for my manly services in repopulating the planet!

Truth be told, if my friends and family really wanted to be of any worthy assistance to me, they would just dispense with the cheap crystal ball bullshit altogether and just hook me up with any single available friend of theirs who isn't missing any of her fingers or toes, who likes B-movie horror films and bucket bongs on Sunday afternoons, who can name more than one Simple Minds album, and who also happens to be currently rewriting pages 230-267 of the Kama-Sutra wouldn't be bad either.

* I feel it is also worth noting here that I have not been in any actual Barbershop chairs in almost 7 years.

** Unless there any convenient stray dogs or old men in the vicinity to blame it on.


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