We did the Widowed Blog Hop, and you read Killing Us Softly. You got to know the part of me which dealt with becoming a widow. Most of you looked on with my train wreck fascination¹. What we have never discussed is singleness.
In a world filled with single mothers, I am in a vast statistical pool. Truth be told, I do not consider single motherhood any terrific accomplishment or burden. After long studies into human child-rearing rituals, I realized as a species we have no lifelong mating rituals which are innate and very few which are cultural. To date, very few societies celebrate male participation in child-rearing beyond occasional discipline.
To that end, I always considered my children my domain. In my defense, I am also not stupid. I do not turn down assistance when it is offered despite my pragmatic decision to not expect it.
The point, yes. Singleness.
A life filled with people does not negate the fact I am single. I do not have a partner. Not a life partner. Not a playmate. I am truly single. It does have some advantages.
I never have to wait for anything unless I want to wait. Time is my purview. I schedule as things are convenient for me.
I do not have to share. Regardless of how selfish that may sound, sharing can get old when it is important things like bathrooms.
There are never dirty clothes on the bathroom floor. The towels are always appropriately hung. The toilet paper roll is never empty. Toothpaste is never squeezed in the center. The bathtub, lavatory and toilet are always clean.
I do not have to tolerate other people. Inlaws, outlaws, “that” friend, the ex. I do not have to see any of those.
The closet door is always closed. The bed gets made. No one lies on it when it is made. The laundry is always folded appropriately and put away before it wrinkles. My things are always where I left them.
Sleeping the wrong direction in the bed bothers no one.
No one pooh-poohs my plans. When I want to go somewhere, there is no long face or saccharine smile when I announce the destination.
There is an utter lack of judgment. Whether I want to wear the redneck uniform or nothing whatsoever, no one objects. Whether I want donuts for dinner or meatloaf for breakfast, no one objects. Whether I curse at the tops of my lungs or mumble about sweet memories, no one asks me to repeat what I said. No one raises an eyebrow because there is no one scrutinizing what I choose to wear, do, say and so forth.
I always get the seat I want. As petty as this may sound, a book is absolutely not the same when you walk downstairs and find someone else sitting in the chair you envisioned as you slid the book off the shelf.
There is still fundamentally something missing. My inner social animal is yearning for a companion. No matter how comfortable I get being alone, I will never truly enjoy all it has to offer, for I will always long for the closeness an intimate relationship brings. For me, it is less about the everyday proximity as it is about being able to touch someone.² Feel skin, warmth, a heartbeat.
I recognize it is a sign of aging for me to want a companion now. Years ago, that need was easily satisfied, and even more easily dismissed, by holding a baby. Kangarooing an infant or even snuggling with a toddler was enough to satisfy my need to connect to another human. My days of babies in the house are long over.
It leads to the question: Am I willing to sacrifice the freedoms of singleness for the touch I need? Important puzzles never really are that simple, are they?
What other advantages are there to being single? Are you someone who is able to successfully be single?
Thank you for sharing The M3 Blog with hashtags.
¹ This is not a slight. I view train wrecks very differently than the hackneyed connotation. Please read the Saturday Evening Post to understand why this is really a compliment.
² The link leads to a very important explanation of touch which is not what you may have first perceived or been taught.