Friday, September 16, 2005

What's wrong with being single?

I had an evil girlfriend once. Since frankly FEMA pissed me off, I will now use the word "fema" to mean any botched operation or failed attempt at anything. If you have no one guarding you and you do an easy lay up but miss the rim entirely, you fema'd. If you're wide open in the end zone and the pass hits you in the numbers and you drop it, you fema'd. If you're trying to parallel park and you pop the tire on the curb, you fema'd. Not only that, I'll refer to my evil ex as "Fema."

Fema and I have mutual friends to this day. It's funny because they refuse to tell her not only what city I'm in, but what state I'm in. They do tell me however where she is at all times. This is a very good thing, so I could know what town to avoid. I'd be too tempted to grab a vial of holy water just to see if she loses two to twelve hit points when splashed.

I heard through our mutual friends that Fema now owns a house, which she somehow acquired with government assistance. That's just nice to know that someone born with money can con the government into paying her down payment while refinery trash like me actually had to earn my down payment.

Anyways, I also found out she has a degree in Women's Studies. Surprise surprise, especially since her last words to me were "I hate men! I hate men!" before I hung up the phone. Of course, I'm the sexist pig even though of our mutual friends, two of them are avid feminists and still took my side in the fight.

Yeah yeah yeah. Not all Women's Studies majors are man-haters with shaved heads and combat boots, but there's a reason why that stereotype exists and she definitely doesn't help negate it.

Apparently, she went around telling everyone I screwed her up so badly that she went single for four months. Four months! The atrocity! Forget the Supreme Court nominations, Fema went single for four months because the Zombieslayer forgot to put the toilet seat down when they lived together.

I have a good friend of mine that I'll hopefully see Sunday. I'll call him "Malcolm." Well, I've known Malcolm now for thirteen years. We've written over a hundred letters to each other between us. I've read all three of his journals, which are very good by the way, and he's one of the few people I've ever showed my first book to. He liked it, and it was he who recognized it was really an autobiography (that's why I'll never publish it).

In all the years I've known Malcolm, he's never been single. No, he's not married either, but not one week passed when he wasn't in a serious, monogamous relationship.

The guy's tall, thin, and good-looking, an excellent public speaker, driven, a world traveller, and chronically committed to a nice person of the opposite sex. He even stays friends with some of them and recently went to the wedding of his ex's brother with his girlfriend at the time.

I don't get it. How come some people are never single? I've been single before. I enjoyed it immensely. I'm married now and although it's less wild, I'm glad it happened because it's definitely more relaxing and less stressful. I don't get however why some people are so needy that they have to be in a relationship. Are people that scared of being alone? Is it ghosts? The boogeyman? Werewolves? I can understand zombies, but dogs bark when zombies come near. Is it because they believe they have only X amount of days until they turn so ugly that the opposite sex won't want them?

Anyone willing to give a try at answering for inquiring minds would like to know.

37 Comments:

Blogger clothosfate said...

Hey don't knock the boogeyman, millions of terrified little 'bad' children can't all be wrong!

I have been single in my life numerous times, and the longest of those times was about... well wait a sec here. What classifies as single? Celibate? Uncommitted? If you are dating people casually, does that mean you are single, because you don't have a verified committment?

I have been 'uncommitted' for about 2 years, but I have been celibate for only maybe 4-5 months. On the other hand, my present boyfriend, and love, was celibate for like 5 years before we got together, particularily because he wanted to take time to figure out how to have a healthy relationship, and sex (and depression) had always led him to unhealthy ones.

So although I don't feel that I have any problem being single, I have never had the desire to be 'single' for that long, even though I can see the benefit and wisdom of it.

I think that people who NEED to be in a relationship are people who get their sense of self-worth and value from outside of themselves; they look for it from others. So if they are not with anyone, they are not valuable, or are maybe broken. It's sad how many people in our culture feel broken and worthless.

I had an ephiany when I was about 20, I realized that happiness lives within me. When you feel something emotionaly, its not like a pin prick on your arm or a punch in the face, although those statements could both be used to describe feelings, but the actual feeling is inside, like an ache in your heart, or throat, a deep pain and the need to scream or cry. Nobody can literally press a button and make you feel these things, they come from within, and so it is within you to feel how you want to feel.

If you are always basing your self-worth on others then you can be worthless if someone else says so. This will never produce a healthy, lasting relationship, no one wants to be responsible for someone else's value or happiness. If you give yourself value then no one can ever take it away. This is a much more attractive state of mind as well and the foundations for real love.

to make a short story long...

9/16/2005 9:42 AM  
Blogger bsoholic said...

Wow, tuff one to tackle. A lot of people are afraid of being alone, for reasons unknown to me.

Love the "Fema" reference to botching up something. Think I will start using that too.

9/16/2005 9:52 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Clothosfate - You really understand the human mind. Well written.

If you are always basing your self-worth on others then you can be worthless if someone else says so.

That what's always scared me about people who base their self-worth on what others, especially their S.O., thinks of them. I found it important to find out who I was before getting into a committed relationship, so spent years being single.

I think single is uncommitted. A few good people I know are in committed relationships and for religious reasons abstain from sex. They definitely have the emotional intimacy of a relationship, so that hardly qualifies as single.

I could definitely see you as a counselor, not necessarily as someone who does it for a living, but someone who people go to for advice. As I've said before, some of the best teachers don't make a penny for their teachings.

Bsoholic - When I found out that FEMA was actually turning away much needed supplies, they're now on my most hated gov't organizations list. So I hope the term gets used for failure/dropping the ball.

9/16/2005 10:40 AM  
Blogger dave said...

once i was playing soccer and i was on a breakaway. i got in front of the goal, juked left, the goalie went right. i had an open shot. then i fema'd in the open net and we lost the game. i was pretty popular after that.

i was never scared of being alone. i was more frightened of being with the wrong person. thank God i don't have to worry about that now.

9/16/2005 11:21 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

"I'd be too tempted to grab a vial of holy water just to see if she loses two to twelve hit points when splashed." that's FUNNY.

Mostly this happens with women - I know several women that just can't seem to be alone. I also think this drives why they can't have a successful relationship. I mean, if you aren't happy and comfortable with yourself, how can you be comfortable with someone else in an intimate setting, right? Generally, I think they're insecure to start with, and social pressure to 'settle down' only feeds their insecurity - since if they're alone it means there's something wrong with them - no one wants them. I know several people who are single and happy.

And, too funny about the Women's Studies majors. That is true for a lot of them, though the inclusion of more varied theoretical approaches has taken the focus off second-wave feminist manhating over the past few years...

9/16/2005 11:22 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I hate being alone.
Being alone is so... lonely.

My GF loves being alone. .. with me,.. I think.)

I had been uncommitted for several years while in college. Those were some of the most pathetic years of toiling in a stanky frat house playing Playstation Football, smoking pot and drinking beer 23 hours a day.

In retrospect... It doesn't sound that bad.

9/16/2005 11:49 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Joe - That reminds me. I've had some serious accomplishments when I was single, like knocking out Super Macho Man (I never did beat Tyson though), completing the Legend of Zelda, beating about 70% of my competitors at both Techmo Bowl and Super Mario Kart. I should put those on my resume.

Laura - I just don't get why so many people are so insecure. It is especially prevalent among young women and teen-aged girls. I don't have the answers, but I do notice that too many people try to get it from a relationship when it's not within themselves. That's impossible, because self-esteem comes from the self.

though the inclusion of more varied theoretical approaches has taken the focus off second-wave feminist manhating over the past few years...

That's good to know. I hope we can progress past the male-bashing and do some real gender studying.

Dave - All the times I've played with you, you were one of the people who fema'd rarely. I think J. was known for fema'ing the most, but he has become really good and now rarely fema's. O. the German intern also was known for rarely fema'ing. I miss those days, Dave. Bring them back.

By the way, when Kyle comes, we'll see who fema's the most on the b-ball court.

9/16/2005 12:16 PM  
Blogger Stephalupogus said...

Clothosfate -
I have to agree with every single word of your posting. Especially your question about what classifies as single. Many never even think of the distinctions between the different states.

Laura-
I disagree that it is mostly women who base their self-image & worth on their S.O. I have met many many many many men who based their worth on their S.O., and many times that S.O. was not a person but their job.

9/16/2005 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

The Bible says we're made in the image of God, and I think that's where the desire to be "known" comes from. Look at how God introduced Himself to Moses, "I Am". He was saying "I'm here, know me." Intimacy, or wanting to reveal yourself to someone is inate and I think it's odd when someone doesn't desire it.
The most intimate relationships are those between a man and woman, because commitment, trust, and sex are what they're based on. You're more fully revealed to someone, and are thus, more satisfied.

9/16/2005 12:25 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Michele - Intimacy, or wanting to reveal yourself to someone is inate and I think it's odd when someone doesn't desire it.

I've gone years without not desiring it, because I didn't even know who I was. I think I would have been more a liability than an asset in an emotional relationship back then.

But yes, eventually when we find out who we are, it's time to be committed. I just think people jump the gun and skip the step of finding out their purpose on this Earth first.

Stephalupogus - and many times that S.O. was not a person but their job.

Wow. That threw me for a loop because I completely forgot about that. Yes, many, many men are married to their jobs. I don't know if you're a fan of the band Queen but Brian May on the album Night at the Opera wrote a wonderful tune called Good Company.

In the song, the protagonist barely noticed his wife and friends left him because he was working so much. Nowadays, this happens way too often with men.

9/16/2005 12:54 PM  
Blogger SME said...

I quoted you on my blog and directed everyone to this post because it rocks. Hope I didn't fema.

9/16/2005 1:25 PM  
Blogger Thomcat said...

i have the opposite problem ... i've been with someone my whole life, it seems ... but i always wanted to be alone ... isn't that all fema'd up ?

9/16/2005 2:24 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

clothosfate said it best! Why do people jump from one relationship to the next without taking time out to get their own head straight? I've got a goddaughter that's doing exactly that.

I couldn't believe that FEMA was soliciting for donations after Katrina. Yeah, I'm gonna give them MORE money to screw things up! That's totally fema'd!!

9/16/2005 3:16 PM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

Send her my way, I'll eat her brain.

Have a good weekend.

9/16/2005 3:22 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

ZL - You too. By the way, you probably wouldn't want to eat them. Do severely neurotic brains have a bad aftertaste? Just wondering.

Tshsmom - Too funny. FEMA wants money so they could fema up something more.

Thom - Yes it is. Well, you know one thing you can do is act like an accountant and you'll be single in no time. ;)

SME - You're too kind. Thanks. Love your cartoons by the way.

9/16/2005 3:45 PM  
Blogger clothosfate said...

I also wanted to say that I disagree with Laura (sorry laura) saying that its mostly women. That is a stereotype; the weak, faint, needy woman who can't be alone. Women are no more needy then men... its all relative to the individual. Its about a person looking for validation.

9/16/2005 6:04 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/16/2005 7:02 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Hey Zomb! Agree that there are varying degrees of single, but I think I know what you're getting at.

The most awful thing in the world, this young idiot (me) used to think, was being alone.

HA! Then I married fema (Steve). THAT was LONELY, which is worse than alone.

I'm not a man hater by any means, and have dated my butt off for many years. During that time, I did have opps to get married but knew they'd be disasters. Having gone through a divorce (bad) and annulement (thousand times worse), I wasn't gonna do it again unless i was comfy with the whole thing.

And am not kidding about the dating stuff. Was pretty busy for a while.

Why all the dating? Partly opportunity, folks was knockin' at the door, I wasn't busy and didn't want to look like the Dud Dumped By Steve. So spent a mint on clothes, was never home, worked out like mad. Needed to be busy all the time.

Then hit 40. Met lots of similarly single women at work, started hanging out (drinking, cooking) with them. Partly due to the dating experiences (e.g., being locked in a closet and having to negotiate my way out of it on a first date; being stalked by a friend of a good friend), partly because my pals were serial daters (not good role models, I decided) I 'retired' from dating.

At the same time, a very dear man I'd had an affair with for 10 years, the love of my life, (tried to break it off several times) died a year after we'd called it off for good (think Hepburn and Tracey, with a fatal genetic disease instead of alcohol).

So was truly, at last, 'single'.
And found it wasn't so bad after all. Liked it.

Worked too hard, but then learned to cool my jets.

Every once in a while I'll start going out again, and run into something fema (a married guy trying to appear single, for example, or someone who'd been charged with murdering his wife--no kidding, this guy was a scientists--, or a psychotic bipolar who didn't tell me his medical history).

These experiences scare me for long enough that I lose the desire to date again.

This is very very long Zomb, but the bottom line is yah, being afraid to look like a loser may have a lot to do with the serial monogamy thing.

Have a theory that entering your 40s+ gives one enough confidence to not care about that kind of thing after a while. The gang of women (sort of Ali McBeal types) gave me the confidence to just hang (i.e., it was OK not to be with a guy. Some of them were pretty desperate, hung onto really nasty men, and I didn't want to be in their shoes).

Of course once your 40s start your body and your parents' bodies start breaking down. That's good for keeping busy.

When you said "I've gone years without not desiring it, because I didn't even know who I was. I think I would have been more a liability than an asset in an emotional relationship back then.

But yes, eventually when we find out who we are, it's time to be committed. I just think people jump the gun and skip the step of finding out their purpose on this Earth first."

my first reaction was hell ya, right on Zomb. If I'd actually married when asked, that's partly why it would have been a disaster.

If you're insecure about being alone (and how many very well put together 20 or 30 somethings are there? I sure wasn't), then the S.O. becomes a life preserver--the source or a major source of well-being, self-worth, etc.

We're supposed to be our own life preservers, aren't we?

The act of doing that (needing to be with someone always) puts incredible pressure on the S.O., and puts you in a not just one-down position, but in an almost perpetually-batted-around-by-other-folks'-whims position. Because your sense of you comes from outside, not inside.


Whoa this was a monster, wandering thing. Sorry everyone for taking all this space to say that I agree with clothosfate!

Bridg

9/16/2005 7:15 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

p.s. Thom look out, you are describing me and Steve (the ex)! Yes fema'd up if it's a constant pulling away...Bridg

9/16/2005 7:16 PM  
Blogger Mybrid said...

While I know some jump from one relationship to another because they don't feel defined without the other person in their lives, it's not true for everyone.

My best friend went through divorce (as a result of an affair) and immediately after started seeking someone else for a SERIOUS relationship.

Our mutual friend and myself tried to dissuade her from jumping from a divorce into another relationship so fast and told her she needs time to find out who she is and find her self worth without someone else.

She got angry at us (and rightfully). It wasn't about low self esteem. It's about us being social animals. She doesn't enjoy being alone without someone to share her life with. She doesn't believe in wasting time to find herself if she already knows exactly why she didn't like her ex and what she's looking for in a future husband. She's got her head sitting very well on her shoulders and didn't need our advice.

After several dates, she found the man of her dreams. They moved in together within a couple of weeks. They're basically living like a married couple. They are both divorced. They have no intention of marrying simply because they don't feel the need to strengthen an emotional bond with paperwork. They're adorable together and she's extremely happy. They've been together over a year now.

Some people know exactly who they are and what they want from life, they don't need a waiting period.

We're all different in how we react to relationships. To each his own.

9/16/2005 7:47 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Clothos: I didn't mean to imply it's ALL women, just that all the people I know like that are women. I have yet to meet a man as needy as some of the women I know. It is a stereotype, but that's because women are often taught by society that their worth is not within themselves but is found in the men they accompany or the children they produce...

9/17/2005 7:58 AM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I've been in relationships and have been alone. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I've been with someone who was afraid of being alone, although I suspect he never really did love me. It stung to realize I wasted four years of my life just to be someone's crutch. I'd much rather be alone than to go through that again...

Most of the people who posted already have stated why some people can't stand to be alone - just mainly a fear of not having someone there. This is especially true for people who think that mankind is not meant to go through life alone. Our society is set up for two-somes. Ever go to dinner by yourself? You get sympathy looks. People are always trying to set up singletons so that they don't have to go through life alone. When people realize you're single, you get sympathy instead of acceptance or admiration. In the world, it's expected that you will be in a relationship, at least at some point in your life.

9/17/2005 8:23 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Notta - ...I suspect he never really did love me. It stung to realize I wasted four years of my life just to be someone's crutch.

You see how other people's dysfunctions affect other people. I think Fema was seeing me just because she hated being single too.

As for the others not being able to deal with you being single, I remember that. People would ask me why, and I even had a friend of mine ask me if I were gay. People are strange in that respect.

Laura - I've seen both genders, but it's almost two to one females. However, it's almost two to one males when someone's married to a job.

Mybrid - Yeah, she's more an exception though because she was more just plain out "ready." She knew who she was instead of being "needy."

Bridget - Sorry about your loss. What a sad story.

Funny you mention Ally McBeal though. That was the only "chick" show I ever got into. A female friend of mine and I used to catch it all the time and talk about it for hours (she was a lesbian, so there was nothing between us). We both loved Ally because she was the one TV character who would always strike out. That show hit home for both of us. She'd meet the right guy and he'd move to Europe, or something like that. Nothing ever worked out for her.

Clothosfate - As I replied to Laura, I've seen both, but it's about two to one women. But then again, it's about two to one men who are married to their job and barely realize their wife's about to leave them.

But then again, I've known women married to their jobs too and I wouldn't be surprised if their husband's were about to get a divorce lawyer.

9/17/2005 12:05 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

I'm single and sometimes it sucks...other times not so much. It's a societal thing if you ask me. We're indoctrinated to believe in the 'sacrament' of marriage, we're rewarded by the government for marrying and having kids (talk about handing out welfare), and then we're given negative reinforcement if we choose to be single (or perhaps don't choose it.

That said, why is it that married people always want to hear stories of the single life and single people couldn't give a rat's ass about hearing another 'my kids' story? I think there's a definate lack of personal self worth and sense of personal security in the world and that's why many people seem to need someone to 'be with'.

I never really planned on being single, but I would rather that than being with someone just to be with someone. I had a neighbor - and friend - once tell me that I need to learn to lower my standards. She then told me that's what she did and she said it with a sense of pride. Fema that...I'll stick with my unrealistically high standards.

When I finally hook up with Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johannson...or both...I'll let you know. I won't be sharing the photos though...sorry.

Cheers.

9/17/2005 3:45 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Thanks Zomb, but not really sad in the final (so far) balance. Taught me a lot, and at least the weirdos were weirdos right off the bat. Imagine if I'd actually married one of them and THEN found out?

There are worse things than being alone. Being lonely and married is the worst fate I know of.

Bridg

9/17/2005 4:02 PM  
Blogger Angelique said...

If you had really done a screw job on her she would have gone lesbian, so don't listen to her bitching and moaning. There are people who are always trying to be the victim even if they were the one who fucked up. I personally see nothing wrong with being single but some people can only be complete when they are with someone. I know people hate doing shit by themselves but I am married and I still go places by myself. Sometimes a girl needs some alone time and to hang out with friends. The bonus of having someone is that it's nice not having to go through the work over and over to get some. I already did all the hard work in the beginning and I can get right down to business and, of course, the true love. Overall, it's natural to want to be with someone, we are social creatures but I wouldn't let it break me like it has some people I know who are desperate to be with someone. That kind of desperation is not attractive and it's kind of scary, really. I enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work.

9/18/2005 2:15 AM  
Blogger Liquidplastic said...

Zombie, you young folks are a gas! I can't stop laughing.

After 36 years with the same man, I have begged him to leave on more then one occasion, I don't know if I can answer that question ... I don't leave him because his weakness make me so strong, that without him I will get weak --- if you can believe that!

Seriously, we live together, but I am always alone, by choice. Early in our relationship we agreed to tune each other out so that we could enjoy the benefits of living together without the guilt.

It works for us! We are best friends, as long as neither one of us make demands --- and sex is always better, even without our toys.

As a woman, I can say this --- there are men who just piss us off, and that in itself becomes a challenge for us to break your spirit .. just kidding! But it is something to think about.

9/18/2005 3:26 AM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Liquid, as another "old broad", I agree. I broke up with several guys that wanted to marry me because I KNEW that I would intellectually break them into a million pieces!
I guess that's where some women are different; they ENJOY the destruction.

9/18/2005 5:37 AM  
Blogger zeliphias said...

i may use the word fema'd some day in my life and think of this post.
aaron

9/18/2005 11:45 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Shawn - I had a neighbor - and friend - once tell me that I need to learn to lower my standards. She then told me that's what she did and she said it with a sense of pride.

Wow, she carries this around with pride? "Hi, my name is Barbara and I'm co-dependent. Nice to meet you."

Don't mean to bag on your buddy, but that's just too weird for me.

As for Scarlett, we're going to have to figure out a way to get her back. I traded her to Zombie Lama to secure Salma Hayek. Don't worry though, we already got Natalie.

Bridget - There are worse things than being alone. Being lonely and married is the worst fate I know of.

Well said.

Angelique - There are people who are always trying to be the victim even if they were the one who fucked up.

Fema was definitely one of those.

As for being natural to want to be with someone, very true. We're definitely in agreement that people should be selective in who they're with instead of being with someone just to be with someone. That does a disservice to both parties.

LP - There are definitely weak men out there who rely on women for strengh. But then again, everybody gets down and needs somebody at some point. The thing is, after they've hit their lows, are they staying down or will they get back up? Some folks just stay down. The ones who pull themselves back up - that's a sign of strengh.

But as long as you can tolerate each other. If he gives you enough space, it works.

Tshsmom - Ah, that goes back to my "smart women" post. Good stuff.

Zeliphias - Please do. After the crap they pulled in N.O., I wouldn't mind seeing fema as a bad word or an insult.

9/18/2005 12:03 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

The feminists will HATE you for using that word that way ;)

9/18/2005 2:53 PM  
Blogger Moni said...

ZS you always make me think, whether I want to or not. Let's see, I was married when I was barely legal against my parents wishes, I might add. Anyway I thought I knew what I wanted...wrong. I stayed married for 18 years. Alas, I was in a Fema'd relationship.(too funny) My whole being was wrapped up in him. I had no indentity...still finding out who I am.

I've quite literally never been single until now. I really think that we are social animals we need to have our needs met physically, mentally, emotionally, and spritually, so we look for things to fill us up. Some look for those things in the wrong places and in the wrong people. But oh when we can get it right it's beautiful.

I've learned that my self worth is not based on what others think of me. It took me a long time to realize that. I do still believe that there is someone for everyone, and I still believe in true love. I know it sounds hokey but I believe it can be obtained.



Moni's moment's of self affirmation. I'm funny, I'm a good person, and doggone-it people like me. Ha! :P

9/18/2005 2:57 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Miranda - Heh. I haven't thought of that, but Fema is 2/3 of female. I guess I'm going to have to make it clear that fema refers to the worthless agency and has nothing to do with the female gender. ;)

Moni - I've learned that my self worth is not based on what others think of me. It took me a long time to realize that.

Don't feel bad. I think we all make that mistake at some part in our lives.

But oh when we can get it right it's beautiful.

Yes it is. :)

9/18/2005 3:12 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Hey Zomb! Did you notice that Doonesbury picked up on the FEMA thing?

He gave it to Bush for parachuting political hacks into the senior parts of fema...Bridg

9/21/2005 8:52 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Hey Zomb! Did you notice that Doonesbury picked up on the FEMA thing?

He gave it to Bush for parachuting political hacks into the senior parts of fema...Bridg

9/21/2005 8:52 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Hey Zomb! Did you notice that Doonesbury picked up on the FEMA thing?

He gave it to Bush for parachuting political hacks into the senior parts of fema...Bridg

9/21/2005 8:52 PM  
Blogger Vest said...

So tshsmom, the destroyer in you sank several SUBordinate male suiters before finally getting torpedoed.

9/24/2005 12:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home