So last week's diatribe (if that's what you're willing to let me call it) inspired a lot of interesting and heartfelt responses and comments from many of you. Thank you for each and every one of them.
This week, I'm going to elaborate a bit further on what I was hinting at.
Like relationships that don't last (marriage included), in this life, I think we come to live and deal with certain "necessary evils".
Faulty assumptions, friends that fade away, parents that don't understand, underpaying jobs, pop stars that fall from grace, Cubs teams that don't win the World Series, steroids in sports, prejudice, ignorance, bad parents in the grocery store, bad kids that run all over their bad parents, politicians that never learn, middle school, insecure bosses, condoms, diarrhea.
I'd like to add an important item to that list: being single.
To tell you the truth, last week got me thinking about the fact that I have historically disliked (i.e. avoided) being single. I've had five "serious" girlfriends in six years. I've began "seriously dating" someone within a month or two of all but one of those breakups. And my best friend Stephanie would confirm that the one full year I lived as a single guy - sophomore year of college - I despised every minute of it.
I'll sum up my viewpoint about being single with a line from last week's installment, "Being single is a selfish way to be selfish if you really think about it."
Look, I know some of you LOVE being single. Some of you can't possibly fathom why I would possibly hate being single at just 23 years of age in one of the best cities in America to be a single 20-something with a decent-paying job in a pretty badass apartment etc. etc. I hear all of you loud and clear.
Still, some of you are in full agreement with me about disliking singleness and are probably in relationships, some of which may lead to marriage. Good for you.
But I'm not simply saying "being single sucks" or "being in a relationship rules"...I'm simply saying that I don't like being single for a specific reason. And it has nothing to do with getting laid consistently or having someone to go to concerts with.
In short, I hate being single because I'm an early adopter.
I like Mac computers. I even had the Generation One iPod. I buy magazines and books before they get on everyone's "must read" lists. I find out about movies long before Ebert & Roeper give their thumbs up or down. I started the t-shirt over button down look you're starting to see. I even started the two-tie look you'll start seeing pretty soon. Shit, I even picked what college I wanted to go to back when I was in middle school half-way across the country.
Being single, at least to me, is the anti-thesis of being an early adopter.
In relationship terms, being an early adopter means you're doing one of two things, if not both: a) looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right or b) not running away from Mr. or Mrs. Right Now.
If you're looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, it doesn't have to mean you're trying to get married this month or even this year. It could simply mean you're trying to find someone you'd like to be in a serious, long-lasting relationship with and would be open to not dating another person ever again. I've only recently moved into this category.
On the other hand, if you're not running away from Mr. or Mrs. Right Now that means you're willing to give him or her the time to see if that "Now" is only temporary or if it will be a permanent imprint. This period of discovery can take anywhere from 3 dates to 3 years...past 3 years, I think you officially have to move into the other category or stop lying to yourself.
Now a single person would have you believe they're "figuring myself out" or "waiting for the right one", but that's a bunch of Oscar Mayer bologna. Or they're simply not early adopters.
For example, early adopters don't pretend to be a "finished work" of a person. Early adopters are willing to find Mr. or Mrs. Right while still in progress. Meanwhile, single people - people that primarily avoid relationships or do not fall into category a or b - are the latent types. The people that aren't convinced they need an iPod or cell phone.
Another example, while single people say they "can do whatever I want", early adopters find someone they can do whatever they want WITH. Or as I told a friend the other day, "single people are on the beach while everyone else is in the ocean learning to surf...yet those single people still expect to learn how to surf..."
Have you ever met an early adopter that you liked a lot? You know, someone that was really into you or really wanted to get to know you, but you kind of pushed them away for this or that reason (mostly because you weren't to find Mr. or Mrs. Right). Well, I'm pretty sure you have at some point or another and I have too. I've made my mistakes, I'm not perfect. But for the most part, I think I've given every early adopter a chance. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
So when I say I'm an early adopter it means I'm willing to give someone a try even if she doesn't have Mrs. Right all over her forehead. I'm willing to tell Mrs. Right Now that I'm wondering if she's Mrs. Right or not after a given period of time. I'm willing to be someone else's Mr. Right even though I'm still a "work in progress" and I'm damn sure willing to be Mr. Right Now while you look for Mr. Right...why, you ask? Because I fucking hate being single.
The sad part about my words is that I've chosen my current predicament. Look, I called it a "necessary evil" because you can't always be in a relationship. That said, I'm not saying my system is fail-proof. I'm not even saying my logic is on par with common sense. I'm simply saying I don't have it all figured out, but being single isn't going to help me "figure it out" any better.
Sorry for the length...to end the story I wanted to let you know I've decided to give this "being single" thing the ol' college try I never did. I'll probably be writing more "bitter blogs" in the weeks and months to come...