"ain't no feeling like being free..."--Destiny's Child
It seems like from the time girls discover the fundamental difference between males and females, we're being pushed or pulled into a pair. Adults ask six year-old little girls who their boyfriend is, movies show fifth grade girls catching their schoolyard crush off guard by planting a big juicy kiss on him. High school girls feel pressured to have boyfriends and in college, everyone's speculating on who's hooking up with who. Then there's 'real life', in which women are expected to be on a constant hunt--or at the very least on the lookout--for a husband. It's neverending. And exhausting. Well, I'm checking out for an unspecified amount of time. And in addition to the fact that I'm at the tender age of 27 where many single women statistically decide they've had enough of the bull, I have some very good reasons.
1. I'm Tired I'm fairly certain that I haven't had more bad experiences with men than the average woman, but after the past eight years, I do think I may have far less patience. There was a time in my life where I had limitless amounts of goodwill towards men. I was a player of "the game". I found it exciting and entertaining. It wasn't always pleasant and I did have to turn the other cheek many times, but in hindsight consider it no skin off my back. As the years have gone by, however, I've found myself increasingly unable to stand complete foolishness. I no longer have the stomach for lies, the heart for neediness, or the patience for anyone who can't auto-correct after one warning. The freedom that comes from reaching your tipping point is exhilarating! It's like getting the chance to live a whole new life.
2. They Don't Make Them Like They Used To We are fortunate to live in the Information Age, where knowledge is at an unprecedented high and we have so many awesome advances in various industries. And granted, there are many things I disdain about the old American way of life, the nuclear family-driven 1950's and 1960's, that forced women into a creepy little box of wife, mother and socialite, seemingly without their consent. But I do long for the days [I've never experienced] when men didn't text, SMS, email, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and IM their way to ass. Men today skip so many steps and expect you to be overjoyed at any small measure of chivalry (fellas: listing all the chivalrous things you did all night automatically renders you completely ineligible for the goods). In this world of scarily short attention spans and obsession with what's next, it's hard to find men that have been conditioned to enjoy the process. Well, guess what? I'm going through the process by my damn with or without a man that's conditioned to enjoy my journey. And just for the record, that journey includes increased level of productivity and a more heightened focus than I can recall having in years.
3. My Standards Have Gotten Too High Typically the longer women have to tap their fingernails waiting on Mr. Right, the lower their standards become. Some broads find themselves on waiting lists for Lowered Expectation-esque dating services and websites trying to find someone to spend the rest of their life with. I, for one, refuse. The longer I've "waited", I've uncovered so many far-reaching examples of what I don't want that the list for what I do want has gotten longer and longer. Yet, it's also gotten more precise, which means I'm getting warmer and that when the right one comes along, I'll know him even better. I won't bore you with the [62-point] list, but I will say that he's spiritual, funny, talented, ambitious and doesn't have to warn me about his penis size--either way.
4. I Find It Difficult To Hide Revulsion Some women are great actresses. I take that back. All women are great actresses, when they want to be. I, however, have no desire to act like I like someone that I don't. I've tried it for the sake of the bigger picture, but I've found that no picture is big enough to be bored, disgusted, or annoyed for any amount of time. Not saying that people I've loved haven't ever elicited those reactions, but we all know being in love covers over a multitude...
5. I'm Quick To Anger Despite the many admonitions of Jesus, my temper can be a doozy. To my credit, I am slow to irate screaming matches. But I'm pretty much a sprinter when it comes to employing tactics like silent treatment and cold stares. I figure it's probably best to work on this outside of a relationship, particularly since life with any man is bonehead move-laden. It's pretty much something for which you should be fully prepared.
6. I'm Poor Since I have a problem with feeling like anyone has too much of an upper hand on me, I prefer to be in a position to pay for things, at least my own, when necessary. This is not one of those times. In fact, I found last week that two of my savings accounts were closed due to inactivity. Meanwhile, I recently began putting $50 a month into my primary [read: sole] savings account and feel as though my entire lifestyle has changed. This does not a rich girl make. My hand-to-mouth status is not conducive to a healthy relationship, as I would surely end up homeless trying to one-up any potential suitor worth my time. Not saying the windfall's not coming, just saying it's not here today. And probably won't be tomorrow.
7. I'm Getting To My Number I made a deal with myself years ago that there was a certain number of partners that I absolutely could not exceed before marriage in order to be respectful to my future husband (I know, I don't really believe in that stuff where the big picture is concerned, but personally, yeah, I'm a little Victorian. So what?). Well, damned if I'm not toeing the line. I've been abstinent for over a year--with the slight exception of some random, idiotic throwaway "hook up" in September; please don't ask--so why would I ruin a perfectly good run with someone who wasn't totally worth it? As Kim says "I don't want anyone else diggin' in my coochie that's not my husband". For once, she and I totally agree on something that has to do with sex! I think that declaration appropriately conveys the feeling of being totally burned out on the whole thing. My Grandmother used to say "there's nothing worse than a ho than an old ho or a poor ho." I'll leave it at that and let you complete that thought. It actually ended up being a lot more depressing than I'm willing to handle.