Cupid Was Drunk

Cupid was drunk when he shot his arrow at me. He must’ve been. Like, stumbling drunk. I’ve not been lucky in love. Well, that’s not entirely true… I have had several long-term relationships that were sometimes wonderful, sometimes not-so-wonderful, and I have loved and learned from them all. But I’m single now, and have been for a couple years (and by a “couple,” I mean more like five.) I’ve been single for five years! I guess the fact that 5 years went by so quickly is a testament to how full my life feels without a man. Don’t get me wrong — since my last relationship ended , I’ve dated men here and there, but nothing that developed into anything serious. And for the most part, I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be alone forever — and I need to do some work around that — but on the eve of Valentines Day, I’d actually like to focus on how awesome I think it is to be single on Valentines Day. Seriously. I have nothing against the holiday in general, but I personally have never had an interest in celebrating it myself, boyfriend or not. When Valentines Day rolls around and I do have a boyfriend? I’ve always told them the same thing: Do not buy me flowers. Don’t. I love flowers. But I don’t want to get them because it’s a valentines day requirement. I want them “just because.” And you know what? Particularly with my last boyfriend — the man who, so far, has been the Love of My Life — I got a lot of flowers. Just because. Just because he knows I love them and he loves me and wanted to express that. Isn’t that better than pressuring him on one day to do what he’s “supposed to” because some random holiday dictates it? And isn’t it terrible that this one random holiday makes a lot of single people suddenly feel like there’s something wrong with them because they’re single? (Like we don’t already get that message enough.)  Yeah.  This year, on Valentines Day, I propose that single folks celebrate being single.  Even if you don’t want to be single.  Try to focus on the positive.  Live your life as if you’re going to meet your soul mate tomorrow.  Use the time to discover new passions, or rekindle old ones (for me it’s running and video editing).  Take advantage of the freedom of being without a partner.  Be happy for those who are in love and celebrating that love on Valentines Day — but remember that a lot of those couples are more lonely than you are.  Because the relationship is not what they want it to be.  But they’d rather be in any relationship than be alone.  Take comfort in knowing you are open and free to meet a new partner.  The right partner.  Look forward to feeling the spark of a new romance.  The excitement of 1st, 2nd and 3rd dates.  Try not to feel crappy that you’re alone on a holiday celebrating love.  Try to feel proud, instead.  You’re doing it on your own.  Living life.  That’s not always easy and it takes a lot of courage and strength.  Be proud of that.   To quote one of my favorite movie characters (Janet Livermore) played by a terrific actress (Bridget Fonda) in a classic movie about being single (“Singles”):  “Being alone–there’s a certain dignity to it.”

Dignity, Indeed. Happy Valentines Day everybody!

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Always a Bridesmaid

(Spoiler Alert!  If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read the post).

I watched the movie Bridesmaids last night.  I loved it.  It was a unique angle on complex friendships and what can happen when two people’s lives start to go in different directions.  But most of all, it was funny as hell.  A woman took a dump in the street wearing a wedding dress; that’s funny stuff.  But here’s where they lost me:  as soon as the Cop came into the picture.  Because I knew.  Right then.  That the cop was going to be Kristin Wiig’s love interest.  And I didn’t want Kristin Wiig to have a love interest.  For once — just one time — I wish these screen writers in Hollywood would let go of the fantasy that we’ll all be “Happily Ever After” as soon as we meet a man.  As soon as we get married.  Because you know what?  I liked Kristin Wiig’s character.  Just her.  By herself.  Struggling through a hiccup in her career.  Watching her best friend move on with new friends and a new fiancé, while her own life felt like it was spiraling in the opposite direction.  And you know why I liked it?  Because I’ve lived it.  I’ve lived it and continue to live it to some extent.  And the second they bring in that man – in this case the Cop – they lose me.  They lost me.  And I loved that Cop!  I loved the actor.  I loved his character.  I wanted him to pull me over for a broken tail light!  But see, that’s the problem.  As soon as she met him, she was unrelateable to me.  As soon as she met him, I felt that familiar shift.  Like right when I was steeped in camaraderie with this character –  right when I was starting to feel okay about my own similar struggles with being alone – she meets a guy.  And that guy helps her to tap into her passion for baking again.  That guy makes her see what a douchebag John Hamm’s character is (played brilliantly by Mr. Hamm, by the way).  That guy is there for her at the end of the movie for that great Hollywood ending.  We’ve seen it before in books and films:  Eat, Pray, Love;  Bridget Jones’ Diary, hell, even Sex and The City ended with Carrie Getting the Guy.  Remember the movie Singles?  One of my favorite lines in that movie was when Bridget Fonda’s character breaks up with Matt Dillon’s character and proclaims “Being alone: there’s a certain dignity to it. ”  Until, that is, she gets back together with him at the end of the movie.  Just once, I’d like to read a book or see a movie with a strong, flawed, single woman navigating her way through life alone.  With no man to “save” her.  Because we are out there.  Lots of us.  And we are constantly bombarded with messages that being alone is Not Okay.  That being alone should be considered a temporary Rest Area on the highway to marriage.  And it’s reinforced with these so-called books about amazing women doing it alone.  Because the story always ends with them not being alone.  So I’m here to talk about my life.  And how I’ve managed — through lots of soul-searching, book-reading, and even some therapy — to learn to be happy alone.  (most of the time). To know that I don’t know when or if I will meet a partner in life, so I better hurry up and get living.  And be okay with that.  To make my own happy ending.  To not wait for a man to make me feel like I’ve finally “arrived.”  To arrive in my own life — take responsibility for my own life.  And be Happily Ever.   Alone?  That remains to be seen.  But for now, I’m Happily Ever Alone.  And I simply don’t believe that I’m alone in this.  Am I wrong?  Do you agree?  Can you relate?  I’d love to hear your thoughts…