Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I have been single all my life. I’ve never had a boyfriend, or at least I never had one where in officially we were in a “mag-on” stage. I’ve been in a “seeing someone” stage, and I’ve (too often in the past) been in an “unrequited, love-from-a-distance” state. Ugh. There was a time in my late 20s and early 30s when I was out every Friday and Saturday evening, either in Makati or Malate or both, looking for Mr. Right in what may be the wrong places for me. When the Internet opened up new ways of connecting and hooking up with people, I had no dial-up connection either in the office or at home. Shet, dial-up, how primitive. So the great Internet train left me behind during its heyday. And I never was comfortable with going out on a formal date; I think it makes the two of you too stiff, trying to make a great first impression. Not that there’s anything wrong with great first impressions, so long as they’re indicative of who you really are and not what you think the other wants you to be.

So here I am at 40, still single but definitely not a virgin. I definitely have my single’s life down pat: work out, work, eat out, eat someone in the bathhouse, go to a bar on certain weekends, watch a movie at the theaters now and then, and surf the net. More and more I’ve become very comfortable being with myself, to the point that I actually don’t mind eating alone at times—just give me something to read and I’ll be a happy customer. I like making friends with myself. I like having to answer only to myself when faced with a free schedule. I value my freedom and independence.

But recently I’ve been wondering what would it be like to be in a relationship. Not because I have this deep want, nay need, to be in one; rather, it’s more out of curiosity. You know, to be able to compare and contrast first hand instead of being a mere witness on the sidelines. I remember seeing Jada Pinkett-Smith on Tyra’s show and she mentioned how her husband helps her see things about her that she wouldn’t have been able to discover on her own. I think you don’t necessarily need a husband or a partner to do that; they can be a family member or a close friend. Lucky are the people who have people who can bring out the best in them, who inspire them. I suppose that’s an argument for choosing your friends well. Sure, you can go for a bit of quantity; we all need our drinking buddies and our shopping buddies once in a while. But I think one should maintain at least a couple of quality friends, people who aren’t afraid to tell you things you need, not just things you want, to hear.

Do I want to remain single all my life? No, but it doesn’t mean that I’m afraid of being alone for the rest of my life. After all, one need not be alone if one so chooses; all one needs to do is reach out. And alternately having a partner is no guarantee; people can live under one roof and still grow apart.

My biggest obstacle? My knee-jerk reaction that nothing will come out of any possible relationship. Yes, it is quite a self-destructive quality, and I am working on it. At least I’m aware of it.

But if there’s one major advantage to being single, it’s this: it makes me ready for the final day of my life, when I have to face Death in the eye. Because when my time’s up, it’s just Death and I. Because most likely we’ll die alone. Oh sure, you may have your family and friends by your death bed, but no one’s going to accompany you when you finally cross the line. And rare are the Thelmas and Louises of this world. So unless you two commit a double suicide, chances are your partner will stay behind while you croak. Or vice versa. Morbid? Nah, I’d like to think of it as being practical.

So my whole life is just a preparation for the ultimate singlehood, when I’m separated even from myself.


Putting it that way makes it a wee bit uhm, depressing, isn’t it? Hahaha!


Anonymous said...

I'm experiencing most of the same things you've said, being single for some time now (But with much less of the morbidity, or as you call it, "practicality").

In my case I guess I'm single because I'm simply afraid to be in a relationship. It's tough to let myself open up and be vulnerable again. Not to mention adjust my life and my routines for someone else.

Although I'm ok being alone, living alone, and even dying alone, I must admit I'd prefer to do it with someone special (apart from family and friends).


acrobat said...

well said girl. :) i'm in my 20s and have been seriously considering of "getting" a bf. but i'm afraid of giving up some of the conveniences of being single. i think this post helped me assess what exactly i want. some people are better with relationships, but i think i'm of a different kind. :) do you think choosing "perpetual" singlehood is just being selfish? i've always been afraid that i am.