14 February 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

Perhaps there's nothing more pathetic than a single woman who claims that she's happy being single. Confronted with the assertion that she is not really looking for a partner and that she is perfectly happy on her own, those in relationships nod knowingly as if to say, "sure, you're happy. . . right." Thanks to shows like Sex and the City, single women are perceived as constantly on the prowl, willing to spend ridiculous sums of money to hook men, who in turn seem to be quite happy to remain single. However, in a recent survey in the UK, it appears that single women are actually happier than single men. According to the survey, 56% of women claimed to be happy with their status, as opposed to only 46% of single men. Interestingly, what annoyed single women about their status was the fact that no one believed them when they said that they were happy and weren't looking for partners, while the men said that they missed the sexual aspect of relationships. But hey, that might just be a British thing, but I don't think so. You can read the story here if you like.

In any case, it's Valentine's Day, and to my friends who are happily in love, all the very best to you. And to my single friends - especially the ladies - don't fret. It's not worth the effort to try and convince your friends and family that you're happy. Just revel in it!


  1. Inez, Darling,
    I could not have asked for a more pleasant Valentine's greeting.
    Thanks to all of the insights about you, of course you know that I knew all of them anyway. But what a neat idea. As soon as I complete this, I am printing it out for Dad. It will be his homework for the day. (Have you received your box yet?)
    Love ya,

  2. You are right. I'm not convinced. Sure, there might be the rare woman who is happy on her own, the rare Katherine Hepburn (who commented, "If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.")

    But in general we human beings crave the deep union with another mind that only a good marriage can approximate. We are so fundamentally isolated in this world - we exist only in our own heads, with our own thoughts - and I think this is both the essential condition and defining trauma of our lives. We're so limited. We're social creatures but locked into our own skulls. We are intensely curious but hemmed in by five pathetically weak senses (and others that we have no clue how to use). We want to leave an imprint on the world, a lasting legacy, but for all our advances we are still cut short by the Biblical threescore and ten years. Our spirits are much bigger than our messy little bodies.

    I think these maladies of existence can be partially addressed through prayer, meditation, whirling dervishism or music.. but only partly. We need to understand and be understood, and the closest we can come is to find one other person willing to make this awesome commitment to stand next to us for life, and so to see what we see, know what we know, tend to us when we've got the flu, cheer when we hoist a trophy, be hungry with us when we're poor, and help us laugh at our own stupidities. And let's not forget that genetic drive to procreate. Marriage is "the dawn of romance and the commencement of history," and I mean that in a serious way.

    There are six billion human beings out there whose lives you'll never know, but through marriage you get an insight into one other mind, and that's the closest you'll come to not being alone.

    Besides, no man wants to believe that when he finds the right woman, and he's ready to settle down and leave his biological legacy, that she might say, "No thanks, I'm good." Every guy thinks that the right woman will naturally see her future in him, and if she's not sure then she'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    As Gloria Steinem said, "Someone once asked me why women don't gamble as much as men do and I gave the commonsensical reply that we don't have as much money. That was a true but incomplete answer. In fact, women's total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage."

    We guys all want to think you'll gamble on us.

  3. Ok, so after being out of the country and coming back to Valentines Day and being recently divorced, I must say that there is something to be said for both sides of the equation. Age, class, culture, and many more variables makes all the difference as to which one you agree with. Having been in Brasil for more than 2 months and married to a Brasilian for 4 years, I think the idea of monogamous marriage is something that few south of the border agree with. The idea of marriage at best a momentary infatuation to replayed over and over until one tires out. The idea that marriage is the bridge to finding that "someone" or that there is just 1 person that fulfills us is just not true. In the traditional western sense of marriage we seek a pathway out of "isolation" but I question wether "marriage" as a construct is not sold to us as way escape so called isolation and conform to a christian vision of family.