Monday, January 30, 2012

Dear Logan,

It is perfectly fine to be single. There is no crime and/or shame in being unattached. It is a perfectly respectful state to be in, as opposed to say perpetual terror or Delaware.

In fact, Biblically, people who remain single are to be revered above others. Although I’m sure Westboro Baptist Church would disagree. But hey, should they intervene, your name would be on Fox News so your visibility and popularity among sane people would increase. So that would be a plus, wouldn’t it?

And then there’s Newt Gingrich’s take which is “Married? Single? Who cares? Do her! Now let’s run for President!” However, dear young man, I know you well enough to know you have higher moral standards than anyone running for public office, as well as a much lower annual income. Let’s just move along, shall we?

Upon his marriage to Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt was asked what he felt was the biggest difference between being married and being single. His answer? “When you are married you can fart and eat crackers in bed and not have to worry.” Hmm…wonder how Angelina feels about that?

Now I am not knocking marriage. I am sure it is a perfectly wonderful state. I know many happy people who are married. I also know of many happy people who have been married many, many times.

I’ve never been married myself, almost three times but never actually got to the whole legal schlemiel. Had I gone through with them, I’m sure I would still be very happy and relatively well adjusted. Of course after three marriages I would probably be running for public office or, more than likely, standing by the road side dressed in a barrel holding up a sign that says “Will work for alimony”.

I am sure, Young Grasshopper, should you really, really not want to be single the time will come when you will not be. Don’t obsess about it. There are so many other important things to obsess over, like having on matching socks, making sure you don’t put the frozen turkey on top of the bread in the grocery bag again and whether or not “General Hospital” is getting cancelled.

When the time is right, I have no doubt that this unattached state you worry over will take care of itself. Someday, a lucky young lady will decide you are the one and that will be that. Before you can say “Brad Pitt” she will grab you by the Coast Guard, drag you to the nearest church and slam your head against the altar until you scream “I do” for mercy.

However, since I have never been wed, I cannot speak of that which I do not know. (I am not running for President) Therefore, I can only speak of being single, the pros and cons, the ins and outs and the random manic depressive obsessive compulsive glories of single life.

First of all, disregard Mr. Pitts quote. When you are single, you sleep alone (most of the time) so no one will care if you fart and eat crackers in bed. I have to tell you this is NEVER a problem.

Now I am obviously single, but I don’t sleep alone. I sleep with a dog. This is not a sexist slur against anyone I am dating. I actually sleep with a dog…literally…the four legged furry kind. While she doesn’t particularly care for it when I fart in bed, she does, however, love it when I eat crackers. In turn, I don’t have to sleep in the crumbs, just something to think about.

Of course, sleeping with a dog does lead to a few minor negatives. There’s the whole lay down with dogs, get up with fleas thing. I just keep Pixie clean and innocently chalk up any stray itching to dry skin.

Being single does add a certain ideal freedom to one’s life and as a young man you may take full advantage of these. Most importantly there are a number of questions you never have to answer. Examples being “Where are you going?”, “Can we afford that?” and “You're not really going to wear that, are you?” For the record, “Does this make my butt look big?” will always, always haunt us.

There is one question you will have to deal with constantly and the longer you are single the more you will hear it. Yes, my friend, the dreaded question, “Why are you still single?” Face it, it’s a rude, stupid question asked by rude, stupid however well-meaning people. Prepare for it.

There are many, many variations to this question; “Why haven’t you ever married?”, “Still looking for the right woman?”, “Not finished sewing the wild oats yet?”, “Would you like to meet my brother?” All in all, each of these variations on a single theme boil down to one thing.

If you aren’t a married man by a certain age, many in society assume there is a deep character flaw within you that has caused members of the opposite sex to run screaming for Delaware every time you walk in a room. They simply cannot stand knowing what it is, and think you will be caught off guard enough by the question to answer it.

The obvious answer is the wrong one. Be warned. Never, ever answer the “Why aren’t you married” question with “There’s nothing wrong with being single”. This will only lead to argumentative conversation.

“Why aren’t you married?”

“There’s nothing wrong with being single.”

“Yes there is.”

“No there’s not.”

“Most serial killers are single.”

“Statistically, most serial killers are divorced.”

“Are you calling me a liar?”

…See where that got you?

The best answer to the dreaded, rude question in my many years of experience is “If I knew the answer to that question, I’d be married now wouldn’t I?” With that answer you have properly deflected the rudeness by forcing them to have to answer the unanswerable question themselves. These people think of themselves as polite and PC, and would never ever admit what they think your character flaws are (to your face). Of course, they will forever wonder what is so wrong with you that no one will marry you, but they’ll at least stop asking you what it is.

There is also the dreaded “So, are you seeing anybody question?” Once again, the initial response is the incorrect one. If you say “No”, they will immediately begin fixing you up. Oh, the empty wallets and nights of sheer terror that will lead to, unless of course, you are in to that sort of thing. The proper answer to that question is precarious, so tread lightly.

“So, are you seeing anyone?”


Oh? Whom?”

See why treading lightly is important here? For years I told people I was dating Ellen Degeneres. It made sense for awhile. It explained why they never saw us together, that I went out of town a lot and why I was always broke. Then the “Time” came and now most of my rude friends from that era think I never married because I turn the women I date into lesbians.

I have learned, over time, that the proper answer to the question is, “Yes, and I think this may be the one. It’s all new and I don’t want to jinx it.” Obviously, you say, doesn’t that give them the option to ask the question later?

Yes, Logan. Yes it does. Then your answer becomes, “We broke up and I’m still very upset. Please (add lip quiver here—they LOVE that) let’s not talk about it.” From there you can keep the questions in perfect circle.

See? Learn from my experience.

Now, you will get a few who will try and stage an intervention. Not married interventions are the reason that many single people choose to carry weapons. There are no easy outs with these “people”. Just deal with them on a one by one basis, and carry a permit in your wallet or weapon of choice holder.

I remember, when I was a few years older than you, mid-twenties at the latest, a woman a few years older than I, right here in Johnson County, decided to step in an attempt a coup. Her younger, inbred sister was my age and also unmarried. I answered all the questions correctly and unfortunately this was before Ellen came out, so I had no tragic flaw back up.

She insisted I just get over myself and get married. It was expected at my age. I argued that I was waiting for the right woman, and was sure that love in full 3D Cinemascope was just around the corner. She was having none of it. I was told that when she was my age, she just found a single man, got married and now had a happy normal life with three children and one on the way.

I finally just told her I wasn’t interested. She snorted and gave me that “Well, obviously you’re gay” look (You’ll know it when you see it, get used to it) and moved on. Three days later her husband tried to French kiss me. So you see how well THAT philosophy works out.

I now see both of them once a week buying groceries…separately. She doesn’t speak to me and gives me a silent “I’m still better than you” glare then miserably opens a box of cookies to eat and not pay for. He seems very happy with his partner, although I do continue to insist I have no interest in meeting his brother.

That brings us to the financial expense of being single. This is the one negative you’ll just have to deal with. The truth is that being single, it will cost you the same amount to live as a family of three. There is no way around this.

They don’t make utility bills and rent for one, like Campbell’s soup and frozen entrees. And just like Soup for One and frozen entrees they suck and are cheaper to buy in bulk to freeze for later. Even though the Bible says differently, society, especially Church groups, Utility boards and Landlords will always treat single people as “Special Needs Children”. (Oh, they are so sweet but thank God there’s not one in my family!)

Just stop worrying about being single. You’re gonna be just fine. If the right girl doesn’t come along you have two options we’ve already covered. You can meet someone’s brother or you can get a dog, fart and eat crackers in bed happily ever after.

You can live happily until the day you die an unmarried man. Smile my friend, knowing that your obituary will read:

“So and so, who never married, passed away. We now know what was wrong with him.”

And the chicken dances on…