Oftentimes we humans put severe limitations on our ability to be happy and then spend our lives commiserating about whose fault it is when we are not.
I think for the most part, we don’t know what we want or expect. We hope that something or rather someone will appear with a road-sign and a flashlight, illuminating the path to happiness.
Fact is the other hapless souls including the one we are looking at to rescue us from our mundane unhappy existence, is doing the same. So like the blind leading the blind, we end up making circles round each other like a dog chasing its tail, while we keep “trying” in our heads, to make that significant other – husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend happy, thinking that it will in turn, make them feel “indebted” to make us happy. Whereas all this time, all we had to do was to find “happy” on our own – find our own fun, fulfillment, space, livelihood and career. Could it be that easy?
It could and it is! We put in little effort into living life the way we want …always waiting for the other, the wife, the husband, the boss, the neighbor, the teenage daughter or son to make us happy and when we are not, we want someone to fix – or at least take the blame for it - and yet we call it MY LIFE!
I think men and women should get together just for sex. That is one thing you can’t do on your own. Well, technically you could but it might not be half as much fun. I digress.
The point is when we are alone, we do things that please us, because no one is watching….we throw caution to the winds. When in company, we are careful to say only those things that we will not be judged on ….at least, not by someone that matters to us.
Alone, we sing, sometimes loudly while chopping vegetables for dinner, even louder in the shower. Many a time we catch our self doing dance steps going from one room to another around the house….because no one is watching….and no one is judging. We say things…sometimes not so polite things…uh-oh! We use bad words because no one will rebuke us immediately and witheringly. We use swearwords while driving (or sitting most of the time), on the 405 Freeway trying to get home in rush hour traffic (although a kid in the car will very quickly put the brakes on swearing). Single people….!
Single folks for the most part please themselves, live for themselves. Does that mean single people are self-absorbed and selfish? Perhaps. They on the other hand, do not expect happiness to be spoon fed to them in giant mouthfuls, at the end of every evening and the beginning of every day. They look inside for the pleasures of life…. find their smiles from within.
The moment any man re-enters our lives, why does all that have to change? Why must we start feeling “lonely” when we are alone and “neglected” when he is off doing his own thing – whether it’s a “work thing” or a “buddies thing”? Sometimes we are so busy seeking and demanding an equal-opportunity marriage, eager to depend on him/her to have us feeling “important”, we stop doing our own thing, living our own lives. We stop singing for no reason, stop dancing. Perhaps even forget to walk tall, or talk intelligently. We stop being an interesting creature…as when we were single….!
The fact that no sooner than we gals become a couple, we stop filing gas in our cars, expect someone else to do it – especially if it’s raining. We stop fixing that squeaky door, killing that spider, trying to open that darn lid on the pickle jar. In come all those honey do lists and family obligations that we were perfectly capable of and happy to handle on our own in our single days. Why we expect the men to pick up the kids, do the dishes, take over filing those pesky taxes, balancing that checkbook, run ALL those annoying but unavoidable errands with a smile on his face as a sign of his love and commitment – is food for thought. But then again, isn’t that what having a man around the house means?
What about the man? Do his expectations grow when he takes a mate? Or just his duties towards the woman? Why he becomes incapable all of a sudden of cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cooking Sunday dinner, ironing his own shirts and visiting Mom for Thanksgiving, relegating these to his better half, eager to bring out her “nurturer” role in their married life, is indeed a wonder.
How much then does each adapt and retain? Expect to receive and provide? Is that the reason we enter and re-enter relationships? Is a relationship a trap then to see if we shall each return to our worst selves? Or is the alternative – to draw up more rules in a world already choking with that kind of stuff ruling every public space every day of our lives? Should it enter our homes too?
Couple’s rules. Relationship rules. What we should and shouldn’t. Must and mustn’t. Why can’t it be perfectly “natural” for each of us to stay exactly who we are, grow complacent, fat, indolent and happy? It’s just a matter of getting used to……!
Wish it were.