Sunday, October 14, 2007

Does being single really translate into “cornucopia of choices to mingle” or is it “an over-exaggerated fad?”

A disclaimer right in the beginning: this post isn’t my attempt to condone or condemn the choice that people make about their marital status.

With God’s grace, I have alluring, altruistic, soigné, illustrious and vivacious friends – a mix of both single and married people. Depending on the marital status, people belong to different school of thoughts. Overall, I am a homebody, but I have a confession to make-- somewhere in my heart, I envy an aspect of the “carte blanche” that accompanies single people. Oops! My entire family just cringed after having read the aforementioned line. Believe me; I can jot down my candidness with such ease because (Thank God!) I am not married to some sanctimonious ignoramus who would be offended beyond comprehensible means because of my ‘sacrilegious’ thoughts. My husband is au fait with where the adulation for “the smell of freedom” comes from. To me, “no strings attached” or “living large as a single” doesn’t translate to “license to go on a dating binge;” what I covet about the single life, is the ability to do what you want when you want without feeling culpably or emotionally torn apart—whether it’s juggling or multi-tasking. The going gets tougher when you actually want to be home and not because you are duty-bound.

Last night, an incident transpired that made me wonder if “being single” is overrated. I woke up at wee hours and realized that I had temporarily lost mobility--maybe pulled a muscle in my sleep or just slept in an incorrect posture. The initial feeling was that of inexplicable fear—“will I be able to stand on my own?” “Will I be able to walk?” Of course, it was the sleep-deprived brain thinking and hence the dramatization.

For the last 15 hrs, I have been dealing with excruciating pain and my husband has been striving to eradicate it - both mentally and physically. This whole episode made me cogitate how people handle such overwhelming situations when they have no one with them. I know this country thrives on dialing 911 but what if the phone is few feet away and you are unable to dial that magic help number. Yes, it can happen. It dawned on to me that those few moments of “it’s my life” or “my way or the highway” that the single life provides you with, is maybe coated with as much tribulation as felicity.

I am not saying that marriage should be raison d'être, but I think the illusion of being single is more appealing than the phenomenon itself. Not everyone lives the life Carrie Bradshaw does on “Sex & The City”- a socialite on a columnist’s salary. That is a completely different story. The media portrays the “single life” to be all glamorous and beguiling, but I believe that is just half-truth.

Copyright © 10.14.2007

“I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life” ~ Rita Rudner


Pradeep Srivastava said...

Every civilized society recognizes the benefits of marriage, which is a social construct that has evolved over the long period of human history. Nobody likes to be stuck in a bad marriage, but most people would rather have a mediocre marriage than be single! Studies have conclusively shown that married people are usually healthier than singles, physically, as well as emotionally. There may be several reasons for that. One, the couples tend to nag each other about health issues, such as medication, nutrition, exercise, going for annual physicals and the like. Second, the couples can do things together that they both enjoy and talk to each other whenever they are looking for a sounding board, which is good for their emotional health. Third, the couples feel secure because they can rely on each other in case of an emergency. Fourth, the couples usually have a better social standing than singles. Married couples, fairly or unfairly, usually feel more comfortable socializing with other married couples rather than singles.

Anonymous said...

So, being in excrutiating pain made you realize that marriage is more appealing , not sad is that????

welsh said...

I don't think the author was trying to detail the appeal of married life. I thought the attempt was to say that the so called excitement of single life in the author's mind was overrated.

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