Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Popular Myth-conceptions

Being in the condition my condition is in, single, no kids, no significant other, I often hear other people telling me how great or lousy things must be based on how they see my life. I gotta tell you, most of these myths are untrue or at least untrue in my particular circumstance. For those that don't know I'm in my mid-40's, single, never married, no kids. I won't say I chose this life as much as it chose me and at this point in time I'm content with it. But, I hear a lot of people making assumptions about my life that just couldn't be further from the truth. In my example you also have to make the assumption you live alone in either a place you own or rent and are gainfully employed. Let's examine a couple of them

Myth #1- You must go out every night- False. I think even in my heyday of my mid-20's about 3 nights a week was all we could manage. I did give the 3 or 4 nights a week thing a go when I first moved to Cambridge but it didn't (it couldn't) last. The simple truth is most people who have to get up and go to work every day simply can't go out every night. More so, if you are relying on a single income to pay all your bills the idea of spending $200 plus a week on booze just isn't feasible (but it is fun). Realistically I got out 2 nights a week, 3 on a rare occasion, and sometimes, on a weekend night, I even stay in (oh the shame)!!! While I admit at times my life feels like a never ending party, it really isn't even close to one

Myth #2- With all the divorced women out there it must be like shooting fish in a barrel- False. I've yet to find this particular barrel or these particular fish. If this kind of place exists outside movies and TV I either haven't found it or I'm just a lousy fisherman (and shooter). Maybe, just maybe, I find the whole idea of people referring to formerly married women in such a condescending way ignorant. Or maybe I'm just hideously unattractive.

Myth #3- You must live off leftovers, frozen food and takeout- False. I made a pledge about 5 years ago to learn to cook and have made good on it. While a lot of what I make may not be "healthy" in the true sense of the word, it's better then prepared food as I know everything that goes in it. I make dinner at least twice a week (usually recycling each meal at least once), lunch 4 times a week, and breakfast 3 times a week. I've learned to bake a little bit and have even learned such odd crafts as making my own sauces, mayo, and even pickles. I do still balance this off with eating out a few times a week but my microwave is primarily used to reheat my own food, not something from the frozen food aisle.

Myth #4- Wow, it must be great doing what you want, when you want, with who you want to do it with- TRUE...and False. I'm not going to lie, I love the freedom and control I have over my life. I really do. To not have it at this point would be as foreign to me as life on Mars. A great example would be Sundays. I wake up whenever I wake up, make some elaborate breakfast, then see where the day takes me. Maybe I'll stay in all day watching football. Maybe I'll get to a project I've been putting off. Maybe I'll spend all day making tomato sauce and homemade pasta. Or, maybe I'll do none of the above. And guess what? I only have myself to answer to. Living alone reminds me of what one of my Canadian relatives once told me about getting things done on Prince Edward Island; "If it doesn't get done today, it will get done tomorrow. If it doesn't get done tomorrow, it might not get done at all". Yea, it's kind of like that. BUT, as Erma Bombeck put it, sometimes the grass is always greener over the septic tank. Summers and vacations in general are tough if you're not part of "something". Hearing about everyone going "here with the kids" or "here with my wife/girlfriend" can really get tiresome and make you feel crappy. Going out in groups and being the 5th, 7th, or 9th wheel can be uncomfortably humbling. And, hell, sometimes you'd trade in all the freedom in the world just to have a special someone there by your side when you really need it. Then again, sometimes you wouldn't

I'm happy with my life and I hope you are with yours. It's hard to comment on someones life until you've walked a mile in their shoes. So while there are certain preconceived notions you have about someone, in most cases the truth isn't nearly as interesting. And for every part of someones life you may be envious of remember, they may be just as envious of yours.