Singled out

By Casey Toner

Being single sucks.

I’m not just saying that because I had to stomach cable television’s gift of the oh-so-original “She’s All That” as part of my Valentine’s Day entertainment Wednesday night. I just think there are far better situations to find yourself in other than being single, such as being pardoned by Bill Clinton or making the “I dated ‘Puffy’ Combs and survived” list.

Sure, there are those outspoken individuals who boast that they don’t need a significant other. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: They’re lying.

Now, before you kill the messenger, realize that I’m simply freeing us swingers out there so we can come out from behind all the excuses and embrace the truth that revolves around our solitary status. Let’s be honest & if being single was the greatest thing on earth, why do we rationalize to others as to why there’s no one in our life at the present moment?

For instance, we all dread the moment when we’re at some big family reunion and in front of everyone, sweet Grandma Betty asks, “So, why aren’t you dating?”

Ugh. You can feel the gears grinding in your head, grabbing for any excuse that will shift the gaze off you and your apparent non-existent social life. After a quick smile and a glance downward, you mutter the classic, yet safe line, “Well, you see, I’m just so darn busy right now that I don’t have the time to date.” As everyone around you nods approvingly, you can’t help but wonder how the heck you can be so busy when you sleep every day until 2 p.m., “forget” to go to class and begin your weekend of partying on Wednesday night.

And even though we will forever embrace the excuses that free us from the social probings of others, I can’t help but wonder what we’re really saying when we feed others our sugar-coated responses. I decided to seek some professional insight on this matter, so I thumbed through the yellow pages, searching for a

psychologist that could decipher the hidden meanings behind all the successful one-liners relied upon by the socially challenged.

I finally decided on “Dr. Blunt,” whose motto is: If you have a problem, blame it on your parents. I spent one hour with her as she continually asked me the question, “Why are you single?” She wrote down all the responses I muttered, laughed at me for a while and then told me what really is being said when the following answers are given.

I’m still young and enjoying my freedom.

Translation: I refuse to bathe and chew with my mouth closed.

I’m concentrating on my education/career or I’m married to my job.

T: I’m stubborn and refuse to change, so I’m going to channel all my energy into one thing and avoid the problem, nah na nah na nah nah.

I’m patiently waiting for my soul mate.

T: I pray every night that God won’t let me die a virgin.

I’m meant to be single right now in my life.

T: I shook my Magic 8-ball and asked it if I will ever date, and it read: Outlook not so good.

I don’t need a man/woman to make me whole.

T: My blow-up doll gives me all the love I need, and it doesn’t talk back.

I’m in between relationships.

T: I have a pattern of dating “bad” people, so I’m waiting for the next one to come along.

I have a lot going on in my life, and I just don’t have the time.

T: I still live with my parents, and tonight, we’re all playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Being single has really helped me to grow and find myself.

T: I’ve gained 30 pounds, and I find that I can’t fit into my hoochie clothes anymore.

My boy/girlfriend just dumped me, so I’m distancing myself from the whole dating scene.

T: I have a restraining order out on me, so I’ve been reduced to prank calling and spying.

I haven’t found my type of person yet.

T: I want someone to cook and clean for me and let me dump all my problems onto them.

I want to be alone.

T: I’m an emotional wreck and need Prozac, stat.

I’m not ready for marriage, so why date?

T: I’m co-dependent and have imaginary friends.

I refuse to conform to society’s idea that people need to date.

T: I’m really intimidating and scary.

I enjoy being single.

T: I’m in denial and am a pathological liar.

After my visit, not only was I $150 poorer, but I realized I’m really pathetic.

Being single has to have its moments … mmm … a-ha, you get to be selfish, which isn’t bad once in a while, and you get to treat yourself to moments that are best enjoyed when you’re by yourself. Also, if you’re in an unhealthy relationship, getting away from the other person and being single is by far the better path.

I recently got out of a relationship, so I’m back to being single, again. But, I’m cool with it & really.

I am single; and that’s OK.

T: I still feel like crap, so I’m staying home tonight and renting “She’s All That.”