Love, as they say, is a losing game, and that is never truer than on this particular day of the calendar. But it’s not all bad. “Attached” doesn’t necessarily mean “happy”, so well done, us losers!
Today I’m going to send a Valentine to seven males and thirteen females, all of whom I love. I mention this now as a confession to those who believe that their way of living and loving is “the right and only way”. Let’s call them The Smugs.
The Smugs are a particular societal subset, usually heterosexual and married. They’re not necessarily happy or fulfilled but are nonetheless determined to assert that their life choices are the correct ones and that these have made them life’s Winners!!!
By default, this defines the rest of us as Losers.
I represent two species of Loser: The Singles who are “just too picky to find a partner” and The Single Mothers, who are “too lazy to attract and hold a mate.” To be honest though, I’m currently trying to de-Loser myself and “couple-up” so that I can go to Smug dinner parties and talk about house renovations and how “the best thing about Bali is that it’s really like Europe.”
I’ve promised myself that I will try harder “to compromise” and by puffing out my chest and wearing an exotic headdress I hope to “catch a mate.” If this technique fails I will abandon my businesses and my children and get some kind of government grant so that I can focus full-time on getting a bloke. He will no doubt enhance my life enormously because at the moment I just sit around smoking crack and plaiting my hair.
After I “catch” my Prince Charming, I hope to be invited to “couple’s events”, where I will merrily use the phrase, “my other half” and also be referred to as “the ball and chain.”
It’s true that in some ways a single life is a hard life, but we also laugh, party, travel, play sport and… yes, have sex. Only a very small proportion of us sit in a room hugging a cat while dreaming it’s George Clooney.
Truth is of course I would adore to have a supportive, loving, encouraging, big hearted, capable and inspiring partner. But I think that deep down a lot of you Smugs would love one of those too.
You’d probably also like to have more sex. Just not with each other.
Oh Smugs, it’s no secret you spend a lot of time bored, frustrated and disappointed, waiting for the lawn to be mowed, the toilet roll changed or for your partner to stop talking. And we know that many of you stay in a loveless marriage for financial reasons and/or to avoid the painful stigmatisation and judgment of your partnered friends. (Which is, yes, something that you seem to forget…when gleefully judging us.)
Though it’s true that in some ways a single life is a hard life, emotionally and financially, single people also can’t lean on anyone if they get tired in the cinema, have to shop at Ikea all by themselves, and are forced to make traumatic decisions alone about whether or not to take an umbrella to work today.
But we also laugh, party, travel, play sport and… yes, have sex. Only a very small proportion of us sit in a room hugging a cat while dreaming it’s George Clooney.
I represent two species of Loser: The Singles who are “just too picky to find a partner” and The Single Mothers, who are “too lazy to attract and hold a mate.”
Sometimes we also achieve things with our lives. Single people you may have heard of include Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Elizabeth 1st, Sir Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale and, some say, God.
The children raised by a single parent also somehow miraculously achieve things in life. Two you may have heard of are Barack Obama and Saint/Mother Teresa.
So until I get a bloke, I will celebrate love my way, not just with one “special person” but with all the people I love; some old boyfriends, some old school friends, girl friends, neighbours, workmates, my two children, the funny, kind, generous and the ratbags. It’s a rich and varied, happy, mad life. And I’m grateful to all my Valentines, even if you are a bunch of Losers.