Today I had a mid life crisis.
The day began normally enough, with me standing in the shower washing toffee-scented hair wax out of my hair. As I let the hot water pour down my scalp and back (giving me first degree burns in the process), I closed my eyes and let my mind wander. For some reason, the first thought that came to my head was my brother's wedding, which was just over a year ago. I remember how happy he looked, how much fun we had dancing at the reception, the countless photographs, and how bad a screw the DJ was. Before I knew it, my mind had fast-forwarded to my life, and it was just a blur of color and motion. I snapped back to reality and turned the water off. Had I reached it? That fabled point in your life when you just stop and your mind silently screams at you "What the fuck do you want from your life?
My train of thought led my bathrobe-clad self to the freezer, where a pint of Galaxy Triple-Choc ice cream lay waiting (there goes Body for Life
out the door). As I sat curled up in my couch with a spoon in my hand, I made a mental checklist of what I had in my life. Good friends? Check. Good job? Check. Money? Check (and occasionally cash). Bustling social circle? Check. I stopped. There it was - the one thing on my mental list that wasn't in my life yet, no matter how much I had convinced myself I didn't need it. A relationship.
The thing is, relationships take slightly more complex meaning when you're gay. You may be having a simple chat with the cable guy one moment, and then shopping together at IKEA for matching drapes the next. That's probably how long it takes me to commit to a guy. Of course, at 24 years old I keep reassuring myself that I don't need someone dependant in my life at the moment, and that I'm happy being single. But truly, day by day I am finding it harder to convince myself otherwise. The other day, I had stopped at a clinic for a medical, and as I was happily filling in the Patient Information Form, my hand hovered over the 'Marital Status' section. Single. The word almost had a foul taste to it - like it rolled around in your mouth and you couldn't spit it out or swallow it. I was almost tempted to draw another box and label it "Oh god please call me
". The thing is, I think the whole single thing is so over rated. As single people, we are put under so much pressure to hook up. There are couples dinner discounts, couples dance nights, couples friggin Bingo at the old age home. But whenever you tell people that you're Single, they always tilt their head to the side and give you their widest smile. Sort of a you-freak-show-single-thing
type look. They shoot single people, don't they?
So many articles and books that I've read say that in order to appreciate your single status, you have to first love yourself. Or maybe if that was if you're a recovering alcoholic. Anyway, the best way to start to love yourself is to see yourself as God intended it - naked. Or maybe in Massimo Dutti. So to put this theory to the test, I stood in front of my mirror and gingerly slipped off my bathrobe. I love myself
I kept repeating in my head, as I gazed at my reflection. But my mental mantra was not seeping in. My eyes caught sight of the stretch marks caused by frequently hiding in my cupboard and wolfing down chips and Snickers bars when I was a kid. I saw the single silver hair sticking out of my forehead that I secretly shave off every two weeks for fear that I will turn into Gandalf. As I took in each little detail of my body, I made another mental checklist in my head of how much plastic surgery would cost (my accountant is still doing the paperwork on that).
But what if I don't enjoy being single anymore? What if I want to prance around with my other half and show him off like a prized trophy? I find it impossible to believe that in the entire city there isn't a decent guy whom I can go out with. I don't demand a lot from a guy, he just has to be cultured, polite, and financially secure. Hey, whoever came up with that "Money doesn't buy happiness" bullshit obviously never had a Rak Bank Titanium card.
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