Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"A Reminder"

Seeing photos of Jaime with her boyfriend Rory was always going to shake me a little. So when a new photo album from their trip to Portsmouth popped up, I was intrigued to look. Even though I knew it would hurt, I had to look anyway. Curiosity got the better of me, I guess. And I found exactly what I expected: the “couple” photos.

There were photos of them in embraces, kissing, holding hands and frolicking on the beach. And it did hurt. Thoughts of ‘that could have been me’ went through my head. I suddenly felt something come over me. Then I had a thought: I was glad that wasn’t me in the photo. Jaime looked happy, but what she was doing while she wasn’t around Rory told a very different story. Seeing Rory looking blissfully happy, I felt this overwhelming pity. Doesn’t he have the right to know what his beloved girlfriend has been doing?

I brought it up with my friend Kayla. “Haley says that she really loves Rory though.”

“If she really loved him, which I doubt she actually does, she would respect him and wouldn’t cheat on him.”

“True dat bro, true dat,” I replied, with a smile.
Knowing what I know, the ‘what could have been’ with Jaime has now become the ‘what I wouldn’t have wanted’...and right now, with Jaime, that’s the way I like it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Stupid Girl"

Ex-girlfriend Ella has now become Ex-Friend Ella. I found out at a party I attended a week ago, while I was trying to hook up with one of her friends (who incidentally didn’t know I was Ella’s ex), that she’d told everyone I was gay after I broke up with her. Being slightly wasted and I didn’t really know how to process the info. So, I did what any intoxicated person would: I got even drunker, while composing a text message that would sum up perfectly how I felt.

N: “You told everyone I was gay? WTF?”

Perfect, huh? No, I didn’t get a reply. No, I haven’t spoken to her since, nor do I intend to, unless it is of course confronting her (which I do intend on doing).

But, this little drama has raised a few questions for me. There is the age old question of can you ever really be friends with your ex? After breaking up with Ella and keeping in touch and staying friendly, I thought it was possible, but apparently this isn’t the case. Also, for a good Christian girl, supposedly, how can she be vicious? Well, that’s her going to hell then.

Monday, July 07, 2008

"The Single Stigma"

Something I've noticed lately, that I hadn't taken that much notice of before, is the stigma attached to being ‘single’. Whether it be the look of pity that comes over someone’s eyes as they find out you’re without a partner or whether it’s expectation that if you’re on your own your partner must have come to the party on your own. No, I came on my own, and I’m proud to admit it. I’m not an invalid, and I don’t need to be taken places.

Over the past few months, since I came home, I’ve been to several family gatherings, which means getting to see family members I haven’t seen in quite some time. And of course I get the inevitable questions: how are you? Good health? How is Leeds? How is work? And then onto the question I don’t care for: so you’re still single then? And, don’t you have a girlfriend then?

“ girlfriend.” I reply.

And the look of pity crosses their faces. I should say that it’s my choice to be single and that I enjoy the lifestyle I lead, but on the other hand I shouldn’t have to defend myself, or justify the decisions I decide to make. If they want to pity me let them do it. At the end of the day, they can’t go out any night of the week and party like the best of them.

The look of pity I receive so often comes from, in my opinion, people assuming that your choice to be single is the only choice you have. No one wants you. When in fact, I could be in a relationship right now, but when it came to choosing, I found myself not ready to give up the liberties you have when you’re single. I love the single life, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I love that I don’t have to fight with anyone about what DVD we’re going to watch. I love walking around the city on my own, admiring the sites. I love not having to discuss my plans with anyone in case it clashes with their plans. I love being an ‘I’ and not a ‘we’. I love ‘table for one’ dinner parties...OK, not so much with the last one, but I think you get my point.

At another of the said family gatherings my uncle, who is a twice married, twice divorced Rod Stewart wannabe, invited my cousins (who all have girlfriends) to a dinner party he was having for his girlfriend (can people over 40 still refer to their partners as girlfriend/boyfriend?) and even though I was in the room, sitting next to one of my cousins, he failed to invite me and left the room. In the wake of this, I realised several things. The first being that, apart from my one year old cousin, I am the only single family member left. The second is that because I’m single I’m apparently not very good company and not eligible to dinner parties thrown by the serial dater that is my uncle. Are single people considered lepers? Overreaction, I know. But still, it was obviously the reason why I wasn’t included...but that’s not to say I would have gone anyway. It’s the principle people.