How’s it going? Good, good. Listen, there’s something I want to discuss with you. Apparently, some of you were planning to amass at a downtown mall in Toronto for something called a “$5 EATON CENTER APPROACH MARATHON”. The event has since been cancelled due to outrage and common sense – yay for human rights! Because really, events like this demean us all.
The event apparently involved “beasting” which is defined as “approaching [women] continuously and consistently - targeting every approachable set in the vicinity” [italics mine]. It was organized by a Meetup.com group that calls itself Toronto Pick Up Artists (PUAs). (There’s a hyphen missing from there, but bad grammar is the least of their problems.) A bunch of men were going to congregate in the Toronto Eaton Centre and basically harass women who just want to do their Christmas shopping. The Toronto PUAs Meetup.com page has disappeared (sad, because it was so stupid-funny to read) but Toronto Life documented some of the foolishness (albeit in a too-lighthearted way, IMHO, like these guys were some clumsy Pepe le Pews.) Behold:
Since there are so many women in the Eaton Centre you can easily warm up and get yourself into state within 20 minutes. Eaton Centre is therefore a great first stop on your day game iternary. [sic] Do a few approaches there and you can move to other venues which may have less women but better logistics (girls who are stationary).
Okay, guys, listen. This is bullshit. You don’t have to do this. I know that dealing with the opposite sex can be daunting. It happens to women, too, but on top of that add a dollop of insecurity and fears that stem from shit we get fed from lady mags, religion, laws, the entertainment industry — PRETTY MUCH EVERYWHERE. Slut-shaming, “legitimate rape”, normal-sized models who are “plus size”, rape culture (oh, it exists I WILL DEBATE YOU FOR HOURS ON THIS DON’T GET ME STARTED), can’t wear pants because thighs rubbing…
So, I get it. The fear of rejection, of being ridiculed, of feeling not attractive enough — we’ve all been there. For some, self-esteem and confidence comes with age and life experience. For others, it remains a constant struggle. Overcoming insecurity and developing confidence definitely helps with interpersonal relationships. But you don’t get it by joining PUAs or following assholes like this.
A friend recently sent me an article called “Why I’m Alone”. It is a response by Huffington Post columnist Lea Lane to the question she is often asked in the years following the death of her husband: Why is she still alone? Why doesn’t she date much?
While I’ve never loved and lost like Ms. Lane, I can certainly relate to the question, “Why are you alone?” In my case, it’s rephrased as “Why are you single?”
“I guess I’m just lucky,” I smirk.
Like most smartass responses, mine comes across as defensive, and I make no apologies for it. I am a strong and confident woman who owns her own condo, is making inroads into a new career and has a stellar credit history. Yet all that I achieve and accomplish tends to be overshadowed by my marital status.
“Why are you single?”
I could say that I choose to be single but that would be a lie. Take our biological disposition to mate and procreate, add centuries of social conditioning and stir in the fear of growing old alone. Is it any wonder that women get panic attacks when they’re not married by the time they’re 30?
I don’t choose to be single – I’ve just made my peace with it. If it really bothered me, I’d be more diligent in my pursuit of the opposite sex (my recent attempt at speed-dating notwithstanding, which is a separate blog post altogether). As it stands, I’m not in a particular hurry to get hitched. Marriage is not a goal of mine. I just want to find someone who I connect with, can tolerate my need for alone time and recognizes the genius of Tex Avery, Jon Stewart and Neil Gaiman. And I want to take my time finding him.
“Why are you single?”
My friend Catherine put it succinctly: “I sincerely believe that if I’m meant to meet someone, I will. I’m not going to moan about it if I don’t.” Amen, sister.
Until I meet my Mr. Right-For-Me, I’m enjoying my life. Here are my reasons why I’m okay with being single (with gratitude to Ms. Lane).
- I’m never lonely – I have a wealth of friends who I can see more often than I could if I was in a relationship.
- Dating provides so much interesting material for anecdotes and blog posts.
- On weekends, I can wake up late or stay in bed all day.
- I don’t have to answer to someone else.
- I can take off for the weekend on the spur of the moment.
- I have more time to spend with my family.
- I can watch any movie I want to, even if it’s a weepy chick flick.
- I look way younger than my years and I chalk that up to carefree living.
- I don’t have to cook if I don‘t want to.
- I don’t have to be disappointed and hurt when a man no longer likes me.
- I have the bathroom all to myself.
- I can flirt to my heart’s content.
- I love experiencing the thrill of meeting someone new and imagining what they’re like in bed. I love knowing that I can find out firsthand.
- I don’t have to date a man I’m not crazy about because I’m “not getting any younger.”
- I don’t have to shave my legs every day.
- No one is hogging the bed sheets but me.
- I can drink milk/juice straight from the carton.
- I have total control over the television remote.
What are your reasons?