Okay, quick: How many of my girlfriends can you name? Your answer to that question depends on who you would consider my "girlfriends". If you're thinking of girls I've dated, you're no doubt coming up empty, because I've never been on a date. If you're trying to name all the various ladies who I do or have ever considered a friend, there's way too many to list. If you're attempting to come up with all my current or previous celebrity crushes, I doubt even I could name them all, and I don't even think I want to do so. No matter your definition of the word, everyone who knows me knows that my relationship status has always been the same: no wife, no fiancee, and no dates to speak of...my entire life. However, when I think about others' relationships--ranging from teens and young adults dating to middle-aged and elderly couples who have been together for ages--I realize that I do actually have a significant other. Just like you non-single folks do with your spouses, fiancees, or whoever, I spend a lot of time with the object of my affection. Even when we're not together physically, she is constantly on my mind, and it seems like, no matter what I do, I'm reminded of her, and talk about her to almost everyone I meet. My workplace is full of reminders of her and what we have done together; my room is packed with them as well, and you'll see them everywhere you look as soon as you enter. So...who am I talking about? Am I about to embarrass some Facebook friend? No. Am I fantasizing about Demi Lovato again? Uh-uh. Did I meet some young lady at church? Nope. The "she" I am talking about is...entertainment.
You may be thinking, "Now, hold on; how can you be in a relationship with an abstract entity?" The same way some people can be so focused on their jobs, their kids, their life's work, or anything else that it gets in the way of romance. I'm reminded of the scene in The Astronaut Farmer where the title character is asking others what he should name his rocket, and a Hispanic farmhand suggests La Otra Mujer; Spanish for The Other Woman. More to the point, I remember reading online that director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) had been married five times, and one of his ex-wives talked about his dedication to his craft--movie-making, of course--getting in the way of their marriage. Ex-spouses of those with Asperger Syndrome have told the same story; in fact, a statistic says that marriages where one person has A.S. end in divorce eighty percent of the time, and, in many cases, their adherence to their "special interest" is among the reasons why.
There are two points I want to make to those naysayers who are thinking this whole thing is ridiculous. First off: How do you expect me to maintain a relationship, when almost all humankind in general does is drive me nuts? Some years ago, I was at a counseling session where I was lamenting about some troubles--frankly, I have completely forgotten which ones--and my counselor replied, "People are just so hard to live with, aren't they?" Though her statement may have been made in jest, I honestly think that sums up most of the troubles I've had in my life. Though I currently have a lot of friends--or, at least, I hope I do--even they can be aggravating sometimes. (Oh, come on; like you've never been frustrated with me?) I find other people in general--whether they're random ones I see at Burger King, or folks I've known all my life--to be odd; that's one of the reasons I've always looked up to Mork from Mork & Mindy. Some people's oddities can be endearing; others are just downright ingratiating. Even Facebook is a problem; you have no idea how annoyed I get at times with people's inane wall posts. (Seriously, haven't you felt that way at times?) Sometimes, I take a look on my news feed, and want to exclaim in the style of King Solomon, "Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything on here is meaningless!" (If you don't know what I'm referring to...go read Ecclesiastes!) It seems like entertainment is my only escape from that. (For those who are wondering: I find pets--especially dogs--even more annoying than I do people. A family dog or cat may be said to lower one's blood pressure, but all my parents' chihuahua--and their cat, to a lesser degree--does is raise mine!) Though most entertainment features people--or, at least, entities that behave like people--they don't annoy me like society usually does.
Second off: How can you expect any human--including a potential significant other--to compete with entertainment? One of the things I realized a while ago is that I tend to treat other people like I do technology. That sound weird, but think of it this way: What is technology supposed to do? What we want, when we want it, right? If you're sitting on the couch and pushing the power button on your TV's remote, but it won't come on, something is wrong, correct? You check to make sure you have the right device selected; you make sure the TV is plugged in; you check the batteries in the remote. Well, people aren't that way; God gave us free will, which means that no one can make us do anything. We aren't iPads or Nintendo GameCubes: you can't expect us to--or cajole us into--doing exactly what "they" want, when "they" want it. If I pop one of my VICTORiOUS DVDs into my Blu-Ray player, I'm not going to get a message saying, "Sorry; I don't want to watch that right now. Why don't you put in Avatar: The Last Airbender instead?" That isn't its purpose; it only exists to serve its user. However, you can't expect a human being--or even an animal, for that matter--to obey your every beck and call. The fact that entertainment--movies, TV shows, music, even covers of books--are chock-full of beautified, pulchritudinous (look it up!) ladies only makes it even more of a hindrance. Before my only aunt by marriage became my aunt, she questioned whether or not she would, because my uncle was too focused on his canine companions; she once said that he would only love her if she "grew an extra set of legs and a tail." Sometimes, I wonder if my female friends have a similar thought: "Well, he is a nice guy and everything, but I don't think he would love me unless I got my own show on the Disney Channel or magically transformed into Demi Lovato or Bridgit Mendler." Honestly, such a thought is not too far off; a road to a relationship with me would be a treacherous one for any woman--even a "cougar"--to go down, which is why, so far, all of my female friends have avoided it. I say, more power to them; not only do they not have to deal with the frustration that would come from such an attempt, but it keeps me from enduring heartbreak like I've never previously known.