Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"And Good Night to the Pail!"

Before I start, let me say this: If you do not consider yourself a Christian, please do not read any further.  Thank you.

When I was a senior in high school, I attended a vocational class on computer networking.  Though I had been looking forward to it for quite a while, it was rough at first because of a jerk classmate.  This guy was a devout agnostic, and was an even sorrier individual than the professor Kevin Sorbo played in God's Not Dead.  Years later, I made friends with another agnostic--ironically, through a random meeting at church--who was nothing like that classmate; when I told her of his actions, she said, "Well, that's immature." What made it even worse was that said classmate was one of only two people I ever knew to be engaged while in high school; even my friends and former friends who dated in high school didn't get engaged until well after graduating, sometimes dating other people before reuniting.  The guy in question moved early in the year, and I was not sad to see him go.  I don't know what happened with him and his significant other; my hope is that he learned the error of his ways, but, I'll probably never know.

That unfortunate encounter is all the more alarming eleven years later.  Why the biggest jerk I've ever known can be engaged while still a teenager, while I'm twenty-eight and have been on exactly zero dates, completely boggles my mind.  Upon thinking of that incident while being bombarded with other engagement news--including that of a significantly younger former fellow church member--this holiday season, it almost makes me feel like a video game player who is stuck on one level, or a computer user who can't get his/her Mac to do what he/she wants it to do: I'm asking myself, "What am I not doing? What do I need to do?" I've already done everything everyone suggested: I improved my hygiene; I got a job; I gave up the celebrity crushes; I stopped lamenting about the failed attempts at starting a relationship...and, for what? The only times my relationship status has changed has been on April Fool's Day!

Lately, I've been thinking about it a lot, and I think I've come up with two very big reasons that prevent me from getting a date...and they aren't likely to ever change.  First off: I have too many friends of the fairer sex to focus on just one.  For some reason, women love me.  Okay, not all women do--I currently know some who despise me, though, in some cases, the reasons are unclear--but, for a long time, I've been adored by many a female friend.  My high school Spanish teacher was one of them; she reportedly talked about me constantly to her other classes, even gushing about my love for the Disney Channel.  She wasn't the only one, though; other female friends--of all ages, I should add--have taken a liking to me, and many of them still feel that way.  The problem? Having that many opposite gender friends makes it impossible to "tie myself down".  Okay, I hate that term, but, I don't know how else to say it; seriously, having a girlfriend would be a threat to most of my friendships, because I can just imagine my significant other getting jealous when I start talking to all of my friends at church.  Maybe, after a while, there might be some trust there...but, that takes time.

Second off, and this one is even bigger: My "loves" are too important to me for me to focus on a relationship.  Some time ago, a divorced Facebook friend lamented about her broken marriage via a meme, saying that her ex pushed her aside in favor of other things, such as the military.  That goes to show that it doesn't necessarily have to be an affair that ends a marriage; it could be anyone or anything.  I'm reminded of the Christmas episode of Home Improvement where Ilene is all upset because Al--her significant other--is putting his mother ahead of her.  When Al asks Tim about it, Tim gives him some very blunt advice: "You want to get married, have kids one day, right? [...] I don't see that happening with your mother!" In typical sitcom fashion, Al learns the error of his ways by the time the credits roll.  Even if it's not another person, having something be a bigger priority than your relationship is a one-way ticket to splitsville.

Years ago, I gained an aunt when a lady married my uncle; my mom's only brother.  The two of them passed away a long time ago...but, they almost didn't get married! My uncle--who was that odd uncle everyone has--was too enamored with his canine companions to think about saying, "I do"; even when they did get married, they didn't live in the same house (no joke), and she was constantly complaining about him.  She once joked about "growing an extra set of legs and a tail" in order for him to love her.  I've never been one to go to the dogs, but, sometimes, that's what I think my female friends are thinking when it comes to my entertainment: "The only way he would ever go out with me is if I got my own show on the Disney Channel, or took down a bad guy with super strength and heat vision like Supergirl, or suddenly transformed into Mindy McConnell, Lizzie McGuire, or one of those Australian mermaids." Since none of those are likely to happen to any of my friends--especially the latter ones!--it seems that they'll never be able to get my attention; at least, not the way they want.

The truth--as much as it pains me to admit it--is this: Entertainment is where my heart has always lied.  I was never one to really get that into things, unless they had to do with entertainment.  That's why I work at a library: I shelve, arrange, and organize books, CDs, audiobooks, DVDs, magazines, etc.,...aka entertainment.  When I was younger, my family members tried to get me into other things--swimming lessons, Boy Scouting, AVID, a local program called Chrome, etc.--and I just wasn't interested...because they had nothing to do with entertainment.  During my last two years of high school, my classmates--and others--were practically begging me to go to ring dance--aka junior prom--and senior prom, and I didn't go...because I just wasn't interested; I would much rather have stayed home and watched television.  You probably think, "That's crazy! How could you miss both of your proms? You're going to regret that one day!" Well, it's been over a decade, and I still don't; that wasn't a priority back then, and still isn't today.  Seeing references to school dances does not bother me one bit; I know the ones at my schools would have been much bawdier than the one in Good Luck Charlie.

At times, entertainment being my priority has caused problems.  You may remember the oft-quoted lament from a former friend after our "falling out": "That's just great! Some actress you're never going to meet gets more respect than a real-life friend! Yes, I'm being sarcastic!" If she had realized my true intent with what I said--that my statement was intended to make her laugh, and I never wanted her or anyone else to actually do what I said--she would have realized that I meant no disrespect.  Still, I think others have unfriended me because of my shameless devotion to entertainment; they know what's going on with Siobhan Magnus, but they have no idea what's going on with me.  I can't stop people from unfriending me, and I have to be true to myself...and that means being an entertainment lover.  Practically all of my previous obsessions and even all of my interests in general fall into that category: computer games, video games, book series, comic strips, celebrities, and, especially, television shows! Seriously: Who else do you know who learned his/her letters from Wheel of Fortune?

Now, for my conclusion: For this coming year, my resolution--well, one of them, anyway--is to not worry about my relationship status anymore.  I'll use the Italian adage: E buona notte al secchio! Literally translated, it means, "And good night to the pail!" Figuratively, it means, "That's that; there's nothing more I can do!" Seriously, I've done everything in my power to change my relationship status, and nothing has worked; I'm simply going to let go and let God.  If it happens, great; who knows? It may happen in 2017! It may never happen, though, but I have plenty to love in my life--my family, my friends, and my hobbies--without a significant other.

1 comment:

Laine Harmon said...

Great plan! I thought I recalled you telling me once that having a significant other would cramp your style. Like me, you like to do things a certain way and we are fond of our habits and routines. Marriage is no picnic! You think you are missing out on something, while I envy your freedom. Let go and let God is a good policy to have. We can't see the Master Plan. Despite your various time obsessing about things, overall you strike me as a pretty happy guy. When I see you at church you are always smiling and usually have something you are excited about to share with me. I used to really be sad I was never able to have kids. Now I am able to enjoy other people's kids without having to change any diapers! Yay! Sometimes it's a matter of perspective. Here's what I think- you aren't broken so don't fix you! I like you just the way you are <3