Absent a nagging wife or a neurotic girlfriend, I feel as if I can freely be myself on Valentine’s:
One of the things I’ve noticed over the past year is how at ease with myself I am not when I’m with other people, but when I’m completely alone. Solitude is quiet, peaceful, stress-free, and kinda awesome. If it weren’t due to some sense of obligation to friends and family I probably would never talk to anyone, at least not for lengthy periods of time. In fact, I’m planning as an experiment of sorts to go completely dark and off grid for say, a week, just to see how well it helps me recharge. Solitude, and I mean REAL solitude, seems to be the only thing that truly helps me rejuvenate and unwind. It doesn’t matter where I go, it only matters that I’m completely ALONE.
People exhaust me. They’re rude, uncivil, fickle, weird, strange, incorrigible, LOUD, inane, insufferable and intolerable to deal with. Whenever I interact with the lot of them it always seems to be too much to expect even a modicum of basic civility and etiquette. Women especially seem to magnify these traits to an absurd degree by injecting emotion and drama into EVERY. LITTLE. THING. In fact, I had to cut off my last romantic interest because the neurosis was out of control. I know not EVERYONE is like this, but too many are, and if I had to choose between the whirlwind drama of a flighty romance and peaceful solitude, I’ll choose the later every time.
I wonder if this is a masculine trait in some respects. Is this why some men have garages to work alone in or a “man cave” they can otherwise call their own, free of any womanly influence and interference? We’re not hard wired to deal with drama, while women seem to thrive on it, to the point of inventing it where none exists if necessary. I see this so often that I wonder if it’s even possible to meet a girl who values the quiet as much as I do. Whenever I think I’ve found someone who isn’t like that, it doesn’t take long before the potential relationship turns into an emotional freak circus, and I’m once again running for the hills.
I don’t get why so many guys opt for the drama instead of the solitude, but then again I’ve always been something of an anomaly. I’ll never forget one night when I was at sports camp for high school and we were staying in this freezing cold cabin with more holes than a basketball net. It was night and some of the seniors were out hazing the freshmen by tying them to their beds while they were sleeping. I was a freshman as well, but I wasn’t worried, and planned to take a walk in the dark by myself later that night so I could watch the stars. My roomie though was TERRIFIED and BEGGED me to stay. He didn’t want to be alone and was afraid the seniors would get him. He was one of the “cool” kids too, and at the time I couldn’t understand why he was so scared. In the end I stayed, but I was annoyed that I had lost “me” time just so I could keep my roomie from wetting his bed. The seniors got him anyway, but because I was there he was able to laugh it off. I understood then, if only dimly, how some people’s need for human company and fear of solitude was so profound that they would even marry badly just to avoid being alone.
I do crave and value human company though, or more specifically female company, but as soon as it goes sideways I tend to exit stage left in a hurry. I really have no patience for games, psychological warfare or drama, but this seems to be all women ever bring to the table. Take away the sex appeal, and what’s left?
Spending Valentine’s Day alone used to bother me, but not so much anymore. Life has always presented me with two choices: be alone, or be in a turbulent, one-sided relationship with endless drama, aggravation, and loss of income. The later ironically enough is what would truly make one feel lonely, and yet that’s the option most people choose. It’s a shame so many can’t learn to appreciate the benefits and serenity that comes from being alone, even for short periods of time.
As for me, maybe someday life will prove me wrong and I’ll meet someone I’m meant to be with who won’t drive me nuts, but I’ve come to enjoy the solitude, and crave it even more in the midst of a world that has lost all sense of decorum, sanity and civility.