“It’s not ‘talking to yourself’. It’s ‘engaging in a conversation with your needs.’” ”Hello internet porn, how are you today?” ”Where did I put that Slim Jim??”
“(random laughter for no reason)” ”We all die alone.” ”Please text me back please text me back.” ”I’m out of Captain Crunch. My life sucks.” ”I’m Batman.”
“Do I need milk to make macaroni and cheese? No, John, you don’t. Just use butter.”
“AND I NEED YOU NOW TONIGHT / AND I NEED YOU MORE THAN EVER / AND IF YOU ONLY HOLD ME TIGHT / WE’LL BE HOLDING ON FOREVER / AND WE’LL ONLY BE MAKING IT RIGHT / CAUSE WE’LL NEVER BE WRONG…”
“I am a handsome, intelligent man and I deserve the best, including breadsticks.”
“John. Yes, John? You really need to clean if you’re ever going to have a hot chick over. Okay, John. How about tomorrow? Yeah, tomorrow. Good idea, John.”
The New York Times recently published a first-person essay/girl power pep talk/MFA creative non-fiction assignment that suggests that men don’t like to be alone. I am alone. I am fine with being alone. I am usually alone for at least a year, and sometimes longer, after a major breakup. In this opinion piece that is totally not superficial gender identity ping-pong, I learned that men cannot go three months without dating.
Which makes me feel like a circus freak, because I’ve currently been happily alone for over a year and it makes me wonder if I’ve passed some kind of expiration date. You know what else makes me feel like a freak? When single, women love to take up the whole bed. Just sprawl out. Single or not, I usually just sleep on one side of the bed. What the fuck is wrong with me?
The evidence the author offers is compelling though: she cites the promise of statistics and the author’s experience as a woman trapped in an alternate reality where Nora Ephron is worshipped as a living god. According to The New York Times, men are a dark army of toddler parasites constantly tugging their joint and wailing for a woman, any woman, to come take care of them. Women, on the other hand, totally do not have martyr-complexes.
How can I argue with The New York Times about social trends? That would be like arguing with Starbucks about modern adult contemporary soft rock or IKEA about minimalist furniture that is a snap to put together. You just can’t. I accept that when it comes to my gender identity, easy listening music that complements coffee, and tasteful bookshelves that require an engineering degree to assemble, I had best just accept that I am wrong.
If I thought I could win this argument, then I’d suggest that this whole “men have to be in relationships, while women half to behave like old world widows” is just old fashioned claptrap. No different from an ’80s stand-up comedian telling PMS jokes. It’s a notion from a different era when single or divorced men were expected to get back on the horse and express their God-given virility.
It was harder for a woman to do this, since a divorced or single woman of a certain age was regarded as, somehow, damaged goods. Why not enjoy, or tolerate, or celebrate, permanent singlehood when society is suspicious of you? Let’s look at the flipside of the shallow thesis I’m wrong about: it’s not men who can’t be alone, it’s that women are so defined by their relationships to their boyfriends and husbands that when they are not part of these relationships, they are nothing. They shouldn’t go back out and get involved with someone else right away, because a women needs time to … molt? Change her hair color?
This essay also says that women are happy being alone because they’re part-bird and love to nest. I’ve never understood the “nesting” concept. Don’t birds poop in their own nests? Sounds gross to me. I know as a single man, I call my bachelor pad a “bunker,” because that is where I am comfortable sitting in my boxers and eating Slim Jims. Maybe that’s why I’m single.