Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Single Person Gaff

Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you ... Hallmark doesn't make a "congratulations, you didn't marry the wrong guy" card. And where's the flatware for going on vacation alone? - Carrie Bradshaw

I like Sex and The City, as a gay man, that is probably not that shocking or unusual. It's incredibly smart, witty and well written. There isn't much I can say about that hasn't been said before. But the quote above and the episode its contained within, resonate with me in particular. There is a reason why.

I am a single gay man, I do not have a boyfriend, and its unlikely that I will ever get married, meaning the chances of me having any children are very slim. Although, I may want to have all these things in the future, a house, a husband and kids, at this particular moment, I don't. It would take someone very special to change my mind.

I am also an uncle, a brother and a brother in law. I have three nieces and one nephew and likely in the not too distant future, that may be subject to increase. That means as a single man, I have to ensure that I am available for Christmas holidays, communions, weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. This also applies to my friends. I have lived in another country for almost 8 years, so this has often meant, booking flights and other associated travel costs.

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy getting gifts for special occasions  Celebrating the union between two friends. My friend Michael got married to his husband Kevin last year and It was genuinely one of the the greatest days of my life. Both my brother and my sisters weddings, were momentous events for not just them, but for me.

However, my point is, very much like Carrie's is, that as a single person, there is not one single occasion  where you are celebrated for just being you, not being part of a union, not knocking out a sprog. As Charlotte said, we have birthdays, but we all have those.

We don't give gifts to receive them, but throughout all the years, I have probably spent in the thousands, celebrating the choices of others and being my way inclined, its unlikely that I will ever have such an occasions that will award my choice. So sparing that, the least I would like, is a little appreciation for things that I have to do, and will be expected to do for years to come.

I would love to read other peoples views on similar situations.


Jay M. said...

I hate to agree with you, but when my birthday goes by without anyone (save one friend) calling or sending a card (save Facebook reminding 45 people to say Happy Birthday, which in my mind doesn't count), then I know there is no special day for me. It sucks.

Peace <3

BadgerBear said...

As the buddhists say, "Do not expect applause".

When we fill our little red wagons full of expectations - premeditated disappointments - it's easy for them to be toppled and laid waste.

*Why* do you "have to ensure" that you are available for Christmas holidays, communions, weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions? You don't. And deep down, you know it. Just because you have no partner doesn't mean your plans have to be trumped by others. You're *just* as important as anyone, friend, and having a partner doesn't inherently change that one way or another.

If you *want* to be sad about this, please know that it is your own choice to do so. I know PLENTY of single people who wouldn't be caught dead with a partner. My ex included :-)

Choose differently.
Choose to enjoy life *now*, partner or no partner.
Make choices that make YOU happy.
No one else is going to do that for you - which is what you just wrote a whole post about.

I give you permission to he happy!
Find the vector of your Joy and ride it for all it's worth!
Follow your bliss. If you do that, you will always have it.


SEAN said...

Two things - not 20 or more, you have to do something to earn them and look at their cost! No amount of gifts, unless Bill Gates is your friend, are going to make up for the cost of getting married or having a kid.

You really are soooo young. 10-20 years is a long time for things to change. You might be one of the few to escape but I have a feeling that there is someone, probably several someone, who will give you their heart and them yours.

becca said...

it's true what you say but i have come to find even married most people forget my birthday and anniversary so they go by like any other day.

mistress maddie said...

Oh this is a great post!!! And I like Sex and The City too. You could have removed the women and added gay men and it would be the same. The not celebrating thing doens't bother me, but what does get to me is the pestering from straight and gay friends to settle down. I came out of a 12 year relationship, and I dont regret it, but do I want another? Im not sure yet. I am enjoying my independence right now and dating three guys. Might I regret not settling for one of them? Maybe. I could end up alone, and at times it bothers me. But it doesnt feel right right now. But I do hate the token single guy at a party thing though. It's like " we need at least one single gay guy here". So I do my appearance then blow the pop joint for more excitiment! Althought a good friend and I have a pak to settle with each other if were still alone,lol! But then there is the sex we'd have to!I always did wonder what he packed.

naturgesetz said...

I'd like to suggest that, for all the truth of what you say, it's not all bad. There's a bright side to it too.

The real difference between you and the others is that you're giving all these wedding presents, but you don't expect to get any, whereas they both give and get. You give birthday and Christmas gifts, but you should get them as well, which is no different from the others. If the rellies don't reciprocate your gift-giving, it's perfectly okay to stop (if you really want to).

As BadgerBear said, you are also entitled to skip gatherings when you have something better to do or when you just don't feel like going. But I think you can also regard it as a bonus, rather than a burden. You have these occasions when you are included in the loving circle of family. Beyond the intrinsic goodness of that, consider the alternative. There are gay men who suffer because they have been rejected by family members. All the more so if you do not expect to marry, these family gatherings are a good thing to have in your life. It can feel overwhelming perhaps, but is it less so than for the others who "have to" attend the events, or host them? Maybe you should have birthday parties that the family is "expected" to attend.

I've been single for all of my seventy years. I have two brothers, a sister-in-law, and a nephew. The nephew grew up with his parents in Tokyo. So there have been not many family events for me to attend. Maybe that has something to do with why I'm more inclined to see them as a privilege than an obligation.

behrmark said...

Although I never watched Sex and the City and hated the first movie, there's something to be said about the quote.
My boss - also a gay man - told me to not worry about taking time off to help out my parents because "everyone else takes off for sick kids" and he thinks it's comparable.
As for being single, one of the universal truths I've learned is this: being alone does not have to mean being lonely, and being lonely does not have to mean being alone.

Queer Heaven said...

I always thought that Sex in the City was really about a group of gay guys.
As far as being single... I've been single for so long, I don't think I could even share he morning toilet with someone.