So are any of you lovely lady blog readers out there reading Seraphic Singles? If you’re not, you should be. I think reading the various writings of Ms. Seraphic is probably a major contributor towards my own (mostly) serene approach to being single. Plus, she’s one of the few public voices out there who seems to understand how very trying it can be to try to deal with that strange creature: a Good Catholic Man. I mean, men in general are strange and odd, and I do not pretend to understand them. I used to try, and it drove me crazy until I decided that I only really needed to even attempt to understand one man in my life, and I don’t think I’ve met him yet (you never know). But when you add devout Catholicity to the mix, you end up with something even more complex – Catholic guilt/cultural conditioning, layered over American male entitlement, layered over a (more or less depending on the guy) sincere desire to love God & care for those around him, plus whatever life history/family of origin baggage he happens to be toting, plus God only knows what else (and, oh, He does…). Not that Good Catholic Women are all that different, but I am one, so I find them easier to understand.
And then, if you read Seraphic, sometimes you get little gems like this one:
“Any guy who does not think you are so marvelous he simply must be around you all the time and buy you coffee is slightly defective and definitely not boyfriend material.”
Seriously, I think I’m going to frame that and put it on my wall, if only because, as one commenter pointed out, most young women’s thought process tends to go more like, “He’s so great, and we get along so well, but he’s not into me, so I must be defective.” Seraphic’s version seems ever so much saner, and conducive to having things like healthy self-esteem and the lack of ridiculous boy-chasing. And that’s the kind of life I’d much prefer to have.
Being single & Catholic & stuff isn’t something I myself write about much, at least not publicly. For one thing, over time I’ve come to have a firmer and firmer policy of Not Writing About Guys on this blog. I’ve discovered that if you don’t tell people that something is beginning, then you don’t have to go around and tell the world when it ends. And, you know, some things are private.
Plus, things change. For example, for years I nurtured the hope that one of these days Mr. Right was going to show up, and I’d be eventually blogging about wedding plans of my own. However, over the last year or so I’ve gotten increasingly burnt out on the whole Catholic singles social scene. I think this is partly because this scene has been my field of ministry for so long, not necessarily the place where I’m ministered to. More and more it seemed like more fun to have a happy, contented single life where the only dishes I ever have to wash are those I dirty myself, rather than go to one more Catholic singles event. And I was ok with that. The way I see it, Maiden Aunts are one of the building blocks of civilization. I decided that if I am still unmarried at 40, I will buy a spinning wheel, learn how to spin, and officially declare myself a spinster.
And then, some things changed, and now I don’t know where I’m at. I’m not in a relationship, but then, neither am I as burnt out on things as I was a few months ago. So I’m not sure where I’m headed in that area, and I probably won’t keep you guys updated either. Unless you’re one of a few of my very good women friends, or possibly one of my immediate family members, I’m not going to fill you in on my romantic relationships. Just to be clear. And all.
In the meantime, I do think that it is possible to be quite happy as a single person, and that a single person’s life is complete regardless of whether or not they have found a life partner. You don’t have to wait for someone else to turn up to be happy. Life is good, and life is full, and there are so many things I can do as a single person that I could not do if I were married. For example, I don’t have to coordinate or check in with anyone else before I decide what to have for dinner. I don’t have to get anyone else up or ready for the day before I can get out the door myself in the morning (this is a very good thing, otherwise I might never get out the door). This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to be married, or have children of my own, but my life will be no less good even if I never marry or reproduce. And if some perfectly nice guy doesn’t happen to be all that into me, it doesn’t mean that I am defective or insufficient, it just means that he’s clearly not the one for me. And that’s just fine.