Super Single

I had lunch this week with my ex-boyfriend. It’s been almost a year and a half since we broke up and since I started my new job, in close proximity to where he spends his days, we’ve taken to having lunch together every couple of weeks. We typically spend the hour catching up on the people we were fond of in each other’s lives, but to whom we weren’t close enough to stay in contact post-breakup. This time, when I asked him how things were, he said, “Well actually, I just started seeing someone.” I kept smiling as I assimilated this news, and was able to ask all the right questions, but I definitely experienced a wrenching sensation in my stomach. I understand his right to date, I’ve done my share in the last year, and yet, it felt like a final break, another ending in the series of endings I’ve experienced with him.

Friday afternoon I went to my drycleaners to pick up my dress for my friend Lara’s wedding on Saturday. I had told the Korean couple who own the shop that the dress was for a wedding when I dropped it off a week previous. When I picked it up, they were feeling chatty, and so they said, “Oh, dress for wedding? Are you married?” With a smile, I said no. The woman then said, “boyfriend” with a question in her voice. I shook my head no, but said that I was kind of looking. They exchanged a look, and the man said, “You bring in picture, I put it up on wall here,” indicating the wall next to the cash register. He concluded by saying, “we find you man.” I smiled and thought that the little Jewish grandmothers in my apartment building have nothing on these two.

Saturday night, as I was walking home from the wedding with my friend Una, I noticed a familiar shape walking down the sidewalk in to my left, smoking a cigarette. It was Ben, a guy I went out with three times in March. It ended when I got a cold from spending one evening in his excessively smoky apartment and stopped returning his calls. I said hello to him as he approached, and after his return greeting, the first words out of his mouth were, “I have a girlfriend now.” I offered an automatic “congratulations” and thought it odd that that’s all he had to say to me.

I’ve been feeling extra single lately and these little encounters have done nothing but encourage that sensation. I had a dream the other night that my mother gave me a diamond to use for an engagement ring, and all I could think was how insane she was, because I didn’t even have a boyfriend (not to mention the question of why my mother would be giving me a diamond). Normally I like to count myself in the “strong, happy, single” category, but I have to say, it is getting really old. I’m ready for the excitement of infatuation, and the shivers of a first kiss. Of walking with my hand tucked into someone else’s warm coat pocket, fingers tangled. And so I ask, where are you?

14 thoughts on “Super Single

  1. expatraveler

    Marisa – I think it’s the fact that you know you are single that is bothering you the most. Just go on with your life and stay super busy. When you have a busy schedule things just flow and who knows who you might meet in the process. 🙂 For a while I didn’t want men near me, so at least you’re not there. 😉

  2. aasmodeus

    I think he’s depressed that he has nowhere to practice his newfound skills at pizza making, just his wall oven and pizza stone waiting cold and lifeless… in walla walla… yearning for a place to call home…


    I’m enjoying my essential single-hood by not worrying about being single, but rather soaking in the brilliance of every individual I meet and feeling blessed by their presence and friendship. That’s kept me going more than a kiss or hand-hold, although I have been giving more than my share of hugs to make up for the lack of physical contact. It’s a great way to take the edge off of sexuality in our everyday relationships.

  3. albert

    his first words were “i have a girlfriend now”?!?! wha?! how defensive is that! i think he’s pissed he lost you. ain’t nothing wrong with being single – live it up! that is, unless you’re a 40 year old woman, then, you morph into an “old hag” whereas a 40 year old single guy is living in “bachelorhood” riiight.

  4. Marisa

    I really do enjoy being single. I love not having to tell someone where I’m going or when I’ll be home. It was just the confluence of these three events, along with attending a wedding that made singledom a little less appealing.

  5. Thad

    “I have a girlfriend now.”

    I think Albert’s right… Still, that’s awfully defensive on his part. I think if I saw the girl I went on a date with a few months ago and then never heard from again, I’d probably just pretend I don’t know her. I don’t know if that’s immature or what… and I guess I don’t care. 🙂

    Speaking as a single guy in his late 20s, it’s really tough meeting decent single women. Randomly in public seems next to impossible: What would I say, and why shouldn’t she just walk away from the random scary guy hitting on her? I know there are single women out there, but you’d never know it from my friends’ girlfriends. All their friends are dating someone, too! Expatraveler has it right. Stay busy and “something” is sure to happen. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.)

    For the most part, I don’t mind being single. It has its benefits: Some time ago, I walked through the womens’ shoe department of Macy’s, saw all the miserable looking handbag-holding guys there, and thought “I’m FREE!” 🙂 Still… the state of singleness is easier to take some times than others, to say the least. I’m sure I’m hardly alone in this.

    For your entertainment, I submit the following article:
    Where are all the single guys? Jeeze, I could have written it myself, if you switch the genders around. (I love the “conga line” comment, personally.)

  6. Luna

    Marisa, it is definitely that (seeing everyone around you getting married, settling down and having children) that drives this urge…i guess it’s human nature to try and continue the cycle.

    As happy as I love being single (I tend to be the independent type) there are times when a boyfriend would be wonderful to have. Hey, I am helpless when opening jars of salsa!

    Thad, great article! Which makes me think, perhaps I should start going to online dating sites?

  7. Thad

    Which makes me think, perhaps I should start going to online dating sites?

    You could try it. I tried Yahoo Personals. In retrospect, it was kind of a waste of time, but at least I tried it. There are typically more guys than girls on these things, so I think most of the challenge for a woman on a dating site is to avoid the excessively weird/ skeezy/ fugly guys.

    God, I’d love that “GSW Conga Line” to come sashaying through my high-tech company cube. Even if nothing came of it, it would at least mix things up! Great mental image. heh…

  8. Marisa

    Sadly, I’ve done internet dating sites. I did Match (actually how I met the last boyfriend), Craigslist (my friend Cindy and I were both using CL during this phase and the duplication we experienced caused me to develop the theory that there are never really more than five single men dating in the city of Philadelphia at any one time. Or at least on CL. I would email her saying I was talking to a really nice guy, give her his name, and she would say “he works at Citizens Bank and lives with his parents in New Jersey.” And she’d be right), I spent some time on JDate (hey, I’m half Jewish), did a stint on Philly Mag and there’s one last one I’m not remembering.

    The statement about the Conga Line gave me a giggle and a very detailed mental image.

  9. beth

    Are you going to give the dry cleaners a photo? I think you should!

    (Not to attract a man, of course… though I do smell a romantic comedy here…)

  10. SusieQ

    Just found out that my ex boyfriend (8 years and an engagement ring together) of 1 yr not only has a girlfriend but that they are engaged and possibly living together. I know it has no impact on my life now, but, man, that stings. Sure, he was a jerk the last 2 years we were together, and he stopped being the guy I fell in love with after 5 years together, but I still wanted him to be miserable for a while without me. I have my own little mantra telling me that I’m so much happier now than I was a year ago, and that at least I don’t have that bulls**t dragging me down anymore, and that being single is fun and it’s great to be truly selfish for the first time in a long time. But damn if it doesn’t get lonely sometimes.

    PS Thad, great article.


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