Saturday, July 9, 2011

Not a single problem!

Moments of inspiration or a beginning for a piece are sometimes lost if not noted immediately or even explored. The words ‘not a single problem’ have been tickling my mind for sometime. It reads dually in that my penchant for worrying requires that I understand what a problem is. I also believe some of what I see as my problems stem from being single. So even as I see my singledom as problematic I sometimes say to myself …“self, you have no problems”.

I like many in our country, still live with my original family unit, mother and brother. My father is dead. I haven’t started a family of my own.

I once lived like a family with friends in that I spent more time with them and shared more of my problems with them. I don’t expect either my mother or brother to understand my problems. At my age too, I believe I should be in a position to handle them, and I mean my problems not my family.

In an ideal world though at 39, I’d be married and so have a partner with whom I share not only the story of my problems but the responsibility for solving them. Being single and the days of family like friendships long gone, its usually just me and my problems, a double problem.

What is life without problems? Who lives life without problems? Why worry?

Italy, I have heard has a culture similar to Trinidad in Tobago where generally, unless males marry they continue to live under the roof of the parent. In the report I heard high level executives in Italy leave the parent-run environment to head off to board rooms.

My mother, who I am quite close to and love dearly, has mothered me all my life, its her role. So she’s concerned about my health, my spending, my hours, me keeping my job, my bad habits, my associations, my future…perhaps all things she sees as my problems. Mind you my being single is never discussed, this being, to me, a big problem.

Now I can move out but then that presents its own set of problems. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting to live without problems. Some say their philosophy is to see nothing as a problem. My mother advises me to put them at the “feet of the Lord”. I like living with my mother, even though I feel that it’s in the main why I’m still problematically single.

One problem is that even if I move out on my own there is no guarantee that that problem would go away. I have friends in relationships, some divorced, others recently married and so I know relationships too have their problems. This is in part why I remind myself that being single is not a problem.

Coupling is fun. Marriage is an institution. Marriage is a right, a right worth fighting for. It’s also something that some will defend to the death. On one level it’s about securing a partner, making a commitment to be there for each other despite whatever problems may arise. For one party it might be about financial security, for another it might be about physical security. While on the surface it is about love, on a level it is about pragmatic matters like who’ll cook and who’ll mow the lawn.

I’ve been single, in my mind, for at least the last 14 years. The last time I considered myself in a relationship was in the mid to late 90’s. I loved. Both relationships ended. The friendship(s) continue(s).

Being single can make a person promiscuous as the need for physical relations can lead one to seek it at any point and engage in it when it presents itself given mutual attraction. Does it sound as if I want to partner to secure sex? On some level I do. This means that I must be sexually attracted to my partner. When you love like we do though, this can be a problem.

Something always takes lead in attraction and I don’t encourage judgment of that thing or at least try not to. How many times have we heard “she’s with him for the money”? Or I could hear a Trini ask “oh gosh is white man yuh like so?” “I just in it for the sex” is another one. As I said I try not to judge persons based on their choices. Attraction is complex and kudos to you if you can make a relationship work and last.

So I continue to live at home, I’m single and I may even be promiscuous none of which will change unless I take action on them. This having been my reality for as long as it has, though, may make them hard habits to break. Even when I consider these and other situations in my life I am thankful that I find it hard to forget that despite it all I may not have a single problem.

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