Party Down

July 03, 2006

I attended a 4th of July cookout this afternoon and evening; the first of two I was invited to this year. I must admit it is nice to have a circle of friends and to be included in social events. I try very hard to stay in the moment and to enjoy the company of friends, but it is hard sometimes not to be envious of what I don't currently have.

Everyone at the gathering was a couple, with the exception of one other guy. I don't know if he is in a committed relationship or not. Having worked with him in the past I know that he is very sarcastic and cynical and I suspect that he doesn't have a partner with which to share life. Seeing someone like that scares me as I can't help but wonder if that is my ultimate fate.

During the years prior to Michele I coined the phrase "social leprosy" to describe what it was like to be single in a world focused on couples. Being with Michele cured me of this malady; however it has returned after being dormant for the last ten years. A lot of my thinking lately has been about my future and whether it will include a new love interest.

Hoping and dreaming about a future not spent alone is a dangerous thing. When you have nothing to lose it is easy to exist in despair. Giving yourself hope of a future without misery builds you up, but if you fall short of the goal, you fall back into the pit you just escaped. I've been so beaten down the last year, and was partially beaten down by job loss and moving prior to that, that I don't have a lot of resilience left. I want so badly to get out and find someone and yet I don't know how to start.

Going to parties or seeing people I know is wonderful. I look forward to the shared moments and their memories are sustaining. However there is a cost -- I crash afterwards and have to find a way back to my lonely perch so I can exist one more day alone.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.