Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sweet Gig

Originally published Dec, 2004.

Q: Why is it that some people just cannot be single? They move from one girl to the next, or one guy to the next to be fair. And when they get lonely, they resort back to their ex. Is this a form of insecurity, a form of security, or just plain stupidity? I know someone who dated their partner for three years, and one day, just said hey, I was out with another girl last night, and that was it, he moved on to her. Where is the logic? Are people afraid to be alone? They hold onto people they don't even like just for the simple fear of not being with anyone? What's the deal?

A: Hell, you got me. People are strange. If only I knew why people did the stupid things that they do then maybe I could give them advice. Maybe I could even get paid to do it! Damn, that would be a sweet gig. Hell, maybe I could even write an advice column of some sort... Um, yeah... Fuck.

Anyway, I know what you mean. People sometimes act in ways that seem really counter-intuitive. For example, I have this friend that has been at the same crummy job for four years. She hates the work, has absolutely no potential to advance in her position, and apparently her office employs a herd of "dipshit cattle" that constantly bug her for office supplies and mindless conversation about nothing that matters. I've never been to her office, but to hear her description, it sounds like a layer of hell.

Not getting paid for my advice, I've been giving it away for free for months and telling her to quit that damn job. I mean really, quit already. What the hell? Each time my unsolicited, quality advice goes completely unused and she mentions some nonsense about needing another job first and whines about having to pay rent and other bills. Bullshit if ya ask me, but you didn't.

I mean what's the deal with that? Waiting for another opportunity to open up before moving on. Why can't she just be unemployed? Where is the logic in looking for another job before moving on? People are so strange.

Actually, now that I really think about it (thank you, ODB) that's not so strange at all. She's probably afraid of being stuck without an income, being unable to buy food or afford car payments, or ending up homeless. Plus, quitting a job without having something lined up is kinda reckless (thank you, Lil' Fish).

I guess it's really not that hard to understand why some people tend to do the same thing in their relationships. I mean hey, your boyfriend may be a thirty-something loser whose band peaked when they played your sister's QuinceaƱera a few years ago, but in some ways coming home to his pot-smoking, game-playing ass sitting on the couch is preferable to coming home to an empty apartment. And for some people, an opportunity needs to present himself before they'll seek change from even a bad situation.

In your question you've touched on some good points. Some times it's rooted in insecurity; some times it has to do with the fear of being alone. Unlike being homeless, which seems to be a fairly common thing to fear (except in my neighborhood), being alone may not seem that bad to everyone. Then again, neither do snakes and there are plenty of people scared shitless of snakes. Partner-jumping behavior could also be rooted in some deeply psychological unconscious dissatisfaction that some people have with themselves that drives them to continuously seek validation for their own existence from others. Then again, some times it's just a force of habit. I prefer my explanations simple.

I can tell by the tone of your question that you are probably not one of those people. Neither am I, and welcome to the club. Although serial monogamy is a term that can be used to describe how most Americans date, members of our club like a little space between serials (I like a little milk with mine) and generally don't consider every first date to be the first night of a new romance. We are a lonely, jaded group but with good benefits and the meetings are hella fun.

And since I still have some space to kill, I'd like to point out that it's my freaking birthday this month! Go me! Hells yeah, baby. And they said I'd never survive on the outside…

PS. A few short months ago the world lost a gifted scholar, a wise sage, and the best damn source of relationship advice I had ever seen. I am, of course, sarcastically speaking of the man once known as the Ol' Dirty Bastard. Always entertaining, I realized recently the ODB, via the intro of his first solo album, taught me the valuable lesson that any time you really think about something you draw the exact opposite conclusion (cool points if you know what I'm talking about). In honor of the ODB, I once had a ferret named after him but had to give it up for a move a few years ago. Now I miss them both.

PPS. Unlike the ODB, my good friend "Lil' Fish" is very much alive.