If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive. ~ Samuel Goldwyn
Beggars Would Ride
I’ve been pondering this subject for a couple of weeks. I get calls from friends who feel alone. Especially if they are divorced. Oh wait. I mean, especially if they are married. No wait… I mean, especially if they are single.
FUCK! I guess I get calls from people who feel alone ~ especially if they are humans!
We all want someone to be there when we need… well… someone. We want that special someone. The one who we know cares about us more than anyone else in the world does. In my experience, the people I have generally found this to be true about have been my family and friends. They know me. They love me. Just as I am. And when I struggle, they are ALWAYS there for me.
Well except when they are not.
I come from a strong family background, with a strong belief that you just take care of family. That’s the rule. I also have a handful of very good friends. The type who believe you just take care of friends. That’s the rule.
So I always know that’s there. And there is certainly much to be said for that kind of security.
But what about intimacy? That great horse of an entirely different color. We are born with a place inside of us that yearns for that special one who will make everything matter more, will make every fire burn brighter, and will make every jagged pill easier to swallow.
Sometimes, as David at Dadshouse mentioned this week, we just want a hug. We get busy. Time and responsibilities tie us down. We’re strong and independent individuals who just do the next thing without blinking. And from time to time, we want to collapse under the weight of it. We want someone there to catch us, or hold us, or just tell us they’ll take the mental reins for five minutes while we snuggle up to their warmth.
But strangely it seems, at those times, no one is there. Why is that? Where does everyone go? Family, friends, fuck buddies ~ all hidden from view. You could have two people in your support group, or two hundred. But those moments just happen when not one of them is available.
It’s a fact of life. We’re in this alone. Regardless of our situation. Yes, it happens less often if we have maintained a strong support group. David makes a comment that single parents have drawn the short straw in this sense. As married people, they lost contact with the huggers they knew as single people, and don’t have the free time to recreate a new store of huggers for those days. I’m going to call horseshit on this one. First off, single parents have the same 24 hours a day that everyone else in the world has. So you can develop friendships, but you have to make a concerted effort to do that. Relationships take work. And if you’ve done the work, then you have them. Secondly, as I said, regardless of how many of these relationships you have, people don’t just hang around in the woodwork waiting to hand out appreciative, heartfelt hugs.
So some of us are hardworking single parents who just want a minute to be weak. Some of us are stay-at-home moms who just want a break from the hectic life where everyone wants something from us so we can get something back. Some of us are single with no imminent partner on the horizon and we want some hope that someday that partner will show up. Some of us are in relationships, but apart from our loved one for one reason or another. We can’t go get an intimate hug from someone else, so we just have to make it through the yearning.
In the end, we find ourselves pleasantly surprised when a stranger tells us we look fantastic. When a cashier lingers long in handing us our change. When a little child gives us the simple gift of whatever precious thing is in their hand at the moment. Or when one of our grown children calls to say something unexpected and very timely like, “Mom, I just called to say that you are the most amazing person I know!”
We muddle through those alone times. They happen to everyone. And they make us strong. We wish there were another way to become strong. But if wishes were horses…