I’ve never had a boyfriend.
We could psychoanalyze why — trust me, I have — but NO NEED, because I am in love. Or, rather, I find love in reading, resonant lyrics, relationships with relatives and friends (family members both biological and acquired), et alia.
We’re conditioned to believe romantic love > platonic love. We’re sold this farce. Without it, rom-coms would be just … -coms (an upgrade, no doubt) and pop music’s market for boy-bands comprised of coiffed teenage cretins would disintegrate … she wrote, jamming to One Direction’s mad dance tunes.
Howezzah, my mental monologue as I search for a “significant other” by means of sipping coffee/herbal tea and ping-ponging unpleasantries with unfortunates I swiped right for (a reference to popular dating apps, not a euphemism, older family members) invariably thinks, I’m bored.
To paraphrase: I hate dating. So — if a tall, dreamy dude with a sick sense of humor swims into my periphery, I’ll take heed. For now, I’m more interested in the project of my personhood and, like, self-validation.
Which bringeth me to phenomena I fervently adore: Clash songs, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, birthing an online book club dubbed “SEXUAL INTELLECTUALS”, thinly fictionalizing my teenage experiences into my first novel-embryo. Calling/emailing/texting/messaging my dearest. Each bond is unique, offering camaraderie and symbiosis. I stretch my tentacles, and my deep-sea brethren reach in reciprocity to touch me. Metaphorically speaking. Ain’t that lurvely?
But I can’t expound abound love, romantic/platonic or otherwise, without mentioning its flipside: loneliness.
At twenty, I relegated into debilitating depression. I felt blisteringly lonesome and heartachen, crushed by a deficit in the “connectedness” department compounded by the effects of a decade’s worth of neurotransmitter imbalance left untreated. Reeling from the realization I’d missed myriad opportunities for genuine human camaraderie based on my own reticence, I took to my bed. My ensuing hibernation/withdrawal only exacerbated the profound isolation I felt.
I imploded, struggling with self-harm and sporadic prescription drug/alcohol abuse. I ricocheted in and out of college/housing arrangements/jobs. I spent voluntary stints in psychiatric hospitals. Thrice. I’ve since recovered; more on mental illness in a later post. Posthaste.
Instrumental in my recovery — along with time and professional help; if you need this, I implore you to seek it — was rediscovering and redefining interconnectedness with my fellow plebeians. Aged 21, I took a(nother) sabbatical from school, migrated back to my childhood home with the parentals as roommates and serendipitously snagged a job hostessing/waiting tables at a corporate burger joint (YUMMM) amongst a kickass clan of coworkers.
With lots’a help and support, I salvaged my life-shipwreckage. I learnt to ask for what I need. And *singsongs, snaps fingers and shimmies side-to-side to undercut this bout of sentimentality* everybody needs love. In its many, splendid forms. End gooiness.
We all crave connection. But, baby broccolis, I feel connected as I ponder Basil’s reverence for Dorian Gray or reread blogger/Brooklynite Amy Rose Spiegel’s Rookie essay “I’ll Be Your Mirror” or perchance upon The Cure’s “The Perfect Boy” and emulate Robert Smith’s kohl eyeliner. Or froth about My So-Called Life with a newfound pal-gem over Dunkin Donuts liquid ice cream masquerading as coffee. It’s spiritual, man.
To ppl who describe themselves as “hopeless romantics,” I reply, Swell! I am a hopeless … sarcastic. I reject that a paramour is a prerequisite for happiness.