Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Insanity of Singleness

There are days I think I'll go insane. Loneliness has a way of wrapping its slender fingers around your neck and strangling the life out of you. Some days I can handle it - others I cannot. Now entering my 11th year of being alone, I'm beginning to relate to the Count of Monte Cristo.

You remember the story, don't you? Edmond Dantès, falsely accused, is locked up for 14 years in a cell alone in the Château d'If. He almost goes insane from the loneliness until he meets another prisoner like himself and they try to tunnel their way out of the hell hole they live in on a prison island.

Interesting story. I sort of feel like the poor dude! I've been sentenced to a life of loneliness, to no fault of my own. I'm about to go bonkers, and the only relief I find is through other singles like myself who are trying to tunnel our way out of a prison of solitary life.

Of course, if you know the story, Edmond does strangle the life out of his warden when he escapes. The man was kind enough to beat the living day lights out of him every year on his anniversary of being locked up. I think if I ever get out of my prison, I may strangle someone too! (Just kidding, of course.)

Alas, yes, the story has a happy ending. He escapes, finds a fortune, becomes the richest man alive, and retrieves the woman he was suppose to marry 14 years earlier. Of course, he has to thrust his sword into the gullet of one of his enemies to move on, but hey - you gotta do what you gotta do to find that happy ending.

Well, back to my cell. Here are few quotes to ponder:

There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall. ~Colette

Solitude never hurt anyone. Emily Dickinson lived alone, and she wrote some of the most beautiful poetry the world has ever known... then went crazy as a loon. ~Matt Groening, The Simpsons, spoken by the character Lisa Simpson

Loneliness can be conquered only by those who can bear solitude. ~Paul Tillich

Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone. ~Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now

Just One Single,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fantasy Land

I suppose many of my readers, like myself, have hobbies. Today I thought I would share with you mine. Don’t be surprised – it’s writing.

Yeah – yeah, I know! I write blogs. I write books. But, I also have a very cool hobby of roleplaying. Roleplaying? Yep, I’m addicted.

Let me tell you about my little fantasy land that I enjoy with four other friends. We have a world on MySpace where we get together every day and write collectively a story set in 19th century Paris, France. Each of us has a profile that represents a character and we post multi-paragraph or novella style writing collectively that makes a story. We have 13 characters – most of us play two or three. They are all aristocrats in high society set in 1870. We have a Marquis, Marchioness, Comte, Comtess, Vicomte, Vicomtess, Baron, Duke, a Lady, and a prostitute (got to spice things up!).

Our world is played like it was lived. We hold tight to the rules of the day regarding courtship, love, marriage, no divorce, and plenty of mistresses. It was the way life was lived. However, there are things I absolutely love about our world. We have manners, rules of society, certain behavioral standards that must be kept, and lots of plotting. Of course, there's lots of love, deceit, and dastardly things happening too.

Sometimes I wish I could have lived in the 19th century. It was a place where people talked face to face. They met at social gatherings like balls, the opera, or took walks in parks. Men and women bowed or curtsied when they greeted one another. There were no cell phones, computers, iPods, or whatever. People actually had to converse and talk rather than meet on Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace. The ladies had tea together after dinner parties, and the men went off to smoke cigars and have a glass of brandy. I often wonder what they talked about!

Well, in our world of make believe, I find my fantasy land. I actually don’t play the part of a woman – I play the part of three men – a Baron, Comte, and Vicomte. It’s fun and I get to break all the ladies' hearts, and all the ladies break mine! I am faithful to one wife though. We have a great time, and all five of us are addicted to a world we find solace in just because it’s away from our hectic lives where we create our own world and terrific story. We hardly ever watch TV, as our roleplay group has become our number one soap opera.

The world we live in today is so stressful, so disconnected – when technology tells me it’s connecting me with everyone! Bah humbug! We can barely carry intelligent conversations, hardly ever make friends, find new loves for our lives, all because we all hide behind a computer monitor and live through the technology of Internet rather than the humanness of real social networking. I see that a lot with single people.

For me, roleplaying takes me to a time that was different. A quieter life – a place where women were respected, men were gentlemen, people socialized, and respect was given. So that is my fantasy land that helps me deal with my single life of loneliness. Hum, perhaps I should leave it and find the real world out there and meet someone. Nah, I like the 19th century better.

What do you think? Where is your fantasy land and your place to cope with your lonely single existence? Behind a game? Playing Farmville on Facebook? Solitaire on Windows 2007? Whatever it is, I understand – we all need to cope one way or the other.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m up next to type. My extremely rich French Comte is looking for love and there’s a new lady in town.

Cheerfully yours,