Archive for the 'singledom' Category

The Loneliest Number?

My running, aside from in a 5K, has been mainly a solitary activity.  I know not everyone runs that way: running groups, running partners, races, internet forums–running can be very social.  But, for me, the moment other feet hit the pavement around me, the comparisons start. He’s  faster, she’s not as sweaty, they’re breathing more easily. Her form is better, his shoes are nicer, their bodies are less lumpy. They’re real runners. I’m not.

I”ve been asked to run with a dear friend who has completed a few marathons. I’ve been asked to run with a bunch of high school friends who have a lovely, supportive running group. My answer has been the same. No, thanks, I’d hold you back. I can’t keep up. I’d slow you down. (Thinking: You’d find out I shouldn’t even be using the term “runner” to apply to myself.)

When I run alone, I’m free from the comparisons. When I run by myself I feel powerful, strong, accomplished. I put on my gear, pop in my earbuds, start up my tracking app, and go.  And for the next 40 or so minutes the conversation in my brain is positive. I can do this; I can keep going. That’s a little sore, but I’m fine. I can make it. Yes, I worry about pace and improving. But only in line with how I did on my last run. When I ran a 5K under 43 minutes, alone, it seemed like a huge accomplishment. It WAS a huge accomplishment for me. But when I ran a 5K in 40 minutes, and placed 600-something out of a thousand something, it was hard to keep that accomplishment in perspective.

It’s a shame really, because the running community has always been nothing but supportive. During my first 5K last year, when I had strep throat and a bronchial infection, but didn’t know it it yet, two women, who were total strangers to me, ran back on the course to find me (dead last) and run me in, encouraging me all the way. Last weekend, at my first 5K since I began re-training a few months ago, a whole line of runners who had completed their race cheered me along to the finish line “Push it through!” “You’re doing great!” “Almost there!” And they gave me that extra something I needed to sprint to the finish line for my best time ever. The running community is awesome.

Maybe someday I’ll feel legitimate enough to consider myself a part of it.  For now, I’ll listen to my music, encourage myself, plan my day’s to-do list, ponder what to wear tomorrow, and keep running…alone.

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Warning: Eggshells Ahead

One of the things I’ve found hardest about turning the corner from “I could totally still be in college” to “I don’t even know what music the kids are listening to these days” has been the gradual reduction of single friends.

And this isn’t even going to be a whining post about how everyone is in a relationship but me. I’m going to whine about something completely different: the trecherous path of being friends with guys who are married or in a committed relationship, when you are not.

If you knew him before he paired off, there’s the awkward fact that you probably know more about him than she does. That you know how long his average relationship lasts. That he called you and read you bad poetry when he broke up with Tracy and this girl is even more messed up than she was. Did he tell her about that time you guys kissed? Or maybe you haven’t known him quite that long and it’s more a matter of re-learning boundries. Am I still allowed to hug him? Would she think this was flirting? I guess she has to go everywhere with us now.

Another subset is when you become friends with married guys at work. You know that more than likely you see them more per week during their waking hours than their wives do. Is it weird to go out to lunch alone with him? Should you make him stop telling you when they are fighting and what about? Because, seriously, you wouldn’t your husband sharing that kind of information. How do you even bring that up?

Has any one else found this to be an awkward situation? Maybe I just over-think things. Is it the same for guys?

The Friendly Skies

I’ve come up with yet another excuse reason why I’m single. I’m not very friendly and open when I’m by myself.

This struck me at the Charlotte airport on Monday night, when a man sat down on the floor beside me and began rubbing the carpet with the palm of his hand, coming disconcertingly close to my upper thigh. Strangely, he hadn’t seemed crazy up until that point, or after the rubbing.

Although my recent trip to England was the first time I spent real vacation time on my own, I do generally travel by myself. This means that I’m trying to watch all my stuff, keep track of my tickets, find gates, etc all on my own, and look reasonably confident while doing so. I have a special “travel face” that I wear, I think. And I don’t think it’s a very friendly face.

In fact, it’s not meant to be friendly. And that’s my problem. I don’t want to make pointless small talk with strangers. I don’t want to know where the person next to me is headed or what they were doing in the area. Frankly I don’t care, and I can’t bother pretending that I do. And I especially don’t want to smile at you or your small child as they tear around the airport while I hope against hope that the kid isn’t sitting near me on the flight.

But people who do those things, smile at strangers, talk to random people…they end up sitting next to someone on their flight and chatting and finding out that they went to high school with that person’s cousin whom they later end up marrying all because of that conversation on the commuter flight to Boston.


Lori

A blog about my life and other stuff.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)

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