FOR THE first time again in so many years, I attended our family reunion organized by the elderlies in the REYNOSO clan.
If it wasn’t really for my dad’s unreasonably determined order for me to go down the barangay hall (the place is just in front of our house) and join, I wouldn’t attend.
I wouldn’t go because I always dread being cannonballed with questions like — “Are you married already?”; “How many kids do you have now?”; “Is your husband here?” — when they very well know I still don’t have a husband. And since that’s the truth, how can he be anywhere and how can I have the number of kids they want to believe I have?
If the questions were not meant as insults (hahaha!), I could easily say they’re dogged reminders that I am already 30-something and the last bus ride is about to come, where’s my bridal train?
Or shouldn’t that be the last train ride? Hmmm…
Just what is wrong with being single?
Ahm… excuse me, that’s a whole lot if you go by what you see around you, and by the standards of your relatives who all think the same way.
If you’re not married by the age of 25, that means your doomed to be an old maid. That’s it! The next level for you to move on is called the join-the-Home-for-the-Old-Maid with an altitude of 10,000 feet. And there’s a special offer… oh, yes, there is… that is, tadah… you get to be it’s president.
Important ideas of couplehood prevail everywhere — whether you don’t go out of your room for the next 10 years, or stay under your table, or even when you’re relieving yourself in the bathroom — everything revolves around love relationships.
How come loveless and sexless soap operas do not exist? Does anyone know? Even horror films have the love angle.
The term “OLD MAID” is no longer politically correct, right? Then how come there are still surprise responses to an old woman who comes into the room and she is single?
I have not experienced this kind of social discrimination, and if I do, I’ll just raise my eyebrows and laugh my heart out loud. Or didn’t I? In the reunion, remember?
Basically, being single affords each of us the opportunity to discover who we are, what we do and don’t like, how we deal with things, what we want out of life, what our expectations are, what our potentials and limitations are, what energizes and empowers us, and what discourages and disappoints us. The goal of being alone should not be to prepare us for couplehood. Rather, the goal of being single should be to learn to fulfill ourselves, to meet our needs, and to develop as a human being regardless of whether or not we choose to enter into a relationship. By learning to love and care for ourselves, we diminish the risk of starving for someone else to fill the void within our souls; a void that only we can truly fill. The purpose of entering into a relationship should be to share oneself with another person as opposed to trying to get from someone what is lacking in ourselves. Expecting someone else to fill in the gaps usually results in grave disappointments , a sense of failure, and endless resentment.
Being in an unhealthy relationship is no more admirable than being alone and isolated. However, choosing to be single can be just as satisfying (if not more so) than thriving in a healthy relationship. With the advent of increased divorces, delayed marriages, fewer births, and growing female independence, more and more people will find themselves single. So, why not make the most of it? Sit back, have a soda, and try belching as loud as you can! You’ll never know what you can accomplish until you try! — (Sherry Obenauer M. Ed., M.A.)
I don’t have problems being single. What I do have now are thoughts about how to avoid next year’s family reunion without really trying.