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by Jani Domawa on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 7:24pm
This marks the fifteenth time since I came to my new home that I was asked about why I am not yet hitched. I guess that there is no escaping it. I thought that I left these kinds of questions on the shores of the old country but now, I realize that these queries will probably stick with me like a persistent wad of gum stuck on someone’s shoe.
I have probably expounded on the many reasons why I chose to remain alone many times over. The reasons are primarily practical, others based on simple economics and the primary reason, I can say is because my choice of lifestyle for the moment, favors bachelorhood. I am also emotionally unfit to have a partner and thus, I have truly decided to live the path less traveled.
And no, I am not gay. That’s a slight to everyone who desires this way of life. Some men can live without a nuclear family of their own and this choice in no way indicates their sexual preference. I do a double take at the sight of a beautiful woman that comes my way; and I feel the same desire that a similar man feels in that situation. It’s just that a long term relationship with the opposite sex is not that desirable or much less, expected in the future.
And no again, I didn’t choose to be like this because some woman rejected me and I have developed a phobia with dating. And while I must admit that I was probably spurned by most of the women I’ve professed my love to, this fact is not the reason at all. The greater majority of men get turned down and many if not all rise up to try again. That is just how love is. I am not afraid of women or of love. That would just be plain crazy.
I can tell you about the problems of marriage: like the differences that take toll on one's emotions and mind; the travails of time; the toll of having to work on it... but we all know these. Life is a better instructor, I think, to teach these. And lest someone raise an objection, marriage also has its share of highs that can never be found by a bachelor.
Each path is unique. Some are a better fit with one than the other.
I can also lecture you about the sad reality of family economics but that is better left again for life to teach. We all cope using our own ways. We make choices and stand by them. That and the struggles in the journey we make is what life is.
It’s true that nobody might be there to take care of me in my old age when my body is broken down by the elements. But that is not really a given isn’t it? For the same reason that we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow, we cannot really say what will happen in the future and if someday you see me frail and abandoned then you can say that you were right to chide me now. It is a risk I’ll take and the fault will fall squarely on me. So don’t worry about what I might be when I’m old and retired.
Another question that comes up is: If you don’t have a family, then what is the purpose of you working?
What is your goal?
There are simple answers really.
I want to see a part of the world I've always dreamt of visiting.
I want to own a kickass photography studio someday.
I want to buy an astronomical telescope without guilt.
I want to prepare for that inevitable day when I am old and doddering. If no one will take care of me, then at least I have enough funds to buy a unit at a retirement village or buy that ticket to the North Pole. These may sound selfish but they are as selfish as people deciding to get married for the purpose of having kids to take care of them when they become old.
We have the same goal really, just different ways of insuring we get them.
Am I lonely? No. I can get lonely sometimes, but it’s the same loneliness felt by others who are attached. We are all human beings who have our own ups and downs. Loneliness or the concept of loneliness doesn’t just stay with those who choose to be unattached. It’s a human thing. We all can get lonely.
Sayang! For this, I don’t know how to answer. Sayang in the sense that I don’t experience marriage and the care of a partner? Or sayang in the sense that I am wasting my life. For the former, it doesn’t require marriage to experience those: there are replicated in various forms (not what you are thinking though) which produce the same results. For the latter, I am not wasting my life. I am living a full life just not in the way that most people do it.
I have nothing against women. Women are wonderful creatures that deserve to be respected and loved. It’s just that I am from that group of men who don’t have marriage as part of their future. We are few but we exist and we do just fine.
This doesn’t mean, however that I may not get married someday. Life is unpredictable. Some strong willed woman might just break the barriers that prevent me from settling or I may just get tired of this lifestyle and decide that I have seen enough of it. Who knows, right? Or I might just live on in this path. It is my life to live.
I smile when someone asks me why I am still single. But it gets tiring to parry the questions with the same play of words that are repeated over and over again.