Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Frasier guest-blogs on coupledom

Sorry, all, but today I’m gonna have to take a mini-holiday: a) that freelance work I did a couple weeks ago has now jacked up unemployment checks, creating a rent debacle that must be resolved today ... and b) when that’s finished I have to get cracking on my ap for a very-exciting instructor position, teaching humanities at a community college.

Which brings me to Reason#504 to be Anna’s handbagger Nov. 6: if all goes well, I won’t be in this city much longer. Don’t miss your chance to experience the exclusive Sexless handbagger tour of New York City! (Reason #497: see Frasier’s weekend comment and usual hilarity re: noisy neighbor sex.)

And speaking of our Most Favored Reader, since I dare not leave you without your coffee-break entertainment, I’m going to let portions of an email supply the amusements for this afternoon:
... This will arrive well after your return from church - unless, of course, it’s taken you inordinately longer than usual to elude the clutches of Bill Murky. (Rolls round helpless with hearty, albeit unkind, laughter at sudden vision of AB taking ever more circuitous routes to avoid Murky who, for his part, is devising ever more cunning ruses to waylay her. Eventually Sunday church-going commences early Saturday evening and concludes around lunch time Monday. The film version, which I intend to sell to Hollywood for a motza, will, of course, star the real Bill Murray pursuing - well, which Hollywood star do you see yourself as, AB?)
I’m not telling on that score, but I have variously gotten comparisons to Liv Tyler, Hilary Swank and Nancy Kerrigan. Go figure.

But back to the substance of his email:
The problem with all such ceremonies — well, it’s a problem for singletons* — is that nuptials focus attention on all the positives of coupledom. As the loving couple — and this was a particularly loving couple who had decided ’twas time to marry after six happy years living together — gaze into each others’ eyes and make their vows to each other, a ripple of satisfaction with coupledom permeates the onlookers. Partners squeeze each others’ hands that little bit more tightly, happy, or at least relieved, to have each other and quite forget any acrimonious row they may have had that morning over the corn flakes. Only the singletons can’t share in this collective paean to coupledom. Losers!

And the ceremony, of course, sets the scene for the bacchanalian celebrations that follow. They are celebrations for couples. The singleton has to endure his fellow guests studiously avoiding reference to his unattached status (when he knows the loser thoughts they secretly harbour! Paranoid? Of course not. Perish the thought that they actually couldn’t give a stuff about him one way or the other.)

And this was not a wedding where it was possible to anaesthetize oneself by a combination of becoming rapidly shit-faced and/or chasing skirt. I had to drive back to my luxurious but lonely accommodation and so had to stay relatively sober and the only other two singletons around my age were, you’ve guessed it, also males.

However I did make one discovery that may be of some use to you if your readers foolishly fail to respond to your most enticing handbagger offer. The discovery is this — a camera can fulfil some (though regrettably not all) of the functions of a good handbagger.

A camera can:
  • provide company when all about you are chattering among themselves. (Intensely busying oneself with such important matters as changing film, checking focus, etc. may not be quite the same as chatting to you very own handbagger but it sure beats staring into space or checking the menu for the sixth time.)
  • make it easier to meet people as you ask them to pose for the camera (something which might have been more relevant in my own case if there had been any unattached females who would have benefited from an introduction to self.)
  • provide a ready excuse for detaching oneself from a particularly boring group. (“Oh look, there’s Bill and Mary. Must go and take their pic (for the fourth time).”)
  • and, as happened in my case, promote bonding with ex’s new squeeze.
However, unlike a good handbagger, a camera can’t:
  • provide you with a deterrent to the females who believe they are on a mission of mercy with their insistence that you get up and join them on the dance floor** when the truth is you’d rather undergo root canal dentistry than make an idiot of yourself attempting the Macarena or line dancing.
  • provide the illusion that you belong among the couples as the ceremony takes place
  • toss you for the position of designated driver so that at least one of you can get shit faced
  • whisper in your ear in a way that may cause the opinionated but insecure asshole who has just subjected you to a diatribe about his wonderfully successful life to worry that he has been the subject of a secret and particularly cutting put-down.

PS: I drove home tonight listening to the wonderful “Genius loves company” CD purchased earlier today. Then I remembered it was your web site that alerted me to its existence and, guiltily, it occurred to me that if I had purchased it by clicking on the appropriate icon on your site, you would presumably have got a cut of the purchase price. Can you confirm this for future reference? I’d rather contribute to your coffers than whatever capitalist leviathan lies behind the facade of my local music/books store.
Yes, dahling, technically I could have benefited, but the most direct way to add to my coffers (other than the dollar-n-change I might get for, say, a $30 purchase) is to make use of the PayPal buttons. And you could always purchase one of my scarves / pictures / etc. ;)

*Anna envisions the one-sies pajamas of childhood.
**Careful, ducks, one such female might be me! (Grins broadly, tapping dance shoe-clad foot suggestively.) Don’t forget, Abba’s “Dancing Queen” is the theme song of many a lady ...