Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Singleton Lockdown

Sometimes I view my status as a Singleton kind of like being in a jail cell.  Okay, maybe jail cell is a bit harsh and a slight exaggeration.  Hmm... maybe more like a holding cell.  Yeah...  But, don't get me wrong, there aren't any cinder block walls, lines scratched in the walls to keep track of the days or ugly bars.  My Singleton holding cell is pretty.  The walls are decorated in cute, feminine colors and designs.  I have lots of pictures on the walls of all my friends and family smiling down on me.  I can play music, watch television, sleep in a bed that is at least an upgrade from a plastic covered foam mattress.  I can make as many phone calls as I want and nobody reads my mail. 

But, if you look just beyond the edge of my cell, there is a pretty little gate.  It's not the least bit pretentious or threatening, but nonetheless, it is there and there's no getting around it.  As you get closer, you can notice a small, shiny red, heart-shaped combination lock securing my gate to the walls of Singledom.  Go ahead... check out the lock.  You've never seen anything like that before.  So many possibilities one could never just stumble into figuring out the combination, whose length changes with the wind.  The timing has to be just right.  It has to be a perfect fit.  You can tug and tug on that lock, but it won't give.  You can sit there for hours, days, years trying to come up with the right configuration of letters to spell the right word to open that stubborn little thing, but you won't have any luck on your own.

On the opposite side of my Singleton holding cell is the walkway of the cell block.  Day after day, the warden walks other Singletons past, obviously on their way to their holding cell, some passing so quickly that they're almost indistinguishable.  Occasionally, one will slow down and notice me standing there smiling in my best outfit with hair that took hours to get that good and makeup that took even longer.  The warden will let them chat for a minute or two, maybe even come in for a visit.  We sit, have a bite to eat, laugh.  I work up the nerve to ask them if they know the combination to my lock.  Suddenly it becomes clear that I've said too much, gone too far, rushed too fast or waited too long.  And they're gone... without ever helping me with even the slightest hint.  And I'm alone again.

Just beyond my lock and gate, just out of reach is Coupledom.  I can see it clearly.  Happy people living their lives in twos, without concern to who they'll spend Valentine's Day with or how they'll manage to completely block out all signs of it in an attempt to wish it away.  Happy people who discovered their combination years ago and just can't understand why I can't master my own heart-shaped lock.  Happy people who smile reassuringly, "You'll get there, honey, just keep waiting... can't be long now!  Eventually you'll get it right... hopefully," and off they skip, arm in arm. 

I can see Coupledom.  I can almost reach it.  But, I can't get to it.  Sometimes I get close.  I spin the little wheels on my combination lock to spell the name of my most recent visitor, tug at the heart and... nothing.  But, I keep trying.  One day, I'll figure it out.  I'll put everything together, everything will fall right into place, the timing will be perfect, I'll spell out his name and... click!  We'll throw open the gate and leave Singledom in our dust, a distant memory of another life.  But, I'm not there yet.  Soon.  Hopefully.  I can't imagine I'll have too many more attempts before I just completely wear out these little wheels, rubbing clean the letters and maybe my chance of ever getting it right.  I have to be careful and more conservative with my lock, resisting the urge to try every John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt that comes along.

So with that, I'm thinking since I've got a bit longer to hang out in this holding cell, I should probably maintain my pattern of good behavior.  Maybe I could manage at least a conjugal visit or two while I wait.

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