Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Continuum

“She has so lost her spark after coupledom.”

Thus speaketh a friend about someone we knew in common and largely admired for her pluck to put herself out, and make singledom look good. Apparently, this girl was not so cool anymore as she couldn’t stop talking about her new-found relationship.

My friend, on the other hand, has technically never been single since she turned 18 and was more or less a relationship goddess to me through my long stints as a singleton. She is now finally single, two decades and two marriages later, and is currently tapping me for advice on how to do the ‘table for one’ life. She also wants me to find a ‘suitable boy’ for her, a role I am so not used to playing.

It’s a bit odd, being on the other side with her—she is still dealing with the irony that I have stepped out of my continuum of singledom— having not only tied the knot, but also produced an infant. It is a transition that both of us are learning to handle, she trying to get used to being single, me trying to get used to not being so.

But what I found odd was her desire to now see single as cool, after years of her promoting coupledom to me, and years of me resisting, by saying I was happy for her, but I was happy in my state as well.

I guess she is unlearning wearing the coupledom hat. I on the other hand still have trouble wearing my married hat — read that as thinking like a married person does… for example—“Let me check and get back to you, I don’t know now, can I let you know by the weekend,” stuff like that. I am so used to making my own decisions that sometimes, I have to remind myself that I have to think for two (now three). But I am getting there, with a little help from the husband, so it’s all good.

It’s still funny how singledom is viewed as something in transition, something waiting to be altered, and coupledom as something that has attained balance and stability. It reminds me of my chemistry lessons a long time ago where we learnt about valence electrons and their bid for stability through covalent bonds. So singletons were like electrons, trying to get into stable orbitals, and perhaps that’s why they call it ‘settling.’ But chemistry, unlike life, was kinder to the single bond as it rendered it the most stable as opposed to double and triple bonds which were considered unstable (more to share=unstability in chemistry)

But then again, it is not about singledom versus coupledom. It is which electronic state allows you to form bonds you want to keep.

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