Keith: “You have plans this weekend?”
Seizure Man: “Nothing really. Gonna go home, take a nap, go for a long bike ride. Sleep in. Golf 18 holes with some friends. Watch some college basketball, swim some laps, eat Café Rio with some friends, maybe see a movie, and cap the night off with a long run. You?”
Keith: “I freaking hate you man. You and your single life. I would switch places with you in a heartbeat if I could.”
Says every married person I know.
For full effect, download “Winner At A Losing Game” by Rascal Flatts, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
I am surrounded by married men who secretly tell me behind closed doors that they are living their life vicariously through me. Perhaps it’s that we are at different stages of our lives, and they go into reminiscing about the days when their spouse didn’t give them a bedtime, the days when Dew Pong at 3 am sounded like a good idea, the days when responsibility and obligation for their wife and kids had not been formulated in their subconscious. Oh, those were the good ol’ days weren’t they?
Or so they think.
We talk and we laugh about the life I am living. They drool over stories I share about shutting down pickup lines from a former Miss Utah. They ask for juicy details about the times I swiped right on a random stranger. I can see them turn an envious shade of green when I tell them about playing volleyball for three straight hours with a handful of other single friends, and then capping the night off with a marathon of The Following. I tell them my single stories day after day after day.
And for a few split seconds of their life, I think they truly wish they were me.
In my 28 bumpy years on this planet I have come to the understanding that there are a certain number of rules and regulations that make up how our lives function. These rules range from putting 1% milk in any bowl of ice cream you eat, all the way to always finishing The Shawshank Redemption if you pass it by while channel surfing. One of the most important rules however, one of the most fundamental regulations that governs our very lives is what I refer to as “the longing law”. Simply put, we always want what we cannot have.
This doctrine rings true when I share my single life stories with my married friends. And I think part of their passion for the way I live my life stems from the fact that they literally can’t ever have again what myself, and Chris, and Logan, and thousands of other single folks out there are experiencing right this very second. They can’t have it because they have soccer practice, and dance recitals, and dinners with in-laws, and Sesame Street marathons, and all that other boring big kid stuff that will be blocking off their calendars for the next 30 years like a domesticated prison sentence.
That’s what married life is like, right?
But then I get small glimpses into some of the finer details about the lives they really live and the roles are immediately switched. You see, as abysmally chore-like as it may seem, even they have things in their life that us single people get a little envious of ourselves. Things like Christmas cards in rustic settings with their family dressed in matching plaid. And Tupperware containers of the ridiculously delicious chicken enchilada casserole that their wife made for dinner the night before. And pictures of their three-year old daughter looking confused at the small piece of poop she conveniently dropped next to her Fisher-Price potty trainer.
Those are the things that every once in a while, I get a little bit jealous over.
It’s an amusing battle between the single and married clans, with both sides condemning the others on blogs and Facebook statuses left and right. You married folks say you would trade me places, that you wish you had the freedom that I had, that these free-spirited, no holds barred, no accountability years are times you would trade anything for. Times you only wish you could enjoy for a few small moments now that things have so emphatically changed.
But as the clock ticks on after 2 am and I stare at the ceiling of an empty bedroom with no one to talk with, no baby monitor to listen to, no smiling face to wake up to in the morning, no random mess of spilled Cheerios and Dr. Seuss books on the floor, I can’t help but bounce three words around in my head when it comes to questioning whether these single years are some of the best times of my life:
Are they really?