Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Now this is one bummer about being single - you need a permanent partner to invest in one of these! Riding the DoubleDay tandem recumbent with (happily married) Jeff Gilbert on the 5BBC Chocolate Ride in NY. See Bike Friday in NY07 for the full monty.
I'm devouring a fascinating book called Singled Out - How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After by Bella DePaulo.
What keeps me reading is not only an eye-opening list of discriminatory perks you get from being married in the USA (if you die, your social security benefits pass to your spouse, if you're single it goes to the state; if your spouse dies, you get a small stipend for funeral expenses, if single, your body was presumeably discovered in your lonely walk-up bedsit being nibbled by the cat and so on) but the wittiness infused throughout. It's mischievously pointed, dedicated to the cause, yet not at all defensive. When people feel strongly about something it takes a bit of an Obama to field the flak with disarming detachment. You go Bella!
Then up pops "J.P." on the BF Club of NY email list, offering me an eloquent rationale as to why NY is a Singledom Kingdom. He thinks it's the best place for lone rangers, SINKs (single income no kidders) and other solo adventurous misfits, "as long as you can afford it":
I think this is a great place to live, alone or not. I've done the
lonely bachelor thing here and in the NJ suburbs (which is actually
not unlike a lot of the other American "cities") and let me tell you,
if you're gonna be on your own, you're much better off in NYC than
most anywhere else in America.
Here you can do lots of things on your own (eating out, seeing movies,
etc) and not feel like a pariah the way you do in other places where
everyone is married and with kids.
And when you're ready for a mate, the selection here is, in my
opinion, way better -- smarter, more interesting, and better looking
(if also more neurotic). And NYC offers lots more opportunities to
meet the right person than anywhere else because we've got more going
on than anywhere else. (Which also makes it harder to make
appointments with your friends sometimes, but that's an acceptable
trade-off in my book.)
So my vote is for staying...if you can afford it!
Clicking on JP's bio reveals a man of words and the flickering image. JP also offered his top 10 NY cheap 'n' choosies for me to tick off (as you can see I've done )
Some happy singles spotted at the cheap, chic 'n' choosy (cheap as long as you limit yourself with their unique coin-sized muffins and desserts) 3Tarts in Chelsea, Manhattan.
My current top ten things to see and do, all cheap or free (except the last one), in no particular order:
1. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge --> dunnit, on wheels of course
2. See a Juilliard School student drama production --> sounds intriguing, are the prices off-off-off Broadway?
3. Eat tofu stew in Koreatown --> dunnit with Jeff Gilbert at one of these restaurants
4. Visit the 1950s era exhibit rooms at the Museum of Natural History (they're historical in and of themselves) --> I saw the dinosaur bones!
5. People watch on the Coney Island boardwalk --> dunnit, Nathan's Hot dog in hand.
6. Eat a slice of the Bayou Beast pizza at Two Boots --> is it as good as Viva Herbal?
7. Stroll the Chinese and Mexican neighborhoods in Sunset Park, Brooklyn --> TBD, a return to my ethnic roots and memories of Mexico on a Friday ...
8. Meeting friends at Grand Central Terminal --> love that ceiling!
9. Riding any of the elevated subway lines to a neighborhood I've never been to before --> does taking the Path Train to Kew Gardens in Queens count?
10. Renting a Zipcar for the day and getting away from NYC! --> OK, as ZipCar has to be returned to the same city, we rented an SUV for the Rye Recumbent trip, and lived to regret the cost
Let's hear comments from other happy, sad and whatever singles - most of us know the pros and cons of being coupled. Dare to tread even lightly in the sacred area of kids, however, and you better be wearing a couple of fire-retardant suits ...