Saturday, January 03, 2004

Loneliness versus Being Alone

The SO was talking about loneliness and being alone on the way to the Long Beach Aquarium when my brother dropped a piece of gold in the discussion. He says, "There is a difference between loneliness and being alone." We kicked around some situations where you can be with someone and yet be lonely. We then compared loneliness with being alone in the sense of a physical time and place. My brother gave himself as an example. "I am alone, but I am not lonely, I have so many things to do like photography, my backyard, my garden, my lawn that I am not lonely."

One of the things that I had to chase and chase like a greased pig was relationships. During undergraduate and graduate school years, it seemed like every single woman I fancied did not like me. Or worse, they were just plain psychotic. Let me rephrase that. Perhaps, to me they were psychotic. To some other lucky guy, those women were the epitome of beauty and brains. Is this an example of political correctness? Maybe. I just see it now as different people can see different things in others.

I remember, however, my view of relationships. I thought that in marriages, you were supposed to fight each other every week. I thought that in marriages, the guy was supposed to suffer from the insufferable psycho that ruled the house. But you know what? It doesn't have to happen that way. If you settle, yes, you will get karma smacked to Kingdom come. But if you find and wait for the right person, you will be happy because that person is working towards the same goal as you are.

Some of my mother's friends ended up settling for some guy. I remember this one woman who married a Jewish man. She was forbidden to cook any Filipino food if the husband was awake. She cooked when everyone was asleep. She was forbidden to take her kid to Catholic church. She would pray the rosary late in the night. When the husband died, he left all money to the girl. I believe he is burning in hell right now. As for the woman, I don't know. Maybe she was chasing the illusion of what a happy marriage is supposed to be. Maybe she never learned that marriages have to be equal. That husbands are supposed to support the wife and not forbid them.

Settling for a person is never good. I never thought about settling. When I was at the desperate stage, I sent my mother searching for a suitable woman for me in one of her vacations in the Philippines. She came back with a candidate. To show me the picture, my mother pulled out a magazine. The candidate was on the front cover. I wouldn't call a supermodel settling. Would you?

But back to loneliness and being alone. I have seen people settle and be lonely. That I suppose is one of the more tragic consequences of life. To be with someone but to live totally separate lives. I would much rather be alone and be lonely.

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