More and more people are opting not to travel the traditional route of marriage and parenthood, or as Amy Gahran would deem it, the relationship escalator. Thanks to social media, we can access article upon article giving various takes on this trend. And, of course, social media brings out people’s true (and oftentimes dark) natures on this subject. In reading through comments on such pieces, I’ve devised the following categories of commenters:
Matrimaniacs (who are mostly Boomers)
People are generally uncomfortable with change. Many people who were raised with the attitude that they needed to get married and raise 2.4 children are naturally going to want everyone else to do it (“We had to do it, so you should”). I saw a meme that read “Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people.”
While tongue-in-cheek, like most jokes, this meme has some truth to it. The folks that are alive and lamenting the declining of marriage are typically Baby Boomers, who don’t know any relationship style outside the “escalator.” If they’re not, they usually come from conservative areas and have been raised inside the “monogamy box.” They’ll make comments like “I’ve been married for 43 years, and it’s been worth every minute” or “people just don’t want to work for love anymore.”
On the plus side, the former category will die soon. And the more we continue to accept alternatives to marriage, the more newer generations will embrace those alternatives, and the latter category will eventually fade away (or at least decrease in number).
Because many pro-singlehood articles address women who are opting for singlehood (and virtually none too for men), much of the backlash comes from angry singles (usually men), who fit the stereotypes matrimaniacs purport and give the rest of us a bad name. Many men feel that the fall of marriage was the result of women being allowed to have credit cards and work outside the home, and they reflect a 1950s patriarchal attitude (men work, women cook).
They’re an angry group. Angry that they just can’t get a phone number or a date because women are now more liberated and don’t have to settle for the first dude that comes along, unlike the matrimaniacs we read about above. They need to learn how to be comfortable in their own skin as singles before they try dating.
Like singles, those who support singles are not a monolithic group, so I’ve divided them into categories:
The Bitterly Coupled or Divorced
These are people in unhappy relationships or those traumatized by a bad breakup or divorce. They’ll make comments like “never get married; it was the biggest mistake I made. 25 years of hell.” After a bad experience in couplehood, they’ve learned (or are learning) to enjoy singlehood.
I really appreciate these folks; it takes a lot of intelligence and open-mindedness to be able to see outside your own experience (something I’m still learning to do). These people tend to have happy, healthy relationships because they’re comfortable in their own skin and have identities distinct from their partnerships. For them, their partnerships are like icing or sprinkles on the cake.
The Happy Single
I don’t need to say much about you. You’re truly the shining stars and will be a great example for future generations.
I’ve loved live music since college, when I saw Phish play at New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center. And I’ve had experiences where I’ve gone to shows with friends, as well as those where I’ve gone solo.
Going to shows with friends is wonderful. I have one friend, Sal, a drummer, who would provide critiques and commentary on who the “weak link” in the band was. Some of my fellow Deadhead friends went to shows in the 1970s and 1980s and have enlightened me on some of the history behind the songs played by the Grateful Dead. And there’s always the pregame dinner, where we talk about the show, as well as the postgame trip home, where we comment on the show’s highlights. My friend Maggie and I once went to see Zoso, a Led Zeppelin tribute, where we interacted with a group of friends who engaged us in a bet to see what song they’d play. My friend Pete, who goes to way more shows than I do, is able to inform me what tunes certain bands play if I’ve never heard them. And they’re all stars on my blog, Not Enough Concerts.
But there is a great deal to be said for solo concertgoing. When I do go to a show solo, I’m a lot less insular and more open to meeting people. And with jam bands (particularly general admission shows), there’s an energy that just unites us fans and keeps us engaged with each other, as well as the music.
The first time I went to a show in DC (after lockdown) solo (a Grateful Dead cover band called Better Off Dead), I met a dude named John, a lawyer who I subsequently met up with at future shows. A month later, when I went to see Trey Anastasio play, I ate at an Indian restaurant near the venue. Pete commented on my Phish T-shirt, and we just got to going. A few minutes later, we were walking to the show, and we’ve met up for several in the DC area since, as well as a Phish show in Philadelphia. There was also my adventure trying to catch an Uber when Phish played at Jones Beach, and teaming up with John during my quest. And having Larry introduce me to all the regulars when I saw the Montgomery Warlocks (another DC-based Dead cover bad) solo.
And I don’t always meet people who I stay in touch with for long periods of time. Sometimes, they’re just friends for the night. Like that guy Mark who had driven from Boston to New York to see Phish. And those two dudes from Georgia who flew up to New York for the Widespread Panic show. And countless other people whom I can’t remember.
As an introvert, I definitely appreciate this article and have internalized most of the tips, like being close to an exit (I like standing in the back during general admission shows). One nice thing about going solo is that I can leave whenever the hell I want and not have to stand around and jiggle my keys while one of my extroverted friends chats with some stranger.
Not that I don’t love my extroverted friends, but still…
A few days after the “slap heard ‘round the world” at Oscars, I just had to buy a ticket to see Chris Rock. I had seen him on his Tambourine tour at Richmond, Virginia’s Altria Theater with Drew/Brometheus, Maggie, and Sherrie (RIP) and found it funny and insightful, so I figured why not? I had never gone to a comedy show solo, but there’s a first time for everything.
DAR Constitution Hall is a regal venue with stylish carpeting and architecture. I don’t have pictures because we had to lock our cell phones in cases (no videotaping!). Usually, when I’m solo, I’ll read articles on my cell phone or read a book. But, no bags either, so no books. I did settle for writing in my notepad and making observations. I did see a nice diversity of cultures there, including a group of what appeared to be Indians. And they were enjoying the show. I did see one other solo person, a young woman in glasses and ripped jeans who barreled through the couples and groups to get to her seat. The way I look at it, when traveling solo, you’ve gotta be dominant.
I didn’t care for Rick Ingraham. While insult comedy is his specialty, I didn’t like the stereotypes of Asians he presented (“you’re all engineers, right?”) and his calling out of the dude there by himself as “creepy,” even if they were audience plants. But that’s comedy, so what can you do?
Chris Rock immediately followed, and his shows seemed to follow a structure. He starts with political humor, riffing on current “wokeness” and “victimhood.” The selfishness of non-maskers came up, as did the idiots who stormed the capitol on 1/6/21. From there, he got into the personal, like with parenting, and I love that story on how he told his daughter’s school to expel her for breaking an important rule, and how, as a result, she became less entitled. While I’m adamantly childfree by choice, I wish the parents of some of my students would follow Rock’s example.
When he got into relationships (the typical closing routine of his act), I couldn’t disagree more. Men are supposed to pay for everything? I can get on that in situations where the gender pay gap applies (men do still make more than women, and if that’s the case in the relationship, the scales should be balanced), but in some situations only. Why do men have to be the pursuers/hunters in relationships? And do all women want to be pursued? Do some want to do the pursuing? Are men less than men if they don’t have to pursue? When Rock said that “women want to be taken care of,” there was a smattering of applause.
In a previous blog, I shamed Rock for chiding his audience to “settle down” when he seemed to be unhappy in his marriage, and indeed, he did divorce from his wife in 2016, largely due to his cheating and pornography addiction. In his Tambourine special, he embodied regret and essentially told his audience, “Do as I say, not as I did in order to maintain your relationships.” He mentioned that he’s single again, and he stated one line, “Women say all the time ‘I don’t need a man’ but you never hear a man say ‘I don’t need a woman.’ I need a relationship!”
I love to analyze people. So, here’s my “pop psychological” take on the roots of that statement: Chris was born in 1965. He was probably raised with the idea that “you need a spouse.” In his 1996 special, Bring the Pain, when he was just marrying his wife, Malaak Compton, he said, “You gotta settle down.” Eight years later, in Never Scared, he said “You’re either married and bored or single and lonely.” My guess is that he had grown bored of his married routine, hence the pornography and the cheating.
Now he’s single again. A few minutes after stating “I need a relationship,” he said, “There are times when I don’t want a relationship and sometimes I do.” Is it possible that Chris Rock is a Single Person at Heart and unaware of it? Perhaps he “needs a relationship” because that’s what he’s been taught? He does go to movies solo. While that doesn’t necessarily categorize him as a SPAH, I wonder if he’s just wired for singlehood.
Maybe we’ll find out on his next tour.
SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read if you plan on watching the show.
Last year, I wrote a post about the first season of Kevin Can F**k Himself, a show that peers into the dark side of the “nuclear family” sitcom trope, revealing the husband to be less of a buffoon and more of a self-centered narcissist and the wife, traditionally a foil, as a fully realized human being. The second set mines that to be even more extreme depths. And after watching the second season, particularly the series finale, there are layers of pro-single messages, which I’ll examine through the lenses of the four major characters. At its core, this is a show about people taking a back seat in their own lives and learning how to “show up” for themselves.
Kevin’s put-upon wife, in a traditional sitcom, would either shrug and roll her eyes at his antics or be the “voice of reason.” Here, Alison is looking to get away from Kevin, and while she seems like a milquetoast, she is self-aware enough to realize that she’s miserable always having to give everything of herself to Kevin. We learn that she was a talented runner and once had dreams of getting out of the blue-collar haven of Worcester, Massachusetts before meeting her husband. After a failed attempt at murder and a successful one at faking her own death, she realizes running doesn’t solve anything. After six months under the assumed identity of Gertrude Franch (and a successful stint at working in a Maine boutique), she comes back to tell Kevin she wants a divorce (to thunderous applause from the laugh track). The resolution of the film then gets several degrees track, as we finally see Kevin outside of the sitcom world, and he is an ugly sight.
Patty is Alison’s sorta friend-by-proximity. She’s the sister of Neil, Kevin’s best friend. She sits in the shadow of Neil, who is just a sidekick to Kevin. She comes alive when she learns of Alison’s plans to separate herself from Kevin, and, while she claims to hate Alison, she still assists her. During the first season, she begins dating Tammy, a police detective who’s on the cusp of finding out about Alison and Patty’s plan. Tammy is the dominant partner in her relationship with Patty, constantly trying to shoo away Alison from her. When Alison “disappears,” she’s on Patty to move away with her. In the series finale, Patty decides she’s staying Worcester, and she kicks out her freeloading brother, Neil, who’s been like a Kevin to Patty.
While Neil is not likable by any means, we’re able to empathize with him in the second season, when he becomes a part of Alison’s “dark world.” He stays loyal to Kevin, his lifelong best friend, despite being the frequent target of his bullying. When he learns of Alison and Patty’s plan to kill Kevin, they give him a concussion and are intent on disposing of him as well. He tries to inform Kevin, but he laughs in his face. This is a turning point, where Neil starts to realize Kevin isn’t much of a friend. He starts sleeping with a married family friend, Diane, and when Kevin mocks him for it, this is where he tells Kevin to go f**k himself. When Patty throws him out of the house, he invites Diane to run away with him out of desperation for a place to live. Diane has feelings for him but knows it wouldn’t be the right move. In Neil’s last appearance, he huffs off from Patty and carries a duffel bag with him. This suggests that Neil has potential to learn to stand on his own.
Onscreen, Kevin plays the role of the traditional sitcom buffoon. Offscreen, he’s committed arson, vandalism, and he’s even gotten people divorced and fired from their jobs due to pure malice. He meets his new girlfriend, Molly, at Alison’s funeral, and they’re dating immediately afterwards. At one point, he confuses the two (“Sorry, I was thinking of my past partner” is a line of his, when he’s berating Molly for forgetting something). By the time Alison divorces him, Neil’s walked out on him, Molly’s realized she’s made a mistake, and his own father’s written him off (repeatedly making fun of Dad’s girlfriend’s laugh really isn’t cool). Having grown a full beard and drank an entire fifth of whiskey, he calls his “support” to get “revenge” on Alison, but nobody responds. Finally, he’s burned down the entire house.
I’m sad this show only lasted two seasons; there are heavy themes of codependency and self-suffiicency, and the pro-single message is clear. The last line of the series, as said by Alison to Patty in a salute to platonic friendship: “Let’s die alone together.”
While it’s not noticed, I love that there is an Unmarried and Single Americans Week, even though I’m not a huge fan of the word “unmarried, as the prefix “un” implies a deficit. I didn’t do this last year, but now that things are opening up in this urban landscape in which I reside, I figured it’s worth a blog post.
Live music is not just an interest of mine, but a way of life. My friend Mark came to visit me to see a band called Widespread Panic play at MGM National Harbor, just outside of DC this past Saturday. On Sunday morning, we woke up and took a walk to the Cracked Eggery, which is known for breakfast sandwiches served on challah bread. After he took off, I just vegged out and recuperated from the two shows I had been to (Friday and Saturday night). I watched a few episodes of that old show, WKRP in Cincinnati. Interestingly, out of the entire cast of characters, only two are married: one is a nebbish (Gordon) and the other is a sleaze (Tarlek). I also watched Wildcats, a light 80s comedy with Goldie Hawn as a football coach. No romantic subplot.
The workweek was busy. We’re in Week Five of classes, so the semester is underway, so much of my time consists of emailing with students and grading work. On that front, I offered my first-year writing students an extra credit option, taken from my How to be Single and Happy course: go somewhere by yourself (movie, restaurant, café) and write about the experience. It’s not due until Friday, September 30, but two students already volunteered. One went to a bar by herself, and the other wrote about her experience going solo to sign up for classes here. While not technically under that umbrella, that was a big step for this person, so full credit!
I also hosted a Meetup for my Asexuals and Aromantics group Thursday night. We went to dinner at this burger/Asian fusion restaurant called Pogiboy, near Farragut Square. Four of us showed up, and we had good conversation around a range of topics, from music to the differences in weather throughout the US to travel.
Saturday was the big day. After spending the morning grading student journals, I was off to Anacostia Park for a bike ride (pic above). The Anacostia River is a nice view, and one of the nice perks of being a DC city employee is a free Capital Bikeshare membership. It was fun riding along the river, and I got to pedal across the newly built Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and past Nationals Park. From there, I headed to the CVS to get my second booster shot combined with a flu shot.
In all my single splendor, I’d been out the past five Saturday nights, and I’m planning to go out the next four, so I figured this weekend would be a perfect one to stay in. I made chicken and decided to break out the gnocchi I bought from Cornucopia, an Italian deli in Bethesda, a few months earlier. I watched my favorite movie, Midnight Run, a buddy action comedy with no romantic subplot, and decided to check out The Man from Toronto, another buddy comedy newly released on Netflix. Don’t bother with this one.
As I write this blog, I realized I have a full life BECAUSE much of it is spent solo. I hope my fellow singles-in-arms recognize that for themselves too.
I have to credit Heather for the title of this post. When we were at the O Street Museum and I mentioned that fans of the band Phish are referred to as “Phishheads,” she started singing this song. I had no idea what she was talking about, and she showed me this video. I thought they were sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks, but upon research, discovered it came from a 70s duo named Barnes & Barnes.
I always love getting together with fellow CoSPers IRL; they are true kindred spirits, especially Heather, a fellow bibliophile, ailurophile, solo, and introvert who loves her alone time as much as I do, and that includes traveling solo. But we had a good time.
After some confusion with the diagonal one-way streets that compromise downtown DC, we made it to the Mansion on O&O Street Museum, which is a visual cacophony of any kind of artifact you could think of. Below is just a sample of what they had:
They also had Disney memorabilia, Simpsons apparel, and a bunch of Beatles gear. And some secret doors, four of which we discovered, which, according to the museum, makes us above-average sleuths. I walked away with a Prohibition-era style sign that read “Bathtub Gin Joint,” which I’ll cut to read “Bathtub Gin,” which inspired our “fish heads” conversation. There was also a book called The Bronx Zoo, a day-by-day account of the 1978 Yankees season as told by pitcher Sparky Lyle. I’ve been keeping a daily journal of my academic year and hope to turn it into a memoir or piece of fiction, so this book would be a good exemplar.
We then walked toward Georgetown, the hoity-toity section of DC (high-end retail shopping and boutiques). Within all the chic is a cat café called Crumbs & Whiskers, which had these beauties:
The only thing I can say about this place is that if there were an image of heaven, this would be one of them in my view. Soft cushions and cuddly cats. Words can’t really describe it, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
From there, it was off to the ultra-chic 1310 Café & Bar. I hadn’t had French toast in a while, and Heather added to the Francophile theme by topping it with French fries. A light dusting of maple syrup on fries is actually okay. We marveled at how well-behaved the kids at the table next to us were, when that’s not always the case. We also discussed childfree restaurants, which I certainly appreciate.
The last part of the day consisted of books and ice cream, two of my favorite things. On our way back to Dupont Circle, we stopped at Second Story Books. I had been at the one in Rockville, Maryland, which resembled a warehouse. This one looked more like a bookstore. Wanting to limit my cash, I walked out of there with nothing, as did Heather. We agreed that while we’re bummed out that these independent bookstores are beginning to disappear, online purchases are a way to stretch our budgets.
While in Dupont Circle, Heather read a book of poems by Edgar Allan Poe while I finished Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me, a true solo’s travelogue. We then got ice cream at Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream before the parting of the ways.
I’m part of a number of different discourse communities. In my work and music communities, someone always talks about their kids, which is par for the course. But it’s nice to meet people who have the same lens on those things that I do. Thanks for coming down, Heather!
And when I say “we,” I mean, people who identify as male and those who identify as female. I thought about this after a Meetup group called Solo Living in 35+, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It just started, so groups tend to be small. In this case, it was myself and a new woman named Ruan, and we watched a group called Turtle Recall play at the DC Waterfront. The band was decent, but the conversation was even better, and on the Metro ride home, we discussed why it is so hard for men and women to be platonic friends and wondered why that is the case.
I vaguely remember being five years old and having female friends I’d play with. As I got older, I started gravitating toward other boys for my platonic friendships; females were for romance. One could not wind up in the “friend zone” with females. That was just the kiss of death.
Still, I found myself having platonic female friends without the desire for romance or sex, and as I got older and started learning more about myself, I realized I prefer platonic relationships. And when I posted on CoSP, many members (mostly female) posted about their male friends, some of whom suddenly stop being friends when they enter romantic partnerships.
As someone who has many female friends, I have some theories. I think societal pressure has conditioned us to think that if a male and female meet each other, there is some subconscious voice telling the two parties there must be romance, sex, or some form of physical intimacy. Whenever I see a male and female walking down the street each other, my first thought is: they’re coupled. I’ve actually made that mistake when I’ve referred to a woman or man as “your husband/wife/boyfriend,” only to find out they’re friends or relatives. So I’m as guilty as the next person.
There’s no immediate solution, but we do need to normalize male/female/agender platonic relationships.
I was excited about meeting up with fellow CoSPers, but I hadn’t had the best night’s sleep, so I wasn’t totally feeling. But I was gonna do it anyway, FOMO and all.
It ended up just being myself and Savannah due to COVID scares and work demands. We decided to meet up near the PATH station in Midtown Manhattan. I got there early and saw a group of marchers with signs about “Keeping Our Streets Safe,” no doubt related to SCOTUS’s overruling of the New York gun law restricting concealed carry (they’re not doing too well in this week, IMHO). They were accompanied by a dance class. Me, I chose to find a table and read, introvert that I am.
Savannah and I met at a TD Bank and decided to walk down Sixth Avenue until we found a place that suited our respective fancies, L’Amico. It looks hip and upscale, not the place I typically frequent, but as I’ve heard before, flexibility is a key component of happiness.
On this trip, I’ve been eating a lot more red meat and dairy than I normally do, so I ordered an avocado salad, as did Savannah. Of course, the free housemade chips they gave defeated the purpose of that, and we split a brick oven pizza (see top). Savannah revealed that even though she had gone the “escalator” route (married, children), she always considered herself a single-at-heart. She talked about going to plays with her “spinster” cousin (who turned her on to theater), and her mother remarking that they had a lot in common. She has a lot in common with a few folks who love theater in NYC, and I hope she can see some shows with them.
I also showed her, as I had Doug earlier this month, my copy of Bella’s Alone: The Badass Psychology of People Who Like Being Alone, and she appeared enamored. While younger folks seem to be pretty enlightened about the validity of singlehood these days (even those who want to travel a more conventional route), it’s nice to see people from previous generations start to “get” the message about singlehood.
I was glad I made it out and even happier that the social interaction allowed me to spend enough energy where I had an amazing night’s sleep.
Despite the fact that most teachers I know lean left on the political spectrum, education is a very conservative profession. This statement seems obvious; after all, teachers are supposed to be role models for students, so everything we do is under scrutiny from students, parents (even for us college professors), and the general public. But it’s interesting to observe.
I recently went down to Tampa, Florida to grade Advanced Placement examinations for the College Board. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, high school students take them through the College Board and can earn college credit if they attain a certain score. So why am I talking about this in a blog related to singlehood?
I didn’t take a formal sample, but I’d say about 98% of the people I met at the AP reading were wearing rings on the index fingers of their left hands, and yes, the females had diamonds. I couldn’t walk fifty feet without hearing “my kids,” “my husband,” “my wife,” etc. I’m well aware that as singles, we’re minorities, but in the past few years, I’ve surrounded myself with people who tend to think like me, as is human nature.
While I have some friends I’ve seen every year who know and appear to respect my work in Singles Studies, it’s still hard not to feel like a minority in this more conventional crowd. And I understand why teachers would logically be drawn to conventional lifestyles. Most teachers and professors I know were the types of people that followed all the “rules” and social norms in school and in life (and of course, we tend to enforce those things in our classrooms), so it would make sense they would want more conventional escalator-style relationships and lifestyles. Here’s where being a singleton does have its advantages when traveling a new city.
Each year, I like to take a solo trek on the city’s free trolley from downtown Tampa to Ybor City, a neighborhood known for its classy ancient Spanish architecture and copious amount of cigar shops. Some people I talk to (mostly married folks) actually say they’re afraid to venture out alone (or they stay in their hotel rooms the entire time) because they’ve never done it before without a person. I can understand the security issues females face in that regard, but as someone’s who’s always been somewhat of a loner (like it’s a bad thing?) and has always been comfortable doing things solo, I generally can’t fathom people’s fears of doing things alone.
I was inspired by someone to take part in a “Professional Night,” where we had the opportunity to share stories about things we learned or things we taught. Since the first chapter of my book, How to be a Happy Bachelor, is all about how I learned to become a happy singleton. I was nervous about it at first, as I knew I’d be facing an audience that’s well, not single-at-heart. But, one thing I’ve learned is that if you’re scared of something, the best thing to do is run toward it rather than run away from it (I also had a little encouragement from my fellow singleton Heather through text).
When I did get up to read it, it got some appreciative laughs, especially when I mentioned how I like to subvert the “crazy cat lady” stereotype by constantly posting pics of my cat/son Chester. When I mentioned microaggressions such as “you don’t even have a cat?”, I got a couple of “ewww”s, which appeared to be supportive of my message.
The next day, I talked to a fellow reader, Chris, who’d attended my reading; he told me about a friend of his who teaches elementary school. His female colleagues repeatedly taunt, “When are you gonna get a girlfriend?” The dude responds, “When you get our nose out of my business.” I suggested his friend say, “Whenever you get divorced.” He laughed pretty hard.
The following day, Chris was talking to another guy, Matt; I gave Chris my card to give to my friend, and Matt said, “Oh, you’re the happy bachelor!” Inference: I’d been talked about. “You’re the guy who’s doing all that traveling!”
“Oh no,” Chris said. “That’s another friend of mine.”
Many of us do like to travel. And why shouldn’t we? There’s a big world out there, and we’re the badasses who don’t wait for anybody to join us.
If I go back next year, I’ll read more about my work in singlehood. And the next year. And the next. And I’ll keep spreading that message until the world accepts singledom. Granted, that probably will happen after I’ve passed on, but I can pave the way for future generations.
After all, we’re already on our way.
I’ve fallen in love with Hoboken in the last few years. While I did spend much of my early-to-mid 20s carousing around Hudson Street and Washington Street until the last trains home at 1:30 a.m., I appreciate it much more during the day. Hoboken Riverside Park has some great views of the waterfront and a nice greenery, and the streets have a vibrant feel.
Today was my meeting with Doug, the first guy outing I’ve had specifically from the CoSP page (unless you count Alan from Childfree & Single). My train was scheduled to arrive about 45 minutes before our meeting time, so I figured I’d walk around the park, but it turns out Doug’s an early bird like me, so we met up at Hidden Grounds Coffee Shop where we talked a nice variety of topics, my favorite of which was restaurants. Doug’s recommendations including Denic’s in Philly (I’ll have to try the pork sandwich with broccoli rabe), and the Dutch Eating Place in Reading Terminal Market, which (I think) fellow CoSPer Melissa and I went to when we saw Phish in nearby Camden, NJ back in 2018. Other places now on my list are Maruca’s in Seaside Heights and Dominic’s on Arthur Avenue.
After we finished our coffees, we walked back over to the park, took some pictures, and discussed male perspectives on single life, as well as some personal things males don’t typically share with each other. Essentially, we share many of the same experiences navigating happy singlehood as 40something-year-old males. We get those well-meaning “oh you’ll find someone” microaggressions. Maybe not as much as females, but we get them some. Doug and I agree that when we go out to do stuff, we’d rather not have to report back to a spouse, the way some partners make each other do (case in point: past friends of mine and Doug’s).
We made our way over to the Black Bear Bar & Grill for lunch, where I ordered a lovely hamburger mac & cheese wrap with a side Caesar. We walked around for a bit more, and when I see a bookstore, I can’t not buy something (or at least that’s been the theme during this trip). I went with two used classics for $8.
Doug and I parted ways at 4:30, and he’s off to Cleveland. I love your trips, dude. That’s a nice thing about being an employed (knocking on wood) single person; we can travel to places and not have to worry about partners, kids, etc. And we talked about visiting each other in our respective cities.
I wish more guys could do what we did yesterday. The world would be a happier, safer place for everyone.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.