Depending on who you are the idea of Cupid brings to mind different images. The honeymooners imagine a cute, diaper-wearing cherubic boy that gracefully flits around aiming arrows at star-crossed lovers. The recently divorced couple may see only a bratty five-year-old boy shooting spit-wads through a straw. But for those folks who have been in a perpetual state of singledom for as long as their friends can remember (which really isn’t that long at all when you consider how much alcohol they drink), the idea of Cupid brings about the eye-rolling image of that well-intentioned friend who’s on a mission to rid the world of Singlitis one blind date at a time. It’s usually a woman who’s been married so long that she wants to re-live that first-kiss feeling by living vicariously through her single friends. So, as she always brags, she “Loves to play Cupid!”
All of her conversations begin with, “I have someone who’s perfect for you!” which is like nails on a chalkboard to a single person. It signals the beginning of a conversation that Single has had many, many times with Cupid. It starts off with a polite “No, thank you” from Single – who is hoping that one day Cupid will take up a hobby that doesn’t revolve around Single’s relationship status – and quickly leads into a sales pitch by Cupid who begins to describe Perfect-For-You the way a real estate agent would describe a home.
“He’s well-maintained, charming, somewhat upscale urban – not to mention he lives in a prestigious location – and has a great view from the rear. He’s a must see! ”
More often than not the Must-See is more of a fixer-upper and the only thing Single gets out of the blind date is the realization that Cupid is a complete Jackass who doesn’t know Single at all.
Contrary to what people in relationships think, it is actually possible to be both single AND happy. I know this because long before I settled down into a happy relationship of my own I was happily single. Even on those Friday night’s when I’d stay in my studio apartment and sit on the bed that doubled as a couch while watching Dateline on a tube TV that also doubled as a full-length mirror I was happy. Blissful, in fact. But trying to explain that to my relationship-laden girlfriends was like trying to explain why one-million people watch Jersey Shore every week, “It’s pathetic! How can that even be possible???”
It can be, and it is. Which is why now that I, too, am one of those people who not only watches Jersey Shore (don’t judge me) but also can’t possibly imagine life without my better half, I have been very conscious of leaving the role of Cupid where it belongs: in Roman mythology where it is nothing more than a great bed-time story that always has a happy ending but doesn’t necessarily end well in real life. So on behalf of all my sane, single friends, I’m making a plea to everyone in a relationship to follow suit. Obviously this doesn’t apply to those masochistic daters who look forward to the painful attempts at lackluster conversation over coffee with a blind date (“So what made you decide to get into real estate at 35?”)
So this Valentine’s Day, instead of searching for the perfect mate for your single friend, just get them the perfect gift. The Hug-Me Pillow. It’s a pillow shaped like a human arm with half a torso, a little reminiscent of those old Faces Of Death films, if you ask me. It lets your single friend know you “just want to see her happy” even though you think she’s totally pathetic.
(this is my article in this month’s issue of Orlando Style Magazine)