Sunday, January 30, 2005

Jealousy and Despair

I've recently met even more new great bikey people and have discovered something: I'm jealous. Deep-down, achingly jealous.

Why?

Most of these amazingly cool, amazingly generous people are not single. They are mated with partners of rival virtue. Each person on their own is fantastic and together they certainly seem to equal much more than the sum of their individual personalities and accomplishments. Watching them together is a joy, but a bittersweet joy. I am undeniably single and have never been in a relationship where the pure partnership is anything near what I have witnessed recently.

I very much admire the relationships that my friends back home are in, and have felt twinges of envy as I watch them travel the traditional path of adulthood: marriage, house, kids. But as great as those relationships are, they also seem limited and closed in their goals. The end result is a perfectly typical, perfectly selfish life. Nice houses, good schools, tolerable jobs and interesting vacations seems to be pinnacle of their aspirations. My inner-city teachers and social workers are moving out into the suburbs "more house for the money," to teach and birth white, middle class children in 'safe' neighborhoods. These friends used to volunteer in homeless shelters and soon the only volunteering they do will be coaching their children's sport teams and scout troups.

The bikey 'power-couples' do so much more. Several of them teach at Chicago Public Schools, they work on lobbying for the bike community, they own responsible businesses, they are working to create organic food co-ops and other sustainable grass roots organizations. Most of their social lives involves creating and advocating for positive change. They manage to do all of these great activities in addition to owning homes and breeding. By eschewing the prevailing materialistic lifestyle, they manage to have financial stability and success even though their income is relatively modest. Very inspiring, but also depressing.

Seeing these couples has made me raise the bar higher, and thereby eliminate an even higher percentage of men from my dating pool. I completely understand that I am an oddball and my interests and values often cause me to straddle typical social divisions. Finding a boy who compliments my quirks and posesses the intelligence and atypical ambitions to desire and obtain the lifestyle I desire will be damn near impossible. It is scary to know that this is the single area of life that I cannot control. Almost every other important aspect of my life I can effect by working harder, being disciplined or finding a creative solution. I love looking back on my life and tracing the less-traveled, jerrymandering path that led me here. But neither brute determination, creativity nor lack of sleep can create the perfect boy for me if he does not exist.

So even as I look fondly back at my haphazard past and look forward to bushwacking a path to my goals, I fear that it will be a solo journey.

1 Comments:

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm already taken. Not that it matters.

Seriously though, with all of the like-minded bike people you are now hanging out with, it seems inevitable that you will run across someone who meets your requirements (and vice versa). Of course, I don't know you, so maybe you have tentacles on the parts of your body not shown by your otherwise pleasing picture.

Of course, you don't need to be attached to do the things that you admire your friends doing. You seem smart and able and driven enough to do whatever you want, with or without a partner. And the law degree is a good start for any project.

Jim

 

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