Stickman Readers' Submissions March 28th, 2013

To Be Single Or Not To Be Single, That Is The Question

I have a good friend. Let's call him Al.

Al is a 58-year old American, who's been living in Europe for the last 35 years. 30 years in England, and more recently about 5 years in Southern France.

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Al is not retired yet, and continues to be pretty successful in his specialized career. He tells me that in less than 5 years when he cashes in, he'll have over 500,000 pounds in the bank. And when he stops working he can collect 10,000 Euros a month from his pension in the UK, and about 2,000 Euros a month from his pension in France.

Al has never been married.

Al has traveled all over the world. He's even vacationed with me once in Thailand, where we visited Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Samui. Al knows I love Thailand.

Al's favorite pastime was to saunter out late in the evening or early in the morning, when all the working girls got off work—sit down at the various plastic tables up and down Sukhumvit—and chat with the girls. He enjoyed shooting the breeze with them when they were off work, just being themselves. I remember in the morning when we met for breakfast in our hotel, Al would show me photos, which he took on his cell phone, of all the girls he met the previous evening. Al knew what rocked his boat, and he tried to enjoy his life as best he could.

Of course, Al was not always a happy-go-lucky guy. He frequently questioned his lifestyle, and many times asked me for relationship advice. I had been married 3 times, and in his eyes I was an expert in committed relationships. I don't think it crossed his mind, that I was also an expert in ugly divorces, legal battles and child support payments.

Just today, I received an email from Al, complaining and bitching about his life. He yearned for a long term relationship, everlasting love, a wife, a family, someone to take care of him in his old age, and most of all—an album of memories building a life for himself and his loved ones.

Where did he go wrong? Could I please give him advice on what to do?

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(Presently Al has a quasi girlfriend who lives across the pond in Boston. For the last several years, Al has spent the summers with this woman, and they've had a great time together. I don't think that it's ever occurred to Al to ask her for her hand in marriage. Al has trouble with commitment.)

So I got to thinking. And I emailed him back with some sage advice, and at the same time, tried not to bitch slap him until his facial skin peeled off his skull.

My dear friend Al,

I may be batty insane, and the exact opposite of a financial wizard, but it seems to me with a half a million pounds in the bank, and 12,000 FXXKING EUROS coming in every month, you could probably live FXXKING GREAT!!!!!! in any place on GOD'S EARTH that you BLOODY WELL WANTED!!!!

(I tried to type softly when I wrote that).

And you asked me "What would you do Pete, (my name is Pete) if you were entirely single (and I suppose had that income), and kind of lonely?"

Simple Al, I said.

I'd move to Thailand, and indulge myself silly until every overseas supplier of Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, and Kamagra, ran out of product. And I'd die a very, very, very, very happy man.

But, that's just me.

(I went on.)

You, Al, on the other hand, have a girlfriend that you're fond of. So, you can move to Boston for a while and test the waters. Might as well see if there's a pot of love over the rainbow. Might not be a horny 18-year old's pot, but a nice, comfortable, warm space that the two of you could occupy and care for each other kind of pot. And of course, you can always throw in some trapeze-act sex every now and then, just to spice up that mutual warm and fuzzy feeling. As they say in Thailand—up to you?

Of course, I totally envy your singlehood, singlement, singlelyness, singledom, singlyosity, single lifestyle. Man, what I wouldn't give to be in your shoes—single, financially independent, and single. Did I say single? I'm getting a single goose bump just thinking about it. Once.

And I believe you ended up single, (He used the word "solitary"), because you wanted to. Just think of all the great experiences you've had being single. Dating and chasing all that— my disgusting father would say—"snatch". What a ride!!!

Al, you're not stuck in some mortgaged-to-the-hilt house for 30 years, raising some snotty-nosed rug rats who will run off in 18 years covered in tattoos and pierced nipples–both your sons and your daughters!

You're not mowing the lawn in oppressive heat or shoveling your ass off in the snow.

You're not waking up in the morning to see your cow of a wife's mud mask plastered all over her face. Where did that come from? Sometime while you were fast asleep, dreaming about your teenage daughter's best friend in that pink little cheerleader outfit, a cement truck must have dislodged itself in the middle of the night on your wife's side of the bed.

You don't have to go to your in-laws and make nice just to get that wedding anniversary present they offered you—-an awning for the back porch.

You don't have to keep up the life insurance policy, the health insurance policies, the two car insurance policies, the home owner's insurance; or pay the city taxes, the state taxes, the federal taxes, or the electric bills which are going through the roof because of your wife's hairdryer and maniacal electric dildo use. The kid's video games are burning a hole in the electric sockets not to mention their brains, and did I mention every light in the house is on 24 hours a day.

How about the dog food, the vet bills, the grooming aids, the cable TV bills, the internet bills, the 4 I-phones you have to pay for every month, and the cost for high speed text messaging.

Did I forget, something in the house breaks down. The microwave needs replacing, the water heater blows up, the ice maker in the refrigerator spits out dog food, the kitchen faucet leaks, the toilet won't flush, your computer screen is black, your hard drive with your entire life's work melts.

Oh, and what if your neighbor's tree falls on that new awning in the back yard. Or their dog bites your kid's leg which needs to be amputated.

et(fxxking)c! You get the picture.

Al, whatever you choose, it's all a ride. Some guys ride off into the sunset, some guys ride off to alimony court. You choose.

All my love.


Stickman's thoughts:

Very nice! I guess for Al, as it is for so many, it's a case of the grass always seeming greener. I bet plenty of Western men Al's age would happily trade places with him!

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