Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Irrational Optimist

Apologies to Matt Ridley!

There’s a distinct lack of optimism and positive things about this blog these days. I’m sorry. I do think of funny things sometimes, and I do have entertaining moments, but somehow they seem more and more fleeting, despite the steadily-improving level of background stability in my life. Somehow, no matter what is going on in my life, I can’t seem to move very far from the psychedelic elephant in my head.

I have a few other friends who are my age and older, and single. One is a dear friend from college, who, like me, did have a great relationship, but simply could not see the future and broke up with him. Granted, she was 24 at the time, if not younger, but since she is also 29, single and apparently without hope on the horizon, we feel like we are in a similar place.

The one thread that seems to be common to all of us is the disappearance of optimism. Perhaps it is cliché to think of youth as a time of optimism – heck I was so depressed when I was 24 – but I cannot deny that when I was younger, it was easier to believe and believe in people. One made an effort to meet new people, and it didn’t matter too much how they responded. These days I am so reluctant to make the effort, because I simply do not want to waste it unless I can be sure of a positive outcome, that the friendship will be worth it. One friend says he doesn’t even try to meet new people, never mind date them, anymore.

My friend from college says, and I agree, that the problem with trying to date at this point is somehow there have been enough bad experiences to outweigh the good ones, and I don’t even want to flirt anymore because I know, I KNOW, that the guy will not call, or play games, or just be a jerk. (Not saying women don’t so this too.)

KaraokeBoy, at the ripe old age of 23 and a bit, tells me I’m stupid, because everything works out. I’m beginning to think that 23 is the right age to get married, because at 23 you do, actually, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, believe that everything works out. You do believe that you can surmount anything with love. You do believe that people genuinely aren’t just fuckers, and its circumstances that make things turn out the way they do. You do believe in third, fourth, fifth and seven-hundredth chances.

Somehow, I can’t bring myself to believe even I will have a second chance, not just at love, but at a career, or opportunities to do things that excite and fulfill me.


  1. You might have a point about the 23. I got married at 25 but I decided to get married at 23. I think 23 was the time of my greatest optimism. Of course, this being me, that is not saying a lot.

  2. Yeah, I remember you talking about ti also, saying how you weren't sure if marriage was the best thing but you didn't care it was going to work.
    which was saying a lot for you!

  3. Give it time. I usually bounce back after 6 months- so let's talk after then! I thought the same way- but my mom was hopeful- and things are working out- so chill. Keep busy, and let things happen in their natural course. They will.

  4. Nope. I got married at 22 & as you know - it was a gigantic disaster & has turned me into a giant cynic.

    My rule for my future children is that they are not allowed to get married till they're 35 & have lived with the person for atleast 2 years. Ofcourse, I realise that just because I have this rule, my unborn children are likely to elope at 17 or something.

  5. ah so one for and one against...but yeah i see your point broom. my mum is beginning to realise she should have listened when i told her i wanted to get married 5 years ago, and started looking then. now all the appropriate arranged/introduced guys are taken. different strokes?

  6. But Broom, you have proved the point about optimism and 23 (or thereabouts) no? Whether that optimism was misplaced or not is another matter.

  7. I was going to make the same point Broom already has. Your argument is only valid if early marriages do indeed lead to happier ones. Otherwise it could be far worse than just pessimism setting in. Imagine dealing with divorce and a shitty guy!
    Besides remember life has other dreams than a good man oder?
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  8. Acrosticus (LONG TIME!)
    like the Bride said, its the optimism, not the happy ending to which mi refeerring., maybe i could have a happy edning but at the mo the last thing i want to do is try!
    also, agreed, is not just relships, its life.