Warning: Romantic-Comedies May be Hazardous to your Morale or “Happy Birthday to Me!”

There’s a certain state of mind that the single person goes through from time to time when the sense of not being tied down to any one person or going through a slump of no social activity whatsoever bears under the guise of depression. Now, for me, this comes and goes in waves. I have certain periods of time when I’m just really glad to be single, but also the negative side of feeling single comes around within the months surrounding my birthday.

Ah, yes, June 19th is less than two months away and I’m already feeling the realization and the depression that comes with it settling in for the long haul. Birthdays are more of a Happy New Year than January 1st is. Birthdays are the proper time to evaluate oneself and look back at what’s been accomplished, then look forward to what I’ve yet to do. My eighteenth birthday was a blast. I had just graduated from high school, I was entering college that fall. I had decided what I was going to do with my life. I really wanted to be a music teacher.

With time and aging comes a change in attitude and perspective, I suppose. Coming out of high school, I was inundated with the music programs available to me there. I was in both the choral and instrumental programs. I spent four years in choral music and two in instrumental, playing the saxophone in marching and concert band. I didn’t think of myself as a novice, but I was no expert player. In choral, I had achieved some minor glory through some of the invitational, in solo singing as well as with quarters and large groups. My choir took home the highest award, my quarter did the same, and I enjoyed taking home the second highest rating for my solo performance. Naturally, since I had invested so much time into grooming myself for music, I would continue my studies at a higher level. But I digress…

This year will be my twenty-sixth birthday. I have a divorce, several failed relationships, and I will have 45 quarter units to my name. At least I’ll be a sophomore next year (finally). As far as accomplishments go, I’ve not really done anything I believe is tremendous enough to shake my annual depression. What do I have yet to accomplish? A lot of things. I still want to pursue my academic goal of a Doctorate in Asian Studies, I want to take that degree and either do translation work or teach the language. Teaching is in my blood; I come from a long line of them. Ultimately, in whatever job I end up in, there’s always times when I’m required to instruct. Those times are very rewarding for me. With my mother retiring after some thirty-five years teaching in the local public school system, I believe following in her footsteps would be a very appealing career goal. Although maybe not public schools, I think I would rather instruct at the college level. Less trouble and the students actually want to be there, as opposed to being forced to be there. Also, perhaps less violence and guns being brought to school.

With this birthday, I’m also considering the state of my love life. I fear that perhaps DeForest Kelley said it best; “It’s dead, Jim.” Oh yes, there’s just nothing more depressing than the lack of a social life. I could hide behind excuses such as “I work a lot,” or “I’m going to school.” Hell, my own family thinks that being single is a good idea for me right now. Even so, there’s something to be said of having a friend of the opposite gender to pal around with. I find myself leaning toward the company of an intelligent woman, the smarter, the better. Most guys find intelligent women to be something of a threat, but not me. In fact, I would take a lot of pride in any woman with high IQ who actually thought I was worth pursuing a relationship with. That, in itself, it a lot to smile about. Truth be told, maybe right now isn’t the best time to pursue anything. I just moved into my new place, I’m adjusting to a new office, new surroundings. It’s almost kind of like hitting the reset button on the front of a PlayStation. All of the rationalizations aside, though, the feeling of being alone hits hardest when you’re watching romantic comedies on TV.

My collection of DVDs is pretty eclectic, to say the least. I mean, I have on the same shelf: Horatio Hornblower, Star Trek, She’s All That, EdTV, Night of the Living Dead, and Babylon 5. I love a good romantic comedy, though. I think for most of the latter days of high school, I was very much about When Harry Met Sally… and then shortly thereafter, Meg Ryan made another romantic comedy but with Tom Hanks, called Sleepless in Seattle. Meg Ryan is just the Queen of Rom-Coms. Every time she’s in a movie, there’s a high probability it’s going to tug at your heart and at the same time make you laugh. The downside of watching this movie, is that Hollywood has basically outlined what you should be experiencing. That sort of sets some expectations, and in the end, the screen romance we all want to take part in, never actually happens the way it would in the bizarro world of Meg Ryan’s characters. Such is reality, and such is fantasy. Regardless, it would still be very nice to have that fantasy romance, right?

Romantic comedy movies aside, in the Anime world, the fuel to the fire on watching series while in that state of mind is epitomized in Marmalade Boy. This seventy-two episode series has the ability to reach down your throat and rip out your still-beating heart and then wrench it right there in front of you. Take what you know of love triangles and increase the sides to about twenty-five. It turns into a Love Polygon… but you get the point. This series is not for those times when you’re pining for someone else, it’s for a time when you’re either okay with your present status or in a good relationship or a hermit. That’s pretty much it. One of my best friends is unable to watch or even hear the title of this series without groaning aloud and shaking his head. It depressed him by the mere mention!

This is a subject far from complete, but I’ll end this entry here and pick it up later… before I depress myself too much.

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