SINGLE BECAUSE

SINGLE BECAUSE

I have written about this rather annoying but constant question before: “WHY are you still single?!?” Whether one has never been married, or is single again, that is what everyone wants to know, as if we singles have nothing else in our brains about which to converse. You can almost visualize the little mental tallying process going on behind their foreheads, as they secretly work their gray matter, right in your presence, trying to ascertain what it is that is “wrong” with you. For there MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ANYBODY over the age of 30 years old who does not have a mate.

Are they insane? Abusive? Sociopath? Addict? Cheater? Mentally ill? Secretly involved in an illicit affair? Gay, but afraid to come out? “WHAT is wrong with you”, their eyes seem to scream.

Becoming single again is a time when many of your married or coupled friends drop you off of their guest lists. I mean, what woman in her right mind wants a divorcee around their man, for all divorced women are desperate for a hook up, right? Or they do not want to mess up the seating arrangements at the dinner party, or try to find that “extra” to balance it out. For some, it is as simple as they no longer know how to relate to you.


There is even a local church that asks people to join hands during the offering if you are married, and who says they come into agreement with you if you are single. I’m sorry, but in my Bible it says there is no marriage in heaven. And that we are to be the bride of Christ. So by calling out the single people in the audience, to me is a discrimination that does not need to happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for some of us. A Christian is a Christian, married or single. Period.


And the fact is, though, that singles need their friends even more than others, for we have no significant other off of which to bounce our ideas, soothe our souls, or with which to just enjoy mealtimes. SIngle​ ​people​ ​still​ ​have​ ​a​ ​plethora​ ​of​ ​topics​ ​about​ ​which​ ​to​ ​converse:​ ​we​ ​still​ ​care​ ​about​ ​the weather,​ ​politics,​ ​religion,​ ​health​ ​issues,​ ​the​ ​economy,​ ​our​ ​workplaces,​ ​etc.


Some singles, like myself, are lucky enough to have married friends that they see on a regular basis. Not so much the dinner parties, but brunches, lunches & such are always enjoyable. But many of the singles I know just give up trying to be with their coupled up friends, & find one or more other singles to hang out with from time to time. Some just become semi-reclusive instead, sadly.

All of this being said, it hit me after a recent conversation with a group of single friends about “WHY we are single” that they were, each of them in that group, some of the very BEST all around people that I know. Could it really be true, do nice people just finish last? Is the nice guy who chivalrously opens doors setting himself up to be relegated to the Friend Zone?

After much pondering, combined with reflection on my personal experiences over the past 4-½ years, I have arrived at my own conclusions: The answer is that yes, indeed, SOME people remain single because they are O.C.D. or addicted to drugs or have other characteristics that are off putting to potential mates. But as for most of the singles I know, they do not fit into that category. I know men & women alike who are the salt of the earth – caring individuals with a lot to offer the right person – yet they remain single. WHY??


That is what I am here to tell you!

SINGLE BECAUSE …

… too KIND to lead people on when there is no true connection.

… too SMART to be led on, cheated on, or lied to themselves.

… too LOVING to settle for less than their heart’s desire.

… too STRONG to need someone to carry their weight.

… too much FUN to sit around with couch potatoes all day.

… too ENERGETIC to waste their lives.

… too BEAUTIFUL to allow someone else’s ugly inside.

… too POSITIVE to settle for negativity.

… too ADVENTUROUS to stop seeking.

… too INDEPENDENT to be owned.
… too GENEROUS to take advantage of generosity.


The long list goes on. If you are single, I am here to tell you, there are some really good men & women out there, waiting on someone just like you! If you are not single, I ask that you not judge us for preferring to spend our time walking our dogs or snapping photographs than pretending to care about someone so we can get a free meal, have our bills paid, or a roof over our heads. Though there are indeed single people who do the latter, they are not amongst my close friends, for we are definitely not kindred spirits!!

But just because we are single or single again, that does not change the essence of who we are – one does not suddenly become promiscuous because they sign divorce papers. If we were upstanding, trustworthy citizens prior to divorce, chances are we still are the same. Do not get me wrong – divorce does change people, often in less than becoming ways. However, it does not negate character.

The single people I know are often the very first ones to step up & offer assistance to those in need, or lend a helping hand to their neighbors. They do not care whether that friend or neighbor is married or single. So why should you???


I’m single. By choice. Don’t think I couldn’t find a man to pay my bills or be my meal ticket, if that’s all I wanted? But like many of my single friends, I want that relationship that actually is about more than money or sex. I want a soul connection, & I won’t settle for less than a gentleman with a heart like mine, who values love & loyalty far above luxury & lust. Someone that loves God, family & country. A man’s man that is secure enough  in himself that he does not need to prove his masculinity  by sleeping with every woman  aged 19 to 90 that he can find. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a human being with human desires. Being a lady does not mean that one is a prude. But being single does not mean that one is less the lady.


Cheers to all my single friends who value themselves enough to wait for the right relationship. And kudos to my friends who are couples that are supportive of all of us.


We are single because there is something right with us, not because there is something wrong with us! And those nice guys? They sometimes get a bad rap because they don’t play games that happen to be the same games that people supposedly don’t want to play. But I will let you in on a little secret: While we women do like to be chased, I’m pretty sure it is the bad boy, not the good guy who will finish last. The good guy will stay focused on his prize, valuing her as such, whereas the other guy will be so scattered chasing every little squirrel tail that comes by that he may end up never crossing the finish line and receiving a real trophy.

As for me? Boys, you can open my doors anytime! While I’m a true southern belle, which means that while I am strong enough and perfectly capable of doing it for myself, I do so appreciate a true Southern gentleman who knows that manners do matter! And I am always grateful when my guy goes the extra mile for me, and I am willing to do the same for him. I am from pioneering stock, and as most everybody knows, prima donnas and pioneers don’t belong in the same sentence! Just call me an old fashioned Bama Belle who knows the difference between a gentle man who is in touch with his inner scoundrel, and a bad boy who cannot be reformed. 

I’m Single, Because …!

  • Lou Lehman Sams 

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CAGE OF ACQUIESCENCE

CAGE OF ACQUIESCENCE

It was a gray Sunday afternoon in the Fall of the year, the sky was pregnant with cotton candy clouds, & there was a slight chill on her face when the Epiphany burst forth on her, like crepuscular rays from a cloudbreak. She looked down at her wrists & her ankles, & was amazed to see that they were unchained, that every single link to past disappointments, hurts & fears had finally been broken, & she felt the balm of forgiveness that can only come from above bathe her wounds like a powerful healing salve.

 Then she realized that, not only had her chains been broken, but that the door before her, the one which was opened with a key to her present, stood wide open, & that all she had to do was walk through it toward the road to the future which was just up ahead, steeped in a light far brighter than she had ever imagined. Slowly, she took a tentative step, but then she stopped, turned, & waited for him, as the deep compassion which enveloped her heart like a cocoon was tightly bound, & prevented her from leaving without him. But he took a step backward into his past, rather than one towards her, & her Epiphany revealed that, though God breaks every chain that binds you, it is up to you, & you alone to walk through the door to escape your prison cell.

 Rather than follow her into the light of day, he retreated into the darkness, where she was disheartened when she saw him deliberately pick up his chains & close the shackles back shut. He was too weak to flee the bondage of submission, & years of acquiescence had desensitized him to the joys & opportunities that were his for the taking, if he would just find the courage to break away. In his brainwashed existence, he believed that it was better to sit there, like an obedient puppy awaiting a command, than to think or feel things for himself. He had rather feel the pain & hurt of their friction than risk leaving them behind, & she felt the sting of a thousand sadnesses prick her spirit.

 But she had taken a step forward, & she knew that, once one has tasted Freedom of the Soul, anything else is just too bitter to swallow & very unsatisfying, as well. And she knew that she was finally free to love without exception, to be loyal without doubt, & to commit without reservation. 

So slowly, she walked out of that prison cell – it was far too small for more than one person, anyway. She felt the sunshine on her face for the first time in months, & the wind whisked away the sorrows that had taken their place like a heavy mantle that was too cumbersome to wear any longer. She turned once, intending to wave good-bye, but his chains were too tight, & she knew he was unable to reciprocate the gesture. Part of her wanted to stay there with him, to comfort him in his hour of misery, but her Life was beckoning her to go forth & explore & partake of the adventures that the Universe had set aside just for her. 

The single tear that silkily slipped unbidden down her cheek contained all of the remaining hopes she had carried within for so long, but when finally it splashed onto the ground at her feet, like a raindrop from a celestial sky which cleanses & washes away past regrets, she felt unburdened at last. A gentle breeze tickled her wings, & she knew, at that moment, that she was born not just to walk out of that cell, but to run, & yes, to fly. And fly she must, for to stay one instant longer in that place would have meant a return to prison, & she was tired of the confinements of the guilt, misery, & fears of each of them that had paralyzed her for far too long.

 Like a baby bird preparing for its first solo flight, she hesitated, then spread her wings, & off she went, into the expansive, limitless horizon of the sky, which was now the deepest cerulean blue, as that same wind which had blown away her cloak of worry had pushed the clouds away. As she began to soar, she looked down, & saw him there, still in his cell, chained to his past, & she offered up a little prayer that the next time God allowed his chains to be broken, that then he would, somehow, find his courage & thus his way out of that cage. She did not know what he would do, should that ever happen, but she did know that some people are afraid of the wind beneath their wings, & prefer instead the safety of the floor of the cage beneath their feet. 

But she was thankful that her own time had come, for she could never have flown so high with the chains of the past weighing her down, & oh, what a view she had now!! She could see things in ways she never had before, could see what treasures lay in wait atop the mountains she wanted to climb, as well as what lay on the other side of them. And, being unfettered, she was happy, for there were many roads from which to choose, & now she could actually see the choices that she had. She looked forward to, whenever she decided to do so, scaling the peaks that presented themselves in the near distance. But for this moment in time, she simply chose to FLY!!! And that is what she did!

– Lou Lehman Sams 

December 2014

AN OLD SOUL, YOUNG AT HEART

“An Old Soul who was Young at Heart, she never wanted to grow up, if growing up meant pessimism, negativity, & becoming boring. But grow up she must, for it was part of the cycle of Life, & not growing up meant not learning Life’s lessons. There is a distinct difference in being reponsible & being dull.

No, her Old Soul would remain forever Young as she would always, at least in her heart, climb the peaks so she could see the view, feel the breeze, & breathe in the freshest of air. The sound of her laughter would always engage others to do the same, & though many viewed her as prim & proper, as she was when occasion dictated, whenever the music played, she would dance, or at least find a way to discretely tap her toe.

Finally, amidst the naive revelry of her journey, she realized that she had to take responsibility for her own heart, life, path, & soul, & if that was a part of growing up, she was emotionally mature. No one & nothing would cause her unhappiness. The broad grin of a baby, sweet song of a bluebird, smell of fresh cut grass, feel of raindrops on her forehead, frolicking of a puppy, & sight of the sun sinking beneath the horizon brought her all of the happiness that she needed.

The adventures with friends, texts from a beau, & visits with her kids were awesome & amazing, but in the middle of the night she was alone with her own soul, just like everyone else on the planet, & her soul turned to God, & it was enough. She drew her strength from Him, & that strength made her laugh with abandon, dance with joy, befriend the friendless, & smile at strangers. She worked hard. She loved deeply. She Lived Life Out Loud! She was an Old Soul, but she was Young at Heart …

– Lou Lehman Sams

I TAKE SELFIES

I TAKE SELFIES 



 Not so long ago, if anyone would have predicted that I would be taking photos of birds, other people’s trees after it snows, my dog, or … Drum roll … Taking & actually posting selfies, I would have died laughing! I used to HATE birds. I mean I really DETESTED them! My mother made me stay up very late with her when I was a little girl & watch a re-run of that Alfred Hitchcock classic movie, “The Birds”, & I had nightmares for nearly a week after that. I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with birds!!! And a mockingbird used to swoop down & peck my cat, George Washington, on the head – he did this so many times that poor George had a bald spot atop his head. No lie. Not saying that George did not deserve it. He did, after all, have a propensity for killing birds, & he did destroy that bird’s nest, including its babies. Nonethless, when I was a little girl, birds were creepy critters that I wanted no part of participating with in any way.

However, when one finds oneself sitting outside, reflecting & ruminating during a protracted divorce, one takes note of the fact that there are 6 blue jays living in one’s yard. Fortunately, my cat at that time, Lucky, was not much of a hunter, & the only gift he ever brought home to my doorstep was those nasty little snub-nosed voles, & an occasional mouse.  I guess he did not have a taste for birds, or was not athletic enough to score one. Whatever the case, the jays were safe from him, & they would come & visit with us at the end of the day, as Lucky & I sat swinging to & fro in the splintered old wooden swing in the back yard. We would sit there for extended periods, until darkness fell, or a I saw a coyote wandering through the yard, in which case I would abandon my post & hasten indoors. I was telling a friend about all of the blue jays I would see, & she told me that they stood for persistence, which I sorely needed to survive that season of my life, so I thought that was apopros, given that I needed a lot of tenacity to survive the ordeal of a contested divorce process.



 After my divorce was final, when I moved into the townhouse, I could not believe it when heard myself say that I missed having a big backyard where I could see the stars & the BIRDS. But I did miss them. The house that I live in now has a great back yard with an expansive view of not only the stars, but also phenomenal sunsets! Yes, I take & post pictures of the sunsets, as well! And while I do not feed them, a variety of birds, including cardinals, blue jays, & bluebirds, frequently come & watch the sun set with me & my puppy. They come so often that I sometimes grab my camera  & snap pictures of them to share on social media. I know that there is at least a handful of people who are unable to get out due to illness or disability to enjoy these things in person, so I keep posting the pics for their benefit.  









 And during rare Heart of Dixie snowfalls, I was always too busy making snowmen, having snowball fights, eating snow cream, or making snow angels to take many pictures, let alone photos of other people’s trees. However, when you have six and a half inches of snow in your back yard, & only one tree, no kids to bundle up, no man to engage in a snowball fight, then a walk to see what is going on in the ‘hood is the next best thing. So I snapped pics of people’s trees, & an occasional snowman, & enjoyed a brisk walk just soaking in the scenery. Realizing that some people criticize & complain about how many photos others post, I nonetheless posted a bunch of the pics on FaceBook for my home bound friends & those who do not live here to enjoy, figuring if other people do not want to see them, they know how to use the scroll feature, & just scroll on by. 





 This brings me to the subject of selfies. Once upon a time, about a year or so ago, I used to cast a critical eye on a woman I knew who posted selfies of herself. I thought that meant that she was self-centered. But now that I have walked a mile or so in her shoes, those being that of a single woman living alone, I understand. Just because you live with another person who can take your photo for you, that does not mean that you should criticize someone who does not. What does it matter, anyway, who takes the photos? If your kids live many hours away, & you want them to see that you are faring well, you want to share your excitement about an event, or you need a current photo for that dating website, then you should, if you so choose, take a selfie. Again, if people do not want to see it, they can delete your profile, or scroll on by. My great-aunt, who is in her 90’s just told me yesterday to please keep posting pics, as she loves to keep up with people that way. 





 Last but not least, there is my precious & precocious puppy! No, he does not change much from photo to photo, but he was my companion to ring in the New Year, my partner in photographing the beautiful red-tailed hawk that was sitting on my fence one morning, my friend while walking the Greenway, my dinner companion, etc. etc. If I am going to photograph my life’s events, I cannot omit him. Some people’s pets are their best friends. You take & post pics of your best friends, so why should you care if someone else takes pics of theirs? I will stop & peek at their pups on the days when I have time to do so, will hit the like button for a pretty pic, & just scroll on by if I do not have time to do either. It’s just that easy! 







 Yes, I take selfies now. No, I do not take them at inappropriate times, such as during a worship service at Church, when I am dressed in my unmentionables, or when I’ve got a nasty scrape or bruise. Some things are best left to the privacy of one’s home. But God has shown me that it is okay to do simple things that make me happy, as long as they do not intrude upon someone else’s rights. My private social media pages are for viewing by people that I consider to be my friends. Like a scene from a movie that you do not wish to view, you can always just look away if you do not agree with something, or not buy a ticket to the movie at all. I am secure enough in myself that I am not going to let critics stop me from expressing myself as I see fit. And please do not let them steal your joy, either!! 

 I do not envy people, I’m not jealous of what they have, but  by the same token, I would gladly exchange taking pics of selfies for a boy friend, a husband, or kids at home to spend time with, & take photos of & with, so for those of you who are fortunate enough to have those things, perhaps you would please be so kind as to not be so critical of those of us who do not have them, please? While we are busy taking & posting pics of our puppies, you are snuggled up on the sofa watching a movie with the one you love, or going to watch your son’s baseball game, or reading a bedtime story to your grandkids. Perhaps I am just wired differently: but even when I was in a serious relationship with a man that I loved, whenever I saw a picture posted by a friend that was one of their dogs, a selfie, or some thing that they were having for dinner, I did not condemn them. I was always just happy to see that they were doing well, and enjoying life.

Yes, I look forward to the day when God will hopefully give me a special man with which to build a home, & I will be too busy sharing dinners, walks in the snow, or ringing in the New Year with him to take pics of birds, puppies, & neighbor’s snow laden tree branches, but until that time arrives, I intend to keep living life & enjoying the small blessings God sees fit to grant me, such as writing in my blog & taking photographs.

Haters are gonna hate. Rise above, & express yourself in the manner you wish, so long as you do not harm anyone in the process. I pray that you will find your own joy, & live your life in a way that brings you peace & happiness … 

 – Lou Lehman Sams