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A Single Man Finally Tastes Legitimacy

I started noticing something strange during my couple weeks as a campground host. Quite unrelated to this, a mountain biker dropped by yesterday. We ended up having a conversation unlike any I've had before. Its conclusion probably explains what I was noticing as a campground host.

People were treating me in a more friendly manner than what I was used to. Had I suddenly become four times better-looking or developed irresistible charm?

He mentioned that he avoids talking to people in public situations. He attributed this to his socially-marginal status as a single (heterosexual) male, without a wife, recent girlfriend, or children. He routinely senses hostility from the wives of male buddies.

Well, that is easy enough to explain: at the very least, wives don't want their husbands to come under the baleful influence of unmarried male friends, the sort of irresponsible, self-centered, spoiled clowns who are used to spending their own time and money on exactly what they please. She has years of effort, and a certain amount of progress, in turning her husband into a nice, domesticated lapdog; and she doesn't want to see any regression by him hanging out with a coyote.

On top of that, the single male might be a felon, a recent parolee, potential child abductor, rapist, or the next lone-wolf shooter at the shopping mall who you read about.

Neither one of us wanted pity or a government affirmative program to help us with our social handicap. We had accepted the situation with a grim sense of humor.

The thing that is the most galling is the moral posturing by the PC crowd for "Toleration" and "Diversity." This never seems to extend to people like him and me. The hypocrisy is astonishing: the most ostentatiously PC couple, who accepts (notice the use of the singular verb) a gay couple into its social circle, will not see that its tolerance is based on the gay couple being a couple. Tolerance and broad-mindedness end at the moral stain of singlehood. 

I told him of the remarkable experience I had had last spring: I traveled for a week with a female friend. We were not a couple, but apparently other people thought we were. It was amazing how friendly total strangers were, at restaurants or other public places. It made me realize what an 'unterMensch' I was the rest of the time.

His explanation: well of course, you wore the seal-of-approval from a woman, for that week, so other people saw you as 'OK.'  Lacking that, the next best thing is to wear the imprimatur of a large corporation or government organization, which is what I did as a campground host.


Roger Fell said…
As an authority figure, people will be nice because they may want something. Living an unconventional lifestyle, many women would look at you as a "non-provider", not worth the bother to pursue, an Omega male. Being happy in that lifestyle would be of interest to other males who are fed up with the domestic grind.
Aren't primates interesting and complex? ;)
Vanholio! said…
Gay friends tell me that one unintended side effect of legalizing gay marriage is that gay men (and presumably lesbians) who don't want marriage are in hot water. I mean, many in society have come to accept the nice gay couple who own a suburban home and a small flower shop. But what about the gay guy who won't marry NOW, whether he be a libertine or a loner? For a while there, he got camouflaged among the other decent-enough homosexuals forced into a tenuous life by an intolerant society. No longer! He's a suspicious character and probable loser like us unattached straight schmucks.
Good points, Vanholio. Let's carry it one step further. The Democratic party is always looking to expand its portfolio of aggrieved minorities, as it plays Identity Politics. Wouldn't it garner more votes by raising the consciousness of unattached single people, regardless of their sexual orientation, and start them off in affirmative action set-asides and give-aways?

Surely there are more unattached singles than trans-gender voters. And it would leave the American public toilet alone!
Now that I think about it, wasn't the last unattached president James Buchanan, 160 years ago?
Jim and Gayle said…
I'm confident that becoming a camp host made you develop an irresistible charm ;-)
Seriously, though, there you go bashing women again when you know that you've met many couples like ourselves where the woman has no hostility against you. We have become friends with many single males, single females, and couples since we've been on the road, and my domesticated lapdog will agree we treat them all equally and don't care if they are single, married, gay or straight.
But that is because the single person has a more flexible schedule and is more likely to go on a hike with you!
Jim and Gayle said…
There you go with those generalizations again!
"Being happy in that lifestyle..." That is what it is all about, Roger. But it is hard for a human to be that independent of public opinion.

That is why I am interesting in sneaking around the conundrum by being a campground host: I get the benefits of social legitimacy without paying the price of domestic servitude to a woman.
Polite standoffishness happens to me often as a single old man.
Or putting it a little differently, people don't even see you anymore?
Have you noticed a friendlier and more welcoming reception when you are walking with your dog?
Nice dogs give even possible lechers an air of respectability. 😉
Indeed they do. Coffee Girl charms the socks off of one customer after another, when she is tied up outside coffee shops. A little bit of the credit rubs off on me.
Nancy1340 said…
You think that's bad, try being a single woman riding her own Harley. Usually alone. Pulling into a camp ground and setting up a tent. Ha! You'd think I put up a sign saying "I'm here to take your man".