HER QUEST: Men. Who Needs 'Em?
I looked up the word “solo” today on Thesaurus.com, not because I’m obsessed with my singlehood, but because I was searching for a column title about my solo law practice for a legal newsletter. The results, nonetheless, beg to be shared with all of singlekind.
According to Thesaurus.com, “solo” is equivalent to such words as “companionless, friendless, solitary, abandoned, deserted, desolate, detached, forlorn, forsaken, hermit, isolated, lonely, secluded, loner,” and — my personal favorite — “matchless.” A couple of cute ones, too: “me and my shadow, me myself and I, traveling light.”
Before I go off on the audacity of Thesaurus.com (its editors must all be married!), let me focus on two other synonyms the website listed for “solo”: “unaided” and “unassisted.” Two weeks ago a thief broke into my house. (I’m writing this on my new laptop, courtesy of the fine people at State Farm.) Two nights later my mom, who was visiting, huddled next to me in my bed in the dark, too spooked to sleep alone. Jumping at every thud of a cat leaping off the kitchen counter, Mom finally whispered so the thieves wouldn’t hear, “Amy, I don’t care anymore if you get yourself a man to father my grandchildren. You need a man to protect you.”
Before I go off on how old-fashioned her comment is, let me pause and reflect. Do I really need a man? This is a tough question for modern gals. Most of the time I march bravely and independently through life, hauling stuff in my truck bed, teetering fearlessly on the top rung of a ladder to clean my gutters, wiping up my cats’ hairballs without so much as a gag. But when I’m at my most vulnerable (read: victim of a crime), I must admit, a male type with thick muscles and a booming voice might come in handy.
I dunno, Mom. Do I really need a man? Let’s consider the pro’s and con’s.
On one hand, a man could:
• Retrieve the Christmas tree from the attic
• Provide the warm legs for my cold feet
• Remove spiders from my bathtub drain ― with his bare hands
• Be my dance partner during slow dances at weddings
• Tell me about his day and care to hear about mine
• Qualify us for invitations to couples’ dinner parties
• Give me an excuse to bake cookies
• Know the tires need replacing just by looking at them
• Bring me flowers just because
• Wait for me in the middle of the mall while I’m trying on clothes
• Grill steaks for us
• Hold my hand when it’s withered and spotted with age
• Share the mortgage payment
• Scrape the windshield on cold winter mornings ― with his bare hands
• Make babies
On the other hand, a man could:
• Insist on football on Thanksgiving Day instead of old Christmas movies
• Cause me to fall into the toilet in the middle of the night
• Double my laundry pile and triple my dishes pile
• Insist on getting a big dog and feign allergies to my cats
• Insist on talking about his day when I’m exhausted and just want to read my Cooking Light
• Forget our anniversary. And my birthday. And Valentine’s Day
• Require me to relearn the manners of a housemate (clothing, daily showers, teeth-brushing)
• Decorate the house with a brown sofa and layer of tan paint
• Stash the fridge with full-calorie beer and the cupboards with Cheetos
• Insist on trying to make babies when I just want to read my Cooking Light
Hmmm. The balance seems to be in favor of adding a man to my forlorn, companionless, hermit-like single-girl existence.
Or I could always get a home-security system.