evil loneliness…

… I hate when you are going about your day, minding your own business and being perfectly content, when suddenly you’re overwhelmed by some completely out-of-the-blue and irrational emotion.

Tonight I am being visited by that nagging old bitty, Loneliness. If Loneliness actually had a corporeal body I imagine she’d be wearing a tattered and wrinkled wedding dress with whiskey stains and cigarette burns in the veil. She also would sound like Kathleen Turner. Oh my.

No doubt, being single is difficult but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are resigned to a constant state of loneliness. More often than not I am completely happy and thankful for my life and blessings. I have a wonderful son and supportive group of family and friends.

So why is she here tonight, nagging at me and clutching my throat?

I find that idleness brings about these bouts, but that can lead to a manic determination to stay occupied. It’s a coping mechanism; if I stay busy and distracted my whirling mind can’t rest on the thought. “Be gone, Loneliness, I have no time for you. My calendar is full of important things to do and important people to see. I am far too busy to indulge in your games.”

Sometimes that approach works, sometimes not. Sometimes she follows you along to that important event and takes great care to point out the sweet elderly couple holding hands on a park bench or those young lovers stealing a kiss under the bridge. Loneliness has even been known to show her ugly smug face in church, moseying up right next to me in the pew, tapping me on the shoulder and drawing my attention to all the married couples and happy families worshiping together.

Tonight the old bat ambushed me in the super market, of all places. She really has no couth but her comedic timing is impeccable. I ran into the most dashing gentleman in the produce department. Literally, I ran into him with my cart. He was as kind as I was apologetic and we struck up a pleasant conversation about cooking. I nodded and smiled while trying to sound like my culinary skills reached farther than Cereal For Dinner.

Then I noticed it. The shiny wedding ring predominately displayed on his ring figure and practically glowing under the fluorescent super market lights. Ugh. I was actually flirting. How embarrassing. After the encounter, I sat in my car in the parking lot and cried like a ridiculous little girl while that bitch, Loneliness, sat in the backseat cackling.

I can laugh about it to myself now, but I really need to do something about her. I know she’s going to try and get in bed with me later and ask me why I even bothered purchasing a queen sized bed and cleverly remind me they call these mattress sizes matrimoniale in Italy. I think I will save her the trouble and trade it in for a twin mattress set this weekend.

In the meantime, here’s a sad depressing song.

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  • Emjayhughes

    Loneliness doesn’t limit itself to any particular marital status. I’ve known a lot of lonely married people.

  • Colleen

    Soo true Emjayhughes, wish you a goodnight night rest Crescat and you will be in my prayers.

  • Rose

    Well, I had a visit from her tonight, and I’ve been married for over 40 years. My husband has a chronic illness, and for the last week he’s had to sleep sitting up in a chair. That queen-sized bed does seem too large. Added to that, he has a hearing loss that is sometimes better, sometimes worse. I can’t talk loud enough for him to hear me right now. And when he tries to talk to me, he yells. I have been, shall we say, “chaste” for weeks on end, and yes I know I’m whining. Just saying that that “in sickness and in health” vow is likely to hit married couples when they least expect it. That loneliness biddy knocks on married doors, too: I just showed her the way out. Marriage is a vocation, not a vacation

  • robertgwirth

    I’ll pray, Crescat. I’ve been there done that got the T shirt too.

  • Seraphic

    Been there, my dear, and it sucks. Hope writing it all out made you feel better. It usually worked for me!

    • It did. I hope I didn’t sound too miserable because I was over myself quite quickly.

      • Seraphic

        Nah. And it’s good for Single people to know other Single people go through it and it’s not just them feeling like howling at the moon from time to time.

  • Tim

    It’s funny you posted a Death Cab for Cutie song because the lead singer, Ben Gibbard, just split with his quirky wife… Zooey Quirkyface (or something like that).

    So if you don’t mind some dude who whines like a girl, but writes decent melodies, then he’s free.

  • JacqueB

    Kat… You are young enough to be my daughter… I wish I’d had your insight when I was your age. You never cease to amaze me how you work through your difficulties no matter what they are. God has blessed you even if you are lonley. (something you are already aware of or I wouldn’t be reading this)

    May God grant you peace.

  • Donna Gunter

    Well, as one who is where Kat is, I understand. Single-life loneliness and married-life loneliness are qualifiably two different states. When you are single, and a practicing Catholic single person, you take comfort knowing the love of God is like no other love. Yet, we are human. We don’t have someone to share life with; we are not building precious memories with a mate. We don’t fit in at church functions because everything is geared toward families and couples. We aren’t included in prayers for vocations because single-life isn’t a vocation. Old age looms, and we wonder what will happen. The list goes on and on. I understand.

    • I agree, she does have a way of ruining special moments too. When I was in Rome the old hag had the gall to make an appearance right there on the Ponte Angelo. I was watching the sunset over the Tiber and she whispered, “Gee, this is so romantic. Oh wait. You’re here alone.”

      I think we should add general prayers for single people to our intentions, since no one else is going to pray for us.

      • Gregg the Obscure

        I remember to pray for a friend who was recently widowed and whose loneliness is overwhelming him. I ought to remember to also pray for others who face that torment. It caused me many problems in my younger days.

  • tj.nelson

    As Dorothy Day said, it’s a long loneliness. I envy that title – because I could use it for my own stuff. I spend my time before the Blessed Sacrament – alone. Life is a waiting room.

  • Christopher Lake

    I posted here early this morning, and it seems that my comment was either lost or deleted. I certainly hope that nothing I wrote was offensive. I referred to “self-pity,” but I meant it in terms of my own life, not anyone else’s. All single people who are struggling with singleness have my prayers. I’m right there with them.

    • Christopher Lake

      Ugh– sorry, my mistake. My earlier comment was posted; I just forgot which post I commented on– another reason for me not to comment too late at night or early in the morning!

  • gtb

    In which B16 sees loneliness not as a barrier but as a stepping stone: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2006/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20060329_en.html

  • fern78

    Okay, don’t stone me for saying this, ’cause I understand too. I’m single. Sometimes when I’m feeling low I reflect on why that part of my life is stagnant. I think as Catholics we “offer it up” and “it must be God’s Will” it so often that we tend to not do our part. Is there something you can do to mix it up in this area of your life? Are you fully doing your part of the equation in finding a mate? I have single friends that are in desperate need of a make over, but when they haven’t had a date “it’s God’s Will.” No, it’s not God’s will that you dress funky, dress like a girl (or dude) darn it! Are you on Catholic Match with a well written profile and clear pictures? etc, etc I really hope you don’t take this as salt in the wounds. I’m just saying that maybe you’re on the receiving end of God’s nudge.

  • Timjp77

    thanks for the great post.

  • “Biddy” is the colloquial term for an old lady. “Bitty” is an adjective that means “very small”.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      Wait… I thought you said you would never reply over here! Well, I’m glad the grammatical error brought you out of the woodwork. I do miss your wit.