The Circle (of Single) Life

They were here once, and suddenly gone…

“They” of course, are your single friends. On night you’re out at The Madison, the world is at your feet. Four, ten, twenty people that you know well, all in the same boat as you.


Having fun…

Looking for that person who is different and the same as everyone else simultaneously…

And suddenly, like there was a memo that went out which you didn’t receive, most of them are gone.


Well, kind of…

More like engaged. Or married. Or, in the life that is Hoboken, in a relationship that prevents them from ever existing is this kind of happy-go-lucky existence ever again.

They met that person…the one that would take them away from this single life that you both love and hate all at the same time. They seemed happy, content, and worst (or best) of all, somehow above that same confusing, unattached lifestyle that you once shared with them. Ostensibly you were happy for them, but deep down in a cynical existence that you always have trusted, you knew they would come back.

Back for another go-around. Back for that search for the person to carry them to married suburbia. Back into that world that can be so exhilarating, excruciating, baffling…all at once. Because you know that they committed to that guy or girl they’re with for all of the wrong reasons.

Maybe it was the common mechanism of settling that derives from the weariness of going out three consecutive nights a week at those same bars playing the same music with seemingly the same predictable crowd. Maybe it was the inviting prospect of getting laid on a consistent basis. Maybe it was the comfort of companionship that comes with any relationship that eliminates the dreaded feeling that comes with an effort to shower, get dressed-to-the-nines, and spending money on things that don’t seem to matter.

Hoboken is truly the epicenter of all that is singledom. More than any other place in this country, we’re that place where this kind of routine is based on in the movies and Laguna Beach.

You see it happen again and again. At one moment a friend of yours is blatantly jovial in his or her way of life…you know, that place that illustrates that he or she has found the one, and is only too eager to verbalize it or show it off it public.

They survived, they conquered and you didn’t. They were lucky enough to find that Mega-Millions ticket to relationship heaven. They are the ones to escape those endless nights at Green Rock or Gaslight where they always have more alcohol than they wanted to drink, spoke to too many guys or girls that didn’t interest them, and attempted to avoid (and usually not successfully) those hook-ups that were based solely in loneliness or simply being too horny for a lack of repetition to say no.

We all have needs. We’re all young. And even if all of those hours of conversation at the pub or meeting a friend-of-a-friend were all bullshit, most of us still think in the present, or at the very least, 12 hours into the future. Nothing more. So we go about doing things that we know are wrong and based in sin simply because there is no better option…or in the majority of cases will not lead to down a path that eventually ends with a Priest or Rabbi standing at the other end.

But most of the time in those scenarios, we know the whole process is all a matter of going through the motions…

But then, out of nowhere, it’s like another memo went out without your email actually being cc’d on it. The memo reads that all of your friends need to immediately break up with their respective boyfriends/girlfriends at once (admit it, breakups always happen in bunches around here).

There is no reason, no justification, at least in terms of the logic that your parents would have applied (see: chemistry and having 40-70 things in common be damned). Back in their day, if they met someone “nice” and “stable”…that was about good enough to share eternity with. Nowadays, it doesn’t take much for someone to engineer a breakup. We’re just spoiled and inherently pessimistic.

We live in a different world of the ones our elders did. A world of insanely high expectations. We not only want somebody whom we’re attracted to, we also crave a person who can effectively challenge us intellectually and emotionally.

And get along with our friends.

And make us laugh.

And be sensitive to our every need.

And be faithful.

Talented in bed is high on the short list as well…

We see all the happiness that Angelina and Brad have, or Cameron and Justin possess, so we figure that we deserve the same thing, Goddammit.

So we break up with people we’re only having an OK or pretty good time with. They may be nice, they may be stabile. But because we’re not seeing the same fireworks that Bobby Brady saw after his first kiss, we automatically assume that this person we thought was the chosen one is anything but. So we move on…

And when we move on, we gather our flock. We see who else has the same social motives that we have. Who else wants to fight fatigue from work at go out on a Thursday night, go back to our weekday job on Friday, and do it again on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon?

Either you’re with us, or you’re against us, you think. Couples are boring; maybe good for a Tuesday night meal after that weekend hangover is over. But weekends, baby, are for those without a bed partner with that mindset, the one that says we’re on a mission tonight. We won’t be blatantly overt about what our intentions are, but we all read the new memo: Call 5-10 friends with an equal purpose, go out for dinner, have a few bottles of wine, get to a bar, drink something other than wine, and see what goes down from there.

If nothing happens, we still have each other to carry our objective with when the next weekend rolls around. At the very worst, we all still got drunk and had a good time in the process of achieving our goal. In fact, the hunt for bed October may be more exciting than settling down itself, although you would never dream of gleefully sharing this information with your newfound army. Keep your eye on the ball.

So that’s what we do Hoboken. We find the right people, whether they be from our beach houses, ski houses, leftover High School friends, our work, our groups (trivia, softball, dodgeball, football, cooking classes, wine-tasting) and piece together our next text messaging, emailing social circle in search of a way to ironically extricate ourselves from the same circuit.

They may not have been the same guys and girls who we may have originally built our original Hoboken clique on, but we take who we can get, and use each other for the same stability we’re searching for, with each other, for that one individual we’re looking to share our lives with.

The circle of single life. The names may change in our battalion, but the objective is always the same.