I learned when I was college-aged that most people do not know what to say when they see you years later all grown up. They resort to these two questions that seemingly determine success according to society’s standards:
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
If you do, the faces lighten up and the string of squeals and excited, eager, curious, and bordering on nosy questions are asked about the significant other and all the delicious details of how the both of you met and are here now. You then are a part of the “in crowd.” You are the “haver,” rather than the “have-notter.”
Then, there is second question as below:
“What do you do for a living?”
Yet again, you are the “haver,” rather than the “have-notter”if you have a job that pays you well and robs you of time from the really important in life of family and friends over paper money.
I wish I knew then in high school and college when the questions came what I know now through this one word that is my best and only answer to these questions: “SAPOI.”
Please let me introduce you to this word “SAPOI.” It will intrigue you. I’m sure you can relate to it to a certain degree or know someone who does, regardless of your gender—though many believe it is mainly applicable to women. It is primarily those who identify as the ‘angualrs’ (aka: misfits and outsiders) who are intense, complex, and complicated thinkers and even analyzers who never felt they belonged anywhere rather than the ‘linears’ (aka: the fitters and insiders) that followed the supposed simple life on the surface of friends, marriage, children, grandchildren, and good job/pay. Maybe you will even fall in love with it. Maybe, do not fear, you are more different than you think and believe to be when all you want to do is fit in and be “normal—whatever that means.
My overseas friend introduced me to the word “SAPOI” in her letter in CAPITAL LETTERS:
“Mary, I discovered this magazine! It is not like all these other girly magazines that tell women how they cannot live without a man or must satisfy their man, more make-up they must wear or less clothes they wear to show their skin and body parts to attract men to hunt them down, and to be unrealistically and unhealthily thin until you want to shake the magazines and yell at the photo-shopped woman to ‘PLEASE EAT A BURGER!’ It is a magazine about how single women can live independently and freely and that there is NOTHING wrong with it. These women are not accused and judged that they must be homosexual. It supports and says that just because a woman is single does not mean that she does not want to be with someone else, but that she is proud of singlehood and being on her own and is just waiting for the right guy at the right time. It is about SAPOI—SINGLE AND PROUD OF IT.”
My eyes re-read “SAPOI.” I said the word aloud. I tasted the word with my tongue. Soft “SA” that sloped gently downwards and “POI” that jutted and blurted out abruptly. Joy bubbled inside of me. A big smile took over my face to the delicious feel, taste, and especially the significance of this simple word. SAPOI. Oh, yes, this was me. Oh, yes, this was so many women that I knew of. Oh, and, absolutely, definitely, and fully, there were men who were SAPOI, too. And, I loved this word. Correction, I LOVE this word.
Beginning in college and slammed particularly in college and on, I was asked endless question when it came to the opposite sex and guy-girl relationships:
· Do you have a boyfriend yet? Why don’t you have one?
· Have you tried dating websites? Why not EHarmony of Match.com—there’s probably a discount? Maybe meet some guys at a Home Depot or bars?
· Why don’t you put yourself out there more?
· You have such a pretty face—why not make yourself gorgeous by plucking eyebrows and wearing make-up?
· You know, you aren’t getting any younger, so there will reach a time that you will want to settle and grow old with someone, right?
Then the assumptions and the judgments whispered of
· #1 Mary is gay—yes, I have had people say this in high school just because I did not have a boyfriend and had all girls as friends.
· #2 Mary must NOT want to be in a relationship. Do not ever put her on a blind date or suggest a nice guy. She is second best or second rate—no, no one has said this, but it sure makes me feel that way.
Never has anyone asked me this: “Mary, what do YOU want when it comes to being in a serious RELATIONSHIP with a guy?”
I wish I had the answer to that question.
All I know so far is this:
#1 assumption makes me roll my eyes at the diminutive views that many have to box in.
#2 assumption bewilders and hurts me the most because it goes like this: Just because I am single DOES NOT mean that I DO NOT want to be in a relationship. It just means that *fathom this* I actually LIKE my company of me, myself, and I and *even bigger shocker,*I rather wait patiently for the right person at the right time than NOT wait and end up in all the wrong that is not meant for me.
I always knew that I was different when it came to ‘relationships,’ and especially with a significant other. Unlike many, I never had any desire and never believed in forcing or trying to find any kind of relationship. While everyone was and still is going on dating websites, speed dating, and purposefully going out to social scenes and settings with the intent to meet that special someone, I never even looked at a dating website and the places I go to are because I want to out of interest and curiosity to learn more and not with any intent to force to find anyone. I believe in organic and “let nature take its course” with people and relationships. I see connections with another person are either a ‘have,’ ‘maybe will grow over time, or ‘do not have.’ To even reach the point of ‘connection’ with someone, I think it is about being open and never closed with this truth: People are people—take ‘em or leave ‘em as they come or go and everything in between. I have also come to grips that it takes patience and time to really get to know people. It does not happen overnight. It is a slow-moving progression and process of motions and emotions and it is about giving people your patience and presence while time will reveal and tell you what you need to know about a particular relationship and that particular person. Most of all, it is about sharing and caring. No, do not mistake this for keeping score. Relationships are not about scorecards. Relationships are about ‘relating' through the good, bad, and everything in the middle through everything and not when it is to your own satisfaction and needs.
For the longest time, I believed that we choose our friends, but now my views are changing that perhaps a greater fate, destiny, and/or heavens above choose and ‘call’ out to us with meeting and encountering certain people—and, most of all, whatever is meant to be with another person in a relationship is meant to be. I see that any and all relationships as a ‘calling’ now.
How do you see relationships? Do you think everyone is meant to be with someone? Do soulmates, destiny, and fate exist? Is a serious relationship a ‘calling’? What happened to the contentment of a whole person rather than the constant quest for the other half? What is it YOU want rather than what others and especially society wants of you?
So, alas, for now and I imagine even if I were to end up with a significant other, I am wholeheartedly and definitely “SAPOI” when it comes to my relations with others.
Are you SAPOI? And would you ever be so proud to admit and maybe even strut it? ;-)
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,