By Laura Wilson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 17, 2005
You always remember your first time
I'm afraid of a lot of things: the dark, bathroom door handles, dogs larger than my torso, Dave Matthews, dogs small enough to fit in my pocket, centipedes, the government, having to find a "real job," musicians who use the term "organic" and doing things by myself. Of all of these terror-inducing phobias, doing things by myself is the most complex and confusing to understand, and I have no clue as to why.
A few summers ago, I took out the world's largest loan and backpacked through Europe for five weeks by myself. I thought that if there were ever an opportunity for me to get over my social codependence, that had to be it. For the first few weeks, I enjoyed the solitude. I loved waking up to new adventures and not having to answer to anyone. I loved the multitude of one-time only conversations I had with other travelers. I loved everything about being alone, for the first few weeks.
I've never admitted this, but for the last seven to 10 days, I hated the whole "solo" thing. I wandered the streets of Paris wishing I had someone else with whom to share my amazing finds and anecdotes. Calls home became more frequent, as did days spent watching the clock. It became clear to me when even the mind-altering experience of Amsterdam could not cure me of my fear of doing things by myself that I had a much bigger problem than I ever imagined.
The crazy thing is that I love being alone. Prior to my current situation of "living in sin," I lived alone for five years. It's just the act of having to leave my house to do something by myself that freaks me out. I can handle the simple stuff: grocery shopping, wandering around the mall and going to the doctor. However, actually having to make medical appointments, getting my oil changed or dining alone can pretty much ruin an otherwise beautiful day in my generally even-keeled world. I know, I'm sort of crazy.
It was with great trepidation that I went to a bar alone last weekend. I have lots of fun with my friends at bars, so why not try to experience the magic by my lonesome?
Let's just say that the only magic I experienced was the wizardry of lame pick-up lines and the sorcery of creepy leers. Apparently, if a girl is sitting by herself at a bar, she must be looking for love or something like it. When I politely declined the offer of Gentleman No. 1 to buy me a drink, he no longer wanted to talk to me. In fact, I think he mumbled something strangely offensive as he quickly walked away. When I told Gentleman No. 2 that I did have a boyfriend, he was no longer interested in my company.
I lasted a total of one vodka-and-tonic (the liquid equivalent of 20 minutes) before I called my friends to come and rescue me. If traveling and alcohol can't cure me, I have no clue what can.