Solitaire is Best Played Alone


Ever try playing Solitaire or Sudoku, or completing a crossword puzzle with someone over your shoulder? Not so much fun, is it? The uninvited player always has suggestions. Those suggestions, while possibly useful, are usually taken as, “Why are you trying to make me look stupid? I can figure this out on my own.”

Being recluse, I usually play alone, and often prefer it that way. It applies to my relationships, too. Sure, there comes a time when Two-Handed Pinochle is more appealing than two-handed semen extraction, but the stress involved with dealing in another hand and waiting for the playmate to make a move is tedious and unbearable.

Maybe, that should be a criterion for dating profiles, “How much time to you spend playing one-person games versus multi-player games?” People like me, who greatly enjoy a good level or two of Candy Crunch whilst riding upon the porcelain throne, would be avoided by people looking for a Bridge partner.

I realize this is somewhat unnatural. We are social beasts, right? We are supposed to desire the company of lovers, friends, family, coworkers, and even thousands of strangers at certain events. So, are we introverts odd because we’d rather play next to you than with you? Perhaps. Oddness isn’t a flaw; it’s what helps humans mutate into something better.

How long does the lonesome love’s typical romantic relationship last? One night? A few dates? Three months? Years? In my case, I can get it close to three months before I’m pulling out the drain stop. My bar-mates theorize and therapize. They call me “scarred and scared.” I defend my stance, although I’d rather sip my G-and-T with me.

“At the three-month point, I’m assessing whether this relationship is extending my life and worth keeping.”

“That makes no sense. How would a relationship extend your life?”

“If it enhances it. Happy people live longer; stressed people get clogged arteries. I’m not taking a dirt nap over some lover’s misgivings about the frequency of my text messages.”

“You’re just fucking scared. Once you start developing feelings—like you should—you freak out and run away. Would you rather have a lover on your lap tonight or a cat?”

“I need more information before I can answer that. A lover who needs me can be inferior to a cat that kneads me. The cat needs food, a clean box, and an occasional chin scratching. The lover needs much more, which she’s unwilling to ask for, but will continue distracting me until she gets it.”

“You’re going to die the jaded old man who was eaten by his cats.”

Look, you’re reading this alone, aren’t you? You need a partner to tell you when to turn the page? Nope. You want him asking what the word “misgiving” means? Nope. Then, you should be able to relate to the seven columns of cards I’m about the deal.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.