Single in Sandpoint: Making a vodka smoothie out of Lemons

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

I had a mind altering experience recently.

I was getting some air out on the balcony at the Hive, looking at the bird’s-eye view of downtown Sandpoint while blissful rhythmic sound of reggae filled the air. The Wailers were 45 minutes into a kick ass show, and any description of how good they were/are, would not suffice.

Going to see a band that plays iconic music in your hometown provides a plethora of people-watching opportunities. With just a cursory glance I saw at least one of my grade school teachers, several of my own kid’s teachers, and variety of other familiar faces gyrating in the skunk-scented breeze. If you love music and the positive, palpable energy at a live show go see a Wailers concert—it will not disappoint.

Really good live reggae music creates energy that changes peoples’ state of mind. I’m certain that more than a few people in the crowd had dipped into their secret stash of marijuana that they had been patiently saving for such a night, but to say that substances were the reason everyone seemed high is giving drugs too much credit.

The energy, the clarity of the lyrics or maybe a combination thereof can affect people in different ways. Familiar songs bring up memories and emotions for people, so you never really know what to expect.

Case in point; on the balcony that night, I had a single male friend approach me somewhat randomly to tell me that he has given up on women. At first I attributed this to the possibility of taking lyrics like “No woman, no cry,” a bit too seriously. However, he continued to spill his guts, and somewhere in the verbal breakdown of his list of failed attempts at love, he paused to ask me if I have given up on marriage.

Well, that’s a loaded question. Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me this while I am sober or over the phone? Why do people who know for a fact that I have negative opinions about marriage always ask me this? I’m not secretly thinking that one day, I might get married. I haven’t been lying, or secretly pining for yet another husband. I’m done with it.

Despite the propaganda that we have been systematically fed since childhood, you can be a perfectly happy, fulfilled adult without ever walking down an aisle. As a society, we would have greater happiness and stronger relationships if we viewed our dating practices like playing scratch lotto tickets. Example: I will go on this date, I have a chance on being rich in love for the rest of my life, but more than likely it will be a $1 winner or in this case “one night.” Scratch away: You can’t win if you don’t play. Think about it.

Back to the Wailers concert and my single buddy. I don’t like to spew all that out at people having a good time. I was enjoying a Wailers-, dancing- and vodka-induced trance. Marriage talk is a slippery slope to the buzz kill zone. However, he is my friend and deserves some sort of empathy, because for him the music must have taken him on a different journey. Instead of an anti-marriage diatribe, I gave him a canned answer that I use on the marriage pushers in my life.

“You know I’m not good at marriage. That is not a trip I’m willing to take ever again.”

This answer did nothing to deter him from releasing the burden he was carrying. He needed to tell the tale of the crazy women he had dated and curse the heavens because the crazy ones are the only ones he is attracted too. Why?

Crazy is only type there is, I answered.

It might sound derogatory, but at that very moment I watched a gray-haired set of ladies pass a hand-rolled “cigarette” back and forth. The wise bearded man standing next to me broke his previously silent take on the situation and took a moment to share some knowledge with us. The silent bearded one said to our friend, “You just gotta find someone who is the same kind of crazy as you, that’s it.”

Simplistic? Yes. True? Yes. Did it help? Yes. Our single man had an the answer he needed, and he was off to join the sea of crazy on the dance floor. Accepting that all people are crazy in one way or another opens many new dating doors. To swear off crazy would be essentially like taking a vow of celibacy.

Emancipate yourself,
Scarlette Quille

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