You might have gathered that I am single. If this is your first Are you Laughing At Me experience, welcome. And I am single. Not by choice. I was married and now I’m not. There it is. No point in being bitter as there are many advantages to this state of affairs. Not consulting anyone on holiday destinations (I love a good creepy crawly holiday), interior decorating decisions (yes, more stripes) and food choices are some. No need to justify ‘what I have done all day’ is another, as is farting in bed at my own convenience. I am entirely in control of my own life and destiny. Only it’s lonely, alone.
That is also fine because I firmly believe that through experiencing the broadest range of emotions do we become better, more well rounded, empathetic people. I must be an amazing person now then. Despair, heart break, panic, utter desolation, fear, pain beyond all measure and deep, dark isolation have all featured in the last three years.
But I am also funnier and more interesting than I was when I was married (the reasons for that will stay between my therapist and I). As I refuse to sit at home and whither away into old age spinsterhood (I might still end up there, but boy will it have been one hell of a ride!), I try to fill my life in a constructive and, to my tiny mind, interesting way. I want to enjoy life and there is so much to see and do and learn and if I have to do that on my own, then so be it. I will not be sitting at home just waiting. Waiting is boring.
What really gets on my rather child ravaged tits is well meaning comments from well meaning people (my friends have stopped doing this – I got cross).
“Anybody in your life?” – Would I be booking that cruise on my own/spending my annual going out budget on garden plants/booking single theatre tickets/coming to this BBQ on my own if there was? I’d think you would know about it if there was. Oh you would know about it. There would be newspaper advertisements and bunting.
“There is someone out there, just for you” – Bollocks. How do you even know this? When was the last time you were ‘in the market’? Oh 25 years ago? I am sorry but you don’t actually know what you are talking about. You were in your twenties. You were probably at university or still qualified for membership for Young Farmers. You were surrounded by single people. It was like the Mating Games. I am 44. Everybody is either married or weird. Have you ever had a date with someone who told you how amazing you were in the morning and then dumped you in the afternoon for having a cold sore, when you were a proper grownup, with stretch marks and caesarean scars, not in the playground? Give it a rest.
“Maybe you shouldn’t be so picky” – Oh. Oh. OH! So it was ok to be picky at the age of 21 but now that I am a bit wrinkly I should lower my standards? Now that I am not looking for an alpha male to provide me with a beautiful gene pool and lots of mammoth meat and berries, I should be less choosy? Quite the opposite in fact. As I am no longer looking for the sperm to my egg and a well appointed cave, I actually need for all the other things to be right so that I don’t die of boredom. I did not die of boredom when I was married. Why should I now?
Having done and dumped the Internet dating scene (like skiing, it’s not for everyone) I will continue to smile at nice men at the supermarket, go on cruises with an open mind and talk to the people next to me at exhibitions. I don’t want to lurch from one disaster to another in the process, nor do I want to walk along with my eyes downcast, not seeing.
In the meantime, invite your single friends to dinner. The deatheaters will not stream down your chimney if there is an uneven number at your table and they won’t steal your husband/wife. They like to feel normal as so much in this society makes them already feel like an outcast.
Clearly I will be very happy to eat all the Panama hats in Panama and say you were right when Mr Right reverses into my car next week.