One of my best friends just had a beautiful baby girl, and two others announced their pregnancies in the last week. I on the other hand am keeping my legs firmly crossed!
I’ve been Googling ‘just not interested in having children’ to reassure myself I’m not the only one out there. Because as excited and happy as I am for these friends, and as beautiful as the baby girl is, I still have NO interest in having children of my own. None. Not even a twinge.
I burst into tears when I heard my friend’s daughter had arrived. It is an emotional, joyous occasion. Then I checked myself: Do I have any pangs that I wish it was me? Do I have even a hint of curiosity, wondering what it might be like if it was mine? Searching… searching… no. Nothing. Zip, zero, nada.
While I do get very envious when I see engagement announcements on Facebook and get all dreamy over friends’ wedding photos, babies just don’t have the same effect. I am definitely missing a biological clock and you know what? I am totally OK with that. I have a nephew, nieces, godchildren and friends’ children in my life who I love spending time with. But perhaps even more I love giving them back to their parents and going home to my quiet, tidy, stress-free home. And to my cat, who I love to bits (it’s mutual, judging by his cuddles).
No, it won’t change when I meet ‘The One’. No, I really don’t think the clock will start ticking eventually (I’m less than a year away from no longer being a thirtysomething and it’s not happened yet). Most of my friends and family know that’s just how I am and have accepted it but every now and then I get a comment like ‘Oh but you’re such a good mom to your cat – you’d be amazing with children’. I just grit my teeth and smile.
I think I’ll have to spend some time with my happily childfree friends this weekend to balance this last week out.
Recently, I’ve had more than the usual people calling me, and automatically calling me “Mrs Singlethirtysomething”.
No, I correct them, it’s “Ms”.
Or “Oh sorry, MISS.”
No, it’s MS. As in em-ess. Mike-Sierra if you’re used to using radio comms.
People are stumped by this. STUMPED. Seriously – how hard can it be? Have they not heard that Ms is a title?
The worst is that when I insist that my title is Ms, I can hear myself getting a little worked up and they’re probably thinking “Ohhh no wonder she’s single / No wonder he divorced her.” LOL. Yup, you’re dealing with a bit of a feminist here, folks.
All I want is – like men – to be addressed in a way that does not disclose my marital status. Is that too much to ask?
I had breakfast with an old friend today. He’s in town on vacation and we always see each other when we’re in the same city, and loosely keep in touch via Facebook and email.
He’s had a rough few months for a variety of reasons and I don’t know if it was that, or jetlag, or just time passing, but for the first time I noticed he’s looking older. He has lines around his eyes that weren’t there last year. His demeanour is more serious, and his sparkle; his sense of fun; wasn’t there today.
It hit me: he’s getting older and it’s starting to show. And then I wondered whether he was thinking the same about me.
Five million people have already seen this… I watched it for the first time today.
How to be alone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k7X7sZzSXYs
I should make an intelligent comment about it, or quote my favourite few lines. But all I can say is that it made me cry. I’ve had a crappy weekend – week, really. I’ve been socially awkward, unable to contribute to conversations; my speech paralysed by not knowing what to say, not having a funny or witty comment, not having an anecdote to share. By wondering what impression I’m making, and then it’s a vicious circle as saying nothing seems better than having my words met with slightly confused stares and the less I say the harder it is to come up with words.
I’m torn up about a comment I made to a close friend – something stupid and thoughtless and unintentionally hurtful. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it… well, I did and now I regret it and I apologised and took it back, but still feel like a Bad Person.
Jarring with everyone, I feel entirely isolated, unlovable, misunderstood, mediocre and defeated.
Next week will be better. It has to be.
OK so perhaps I do have a secret board on Pinterest that may or may not include beautiful images of sparkly rings and gorgeous (not white) dresses.
The wedding section on Pinterest is pretty scary. It’s a flurry of hippy or hipster chic – mason jars, baby’s breath, wooden ampersands and ombre wedding cakes abound. THE PRESSURE to produce a perfect wedding must be ridiculous for the people who pin this stuff so avidly. And WTF is a sand ceremony?!
They can have it all, and sure, it’s all very pretty. But the one thing that makes me want to throw up – or throw things – is all the cutesy ‘Mrs’ paraphernalia. Necklaces that say ‘Mrs’. Scatter cushions. T-shirts (“cute for honeymoon!!!”). SHOWER CURTAINS. Seriously?
This one is the worst:
I realise that some women can’t wait to take their husband’s names. I just don’t understand why. What’s wrong with their own names? Taking your husband’s name feels to me like you’re becoming his property. I love my last name and it has defined me for decades. Changing it would feel very, very weird. It’s part of me and I’d like to keep it.
And why in this day and age are all males referred to as Mr, but women are still either Miss or Mrs? I have been trying for years for my bank to change my title from Miss to Ms and it’s yet to happen. Why do women’s titles still indicate their marital status, while men’s don’t? It drives me crazy. I will remain Ms Singlethirtysomething all my life, regardless of whether I am single, married, divorced or whatever.
If I want to spend an entire Saturday afternoon on my sofa reading magazines and eating chocolate/popcorn/sipping exotic tea, I can. And I don’t feel ANY guilt.
I can devote hours upon hours to my hobbies and passions – what a luxury.
When it’s time to book a vacation, I can go wherever I want to go, and when I get there, I can do whatever I want to do.
If friends invite me to do something with them, I can say yes/no immediately, without having to check with someone else.
If I want to go to bed really early, or stay up to the wee hours reading a great book, or have breakfast for dinner, or… or… or… I CAN DO IT.
I’m having a ‘being single is pretty awesome’ week – can you tell?
… you think you might be starting to have feelings for someone who has always just been a friend.
This has happened to me so many times and has never ended well. But isn’t it inevitable, when you’re really good friends with someone? (I was going to say ‘with someone of the opposite sex’ but didn’t want to be prescriptive – although in my case, I am referring to guy friends.)
It’s quite exciting – suddenly being hyper-aware of someone you’ve until that point been very comfortable around. The person who’s always supportive, who you speak to often on the phone, who others say ‘Oooh he’s lovely’ and you respond with ‘Isn’t he? He’s like my big brother.’ The person your concerned relatives as you about, with thinly veiled hope that perhaps the scales will someday fall from both your eyes and a big fat white wedding will result.
But it’s also awful. Suddenly you’re awkward around your best buddy. You wonder if he can sense that something has changed for you. Then the despair that it’s one-sided… or the double-edged exciting possibility that maybe he feels it too – but what if taking things to a new level blow up in your face, and you end up losing a friend you adore.
Do you think a man and a woman, both single, can be ‘just friends’? And here I mean someone you’ve been friends with for years and years, not a new friend. Does attraction always come into play – from one side, or the other? Is it possible to have been friends with someone for a long time and suddenly see them differently? And can we really be truly platonic?
A good friend has recently lost her husband after over 30 years of marriage. Before they were married, she lived at home. She has never lived on her own and now she has to adjust to it. That’s a HUGE adjustment. Not only is she dealing with her intense grief, and the trauma and sadness of her husband’s illness, but she is alone for the first time in her life.
Her sons are a huge support, and she has many family members and friends who are there for her. But they’re not there at 2am when she has an anxiety attack, or when she could really do with a hand with unpacking her groceries… or the thousands of other little things she’s so used to having her husband alongside her for.
My heart really goes out to her. Much as I love being single, it’s not something she has chosen and it’s inappropriate for me to trot out the reasons why being single is amazing. It’s going to be a hell of a change for her. She’s going to have to be strong and brave – and I think she’s going to discover who she really is for maybe the first time in her life.
Love and hugs to you, H.
Wanted: A man who will be my companion and my friend. Who will love me and stand by me. Who will fight my corner. A man who will be there for me as I get older, who will help me deal with losses and help me feel that I’m not alone. And I will do the same for him. We’ll have our own interests and often go and do our own things, but we’ll enjoy meeting for dinner and telling stories about our days – at home, and in far-flung exotic places.
I don’t expect fireworks and violins. We don’t even need to have a swing-from-the-chandeliers sex life… I’d be happy with cuddles and kisses on the couch. I need my independence, but I also need kindness, intelligent conversation and warm, tight, full-body hugs – often. Where are you, Mr?
I’ll start this post with a caveat: 99.9% of the time, I love being single. I really do. I love the independence, freedom, flexibility and possibility of it all.
But lately that’s been overshadowed by quite a bit of envy for my friends who have partners. Why? Because they don’t have to do everything themselves ALL THE TIME. Every single decision in my life must be made by me, and me alone. (OK, this is not all bad: it is nice to be able to pick my own vacation spot or TV channel without argument!) Every responsibility is mine – it is all up to me. Nobody else is going to change the batteries in the TV remote. Or ensure the travel insurance is paid up. Or get quotes for repainting the outside woodwork, or take the trash out, or… you get the picture.
Sometimes Often I feel overwhelmed by the thousands of things on my daily ‘to do’ list. And it would be really nice to share that load with someone.
Of course, a partner adds a whole lot more ‘to do’s’ to the list. But at least you are in it together and have support. I’m going through a tough time at work and have been for most of this year. While I would love to take a few months off to figure out what my passions are and what I want to do next, I just don’t have that luxury. My friends with good-salary-earning partners don’t know how lucky they are. If things get unbearable or unsustainable for me at work, I don’t have someone else’s income to rely on. It’s very scary.
Heavens, I sound like an attractive prospect, don’t I? “Overwhelmed, exhausted, responsibility-shy single thirtysomething seeks lovely, kind man for help with household chores. Must agree with all my choices and must be solvent.”