I’ve been ‘alone’ for a long time now. I quite like time to myself and as the kids get older and more independent, there’s more of it. I can walk around in the nude (not that I do but I could if I wanted), talk to myself about all sorts of fantasy subjects, sing loudly albeit badly, start drinking earlier than is probably healthy, watch the DVD’s of my choice, blog when ready and watch my arts program on Sunday afternoons without complaints. I can choose to go out if I want to or curl up on the couch. I am mistress of my own destiny. Only money stops me doing what I really want to do.
I’ve always said that I’m alone but never lonely. Although now I seem to have too much time to myself, especially on the weekends. I am beginning to get a little lonely. DrummerBoy works on Saturdays and parties hard on Saturday night so he rarely surfaces before Sunday afternoon. He’s involved now with the Fringelet so even if he is in recovery mode they’re generally scoffing Portuguese Chicken Burgers (good hangover cure apparently) or veging in the pool room together. The scenario is much the same with ClareBear although she does often come with me to Babysis’ place on Saturday mornings for coffee and girltalk. Her weekends are full and I only see her fleetingly.
But by 4.00 on Saturday afternoon, the chores of the day done, I’m twiddling my thumbs. There’s plenty I could do to keep me busy, but nothing that keeps me company other than ThePrincess of course (I speak fluent labrador so we have great conversations on the way to and from the washing line).
People have often asked me why I never married again. Well firstly, nobody has asked me! And secondly . . . it took a l-o-n-g time for me to feel the need for a relationship.
When the partner you really love dies there isn’t the same resentment or need to get back on the proverbial horse. In the beginning, I was young, slim, reasonably attractive, financially independent but just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t deserted, there was no other woman, no hatred, no vindictiveness, no pressure just this overwhelming sadness and the feeling that if I did meet someone, I would somehow be betraying my previous relationship. I also had two small children who became my absolute focus. I was embroiled with a bevy of stay-at-home yummy mummys so went to Playgroup on Wednesdays, played tennis on Thursdays, had drinks on Fridays, made my own baby food, started sewing, built a house and spent quality time with my growing family. Socialising comprised weekends camping, extended family do's, BBQ’s with friends and a plethora of children's birthday parties, largely with married and/or divorced women so no availability of single men.
Then once I’d built my house, I went back to work. Firstly for stimulation but not long after because I needed the money. Basically for 15 years, my life was family, work and married friends. The single friends I had, and there were a few, were at least 10-15 years my junior so it was fun, not flirtatious.
I woke up one morning and 18 years had gone by. Toddlers became teenagers and teenagers became twenty’s. They became more independent. I’d become financially indebted. My friends felt uncomfortable with ‘singles’ (not you Thommo, you’ve never let me down) and I’d let old acquaintances slip whilst I’d been absorbed in my own private Idaho.
So now I’m in the unenviable position of actually feeling lonely more often than not. I’m not alone (I live with seven people for crying out loud) but I am beginning to rekindle relationships with people that I haven’t seen for ages and I have a collection of terrific friends from my previous place of work but I’m slack and don’t play with them as often as I should. Time now to get back in the saddle. Who knows Mr Right might be out there or even Mr You'll Do. Unfortunately, he’s now 50 something (a real problem because until I look in the mirror I’m sure I’m the silf-like, raven-haired beauty of my imagination). The more mature male is also either having a pacemaker fitted, embarking on an affair with someone half his age, happily married or commitment phobic after his very expensive divorce . . . Ah well, that shouldn’t stop me swinging a leg over that proverbial horse . . . the problem is, I just can't do it these days without standing on a milk crate!