At the end of last year, just before Christmas, sat on the countertop in a friend’s kitchen, pre-party, dressed in a skin-tight LBD, glugging prosecco and kicking my killer patent heels like an ageing, down-market it-girl, I felt low.
‘I’m over being single’, I told Tom (who had also arrived pre-party, so I could unload on him about some romantic disappointment or other, the details of which evade me now), ‘I’ve had enough’.
‘Bad luck’, Tom laughed, topping up my glass and distractedly turning the stereo up to drown out my maudlin monologue. ‘Because single’s not over you’.
But I wasn’t having it. I cannot continue as though my life and its eventual outcome are things over which I have no control. There was no reason, I decided, as the prosecco sent fizzing bubbles of optimism to my brain, to be single now that being single has become tedious.
Yes, spending all one’s leisure time with homosexuals, and getting drunk and falling over and eating cheese on the sofa in one’s pyjamas is an underrated lifestyle choice – as I’ve expressed here in 116 different ways. Yet, there comes a time when one gets over one’s heartbreak and realises that all heterosexual men are not total scumbags. Some of them are kind, amusing and quite physically delicious. Often it coincides with the point at which one decides one definitely wants babies. And affection. And a pretty man to accompany one to the cinema on a Friday evening and have sex with one afterwards.
There is no reason I can’t have these things. I am a catch. I mean, look at me: five foot one, 32-26-32 – all wit, Mia Farrow hair, massive manga eyeballs and figure hugging day wear – I just need to start smiling and leaving the house (and remembering to wear make up when I do so). And I must also be realistic, and stop pursuing men who are – however incredible – unavailable to me and who, even if they were not, only want me for my brains, and who are therefore bound to end up disappointed.
Thus I have embarked on attempted romances (I know!).
Inevitably, it has not been going well. Like how, for example, almost every date I arrange ends with the male party cancelling mere hours before we are due to meet (is this just me? Do I have some kind of curse?). And how, even when I do manage to go on a first date, he turns out to be a drug dealer. Or he is perfectly lovely, but I don’t hear from him afterwards – and so I have to check the headlines in the local papers to reassure myself that it is definitely me; he did not die on the way home. Or else it goes very well, and then the second date results in me sending this text message to interested parties the morning after:
One can assume one has been the worst date ever – and thoroughly burned one’s bridges with the hot man who clearly found one attractive at the start of the evening – when one wakes up alone in one’s hallway, still wearing one’s coat, with no memory of how one got there. Red wine no dinner. Killer. FML.
It appears I still have lessons to learn about remaining dignified and not repulsing men with my personality too early in the proceedings.
I have to admit, I have found it hard to keep my self-esteem above water during this period. I don’t know what I’d do if it weren’t for liquid eyeliner. And, of course, the enduring support of my friends and family, who I have stitched inside the pocket of my heart, and who remind me, as it beats: I am loved, I am loved, I am loved.
And in the end, I suppose, that is all that matters.
*Image by digitalart at freedigitalphotos.net .net