Peter Pan and I quote, To die would be an awfully big adventure. Pretty Pan says, To live will be an awfully big dream.
Good night. And she populates her mind of the conceivably mind blowing endeavours that would be the contemporary couture of kitchen cookware if a joint venture between Tefal and Kenzo materialised, epitome of the inside working mind of an urban housewife according to a hard-working husband I am most certainly sure. Or not. Hmm. What makes a single girl turn her pretty little head so much so, that she dreams to be domesticated and tamed. Like a lost puppy put on a lead. Well, that is a slight exaggeration, claustrophobia sets in, it is getting hot underneath the collar of my blouse as the walls draw in.
However, in no uncertain terms, and let me not pussyfoot around the truth, let me bare the facts and be honest – for once in the lifetime of the fairer sex. Let us dissect the positional situation for thee as thus: there is an innate sense of nurture located deep inside the female brain, and no matter how much ignorance is paid, it rears its ugly head when you least expect it, usually in close proximity to an exponential increase of hormones, and stings with arrears and bad credit.
To be caught like a butterfly is about love, adulation, security, companionship, sharing an entire life experience with somebody who is actually the reason for your be- ing. Envisaging the pinnacle of happiness; floating up the church aisle; or indeed, floating behind the heart-stopping dhol with hazy eyes firmly planted on the red and pink rose petals scattered across the marbled floor; life does not begin until this small point has been publicly acknowledged.
Accounting for the last few years and upon reaching a certain age, it suddenly consumes the mind of a girl, strike that, woman, strike that, me, like no other subject in my heart. Obsessive compulsive disorder sets in as if I was not already complexicated enough. Job, tick. Apartment, tick. Natural ability in at least one pass time, tick. Ticks are flying off the page like the teacher is insane, OFSTED will have words and then probably strike. Wait, striking has been done already.
Employment slowly becomes inane and insignificant, because it is just passing time. Income is being robbed by the economy, and thoughts start creeping into my head twofold. Perhaps I should have fallen pregnant at sixteen and live on benefits how much easier life would be, or If I had some support from the love of my partner for life, it would just be that bit easier.
I am expecting hate mail from feminists, I am all for the independent woman but one stuck on my own in the village in the middle of nowhere by myself does not ease or lessen the difficulty of the situation when in an attempt to build building blocks for the rest of my life, I am being sucked under by the quicksand whilst inflation and taxes conspire against my dreams. This is not about sympathy.
Schizophrenia sets in. I dislike labels, surely you know this, but for the point of this piece, I will utilise only one. ‘Single’ girls can get so much done by themselves it is unreal. It is quite ridiculous that I obsess over the next stage of my life, if it ever happens, I doubt it ever will, because if it does happen, life actually becomes more complicated as there is another person to think about. Or people. It amazes me that I waste so much of my time thinking about married couples and children and families and their apparently deserved fairytaled and documented joy.
What am I missing out? Why do I feel the need to emulate the life of a Marriedton? Social conformity? Indeed, single people as a community of misfits, we emulate to be, or not to be (permit me to plagiarise Shakespeare, very much obliged), to succeed or not to succeed. (Note that chavs are not included in this emulation process, they are in world and a law, a race even, unto themselves; Christian Dior hooped earrings are not classy on a council estate neither are fuscia velour Adidas pants coupled with a Prada handbag and a Burberry buggie since they all have the same damp stench of fakery, this is not success).
But success in life, for a woman, for me, centres around my ability to spurn sprites from my uterus. No really, you can have your opinion on the matter Independent Feminist, but do you want to be the sad bitter spinster that is Miss Havisham? Not that Estella was any better but ‘family’ is a part of social order, it is a network, a hierarchy. I am without it and feel dejected whilst on the same plane, I am not sure I even want to go there…
Temper tantrums, headaches and married couple dinners and excursions, thanks but no thanks. I would happily substitute all of that for engaging conversation, learning and filling my head with facts and figures and politics and faith and debate and philosophy and trying to think of a genius idea for world peace and a happier global civilisation who are freed from all the poorest limitations, help them escape the thirdly dimension. I would rather not discuss which type of Pampers or Huggies is best or moan about the increasing costs of day care or the dilemma of sending my beloved child to public school or grammar school or state school or whatever it is these days and deciding which extra curricular activities would be best suited and worrying about whether or not the darling child would be kidnapped by a paedophile on the return journey home if I was, god forbid, stuck in traffic
…which 4 x 4 shall we have love, the X5 or the Q7, we want to leave as big a carbon footprint on this dying earth as possible, our kids will inherit this world in a state of disaster but it’s ok, they will at least remember a plush childhood.
Speaking of the cretins, kids would take up the rest of my life, that is of course the point, but to be frank, in this uncertain era, why do people feel the need to procreate when they are unable to support themselves? (Unless you own the X5 or the Q7 or have the cash to rent an Audi R8 Spider for the weekend for your mate’s wedding, you are doing really well). Or am I just being a Bitter with baggage seeks same type chick (Google this…)
So I repeat, what am I missing out on? Er, the everything. The bit where I mentioned companionship? Mm, yes. That. A particular messaged me quite recently and I did not receive it straight away, had I read it the instant it appeared, I maybe would have burst into tears and my heart would have imploded. It read, Do you feel it? Being single? Or do you just take it as it comes? I was ready to slit my wrists. But I was at the train station, and a razor, even a disposable one, was nowhere in sight. Not even a rusty old nail. Damn refurbishment.
Why is there stigma attached to a single woman moreso than the single man? Please, pray tell me? Why is Pretty Pan unpermitted to open up her gold-encrusted feathered wings and fly the nest without having an entire society backstab and hang her on the Hangman of Shame (and that is about the only place she is likely to hook herself to a he assuming the executioner is a he, wait it must be as female unemployment figures are the highest they have been of late) just because she is not with Man.
The single woman is compartmentalised into having one of three focuses: family or career or both. Each one represents a square peg in a square hole. Happy-joy, it all fits together like a five thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. I am happy for you if you have this without the pieces missing, let me just jig saw the puzzle up for you. Really. Not bitter. In the slightest. [Breaking News: Crazed Woman on Rampage in Hobbies Section of Department Store]
However, sometimes, as much as we, the singletons, are such delicately poised and strong creatures, we, I, am the square peg stuck in a circle hole (arms outstretched flailing, legs dangling). My life is geared towards procuring better employment with only a rocking chair and logfire to burn the embers of my Miss-Havisham-To-Be-Heart, a no-hoper in respect of a relationship, only knitting needles and crochet patterns to usurp the remaining days of my life.
But if I pertinently characterised the same devilish attitude, fearless cocky nature and addiction to danger as a Man, I, she would be labelled as a lesser person than he. A woman is no longer a woman, what is the definition of a woman if she is unable to reach the expectations of her family anyway? I relentlessly fight time to remain girlish for the rest of it as I am free spirited – to a point, only to be ridiculed along the way by the Cute Couples and their Kute Kids.
I have skewed upon a tangent here as usual, so I revert to the initial message, he did not mean anything by it, and he maybe would not have asked if he did not feel it too, the sting of single life I mean. But it draws a question in my brain, is he one of the few men who feel it or is there a growing majority? Personal vulnerability and mortality as each and every one of your odious friends seem to have found the love of their lives. (I am happy for you, truly, did I say that already. Apologies.) But did I murder someone in cold blood in my previous life to be left with this precious space of, um, nothing. Cooking for one, shopping for one, sofa for one, bed for one, and yes Number 1 is awesome, but it becomes rather tiresome, and all the more tedious as I see happy couples strolling the streets hand in hand in summer sunshine. There, I said it. I have been keeping that to myself to the point of insanity.
Maybe I just do not know how lucky I am, the grass is, inevitably, always greener but surely locked twenty-four seven to my iPod and having conversations with my self is highly unnatural. Is this standard behaviour? I am losing the plot (care to join me, love).
Thing is though, is he even actually out there? Last summer, I met particulars with a rather large jacket potato perched on their shoulder, forget the iddy biddy freshly fried chips. Whilst we are here, let us forget the one shoulder, both shoulders were decorated and smothered with cheese and beans, but he was still hungry, nay, famished.
The same type, as I write, are probably gorging on protein shakes and whole grilled chickens with hot chilli sauce and tins of tuna and raw eggs that ripple through er, rippling muscles. Still not enough. Money-dollars are required, quite aware that he will only obtain sterling, day-dot trendy clothing, intricately laced hair cut-outs (mohicans are so out, oh so you won’t like mine then, er how would I take you to meet my parents, I cut the phone) as he continues to parade the streets with fast cars and heckling of the females minding their own business grocery shopping on the side-walk.
The wife-and-kids at home (not necessarily in that order; usually referred to as the Missiz as marriage is of no relevance and serves only as decorum), the stunning sidechicks (either The One He Couldn’t Keep or a million one nights), the respect from his family (fam), fame amongst his fellows (homeboys) and legendary notoriety with his peers publicising his fortune with meretricious nonchalance in the trendy nightclubs of contemporary culture. He will step over anyone in his path, disgruntling or drive-by’ing those that might hold him back. He devours hearts like lions preying deer, and spits the broken pieces out like fishbones.
That. Was not my ideal summer of dating. Losing hope. Over the course of the last year or so, I realise I am not a little girl anymore which is a revelation let me assure you, and I would hope he would have the intelligence to realise he is not a little boy. The point of life is not consumption, culture comes and goes, but that’s not the point of a relationship.