Another of my friends got engaged today.
At the ripe old age of not-25-anymore, I thought most of those days were over. That everyone had pledged to be single forever or was married and I wouldn’t be sitting here alone on my couch with my popcorn, watching everyone pair off.
I’m not mad. This couple is hilarious and lovely and perfect for each other, and I am 100% behind anything that brings more love into the world.
But as a single mom, it usually means I’m left standing by myself.
Like the cheese from the Farmer in the Dell.
I’ve stood by myself a LOT in my life. I was bullied pretty hard throughout my younger years, and I’m socially awkward so it was hard for me to make friends.
Middle school was REALLY tough for me – it was a parade of reminders that I was weird (but there wasn’t any reason I was different that I could put my finger on). Girls were starting to get boyfriends and starting to “blossom” into young ladies and I was a really late bloomer.
Those dances were the toughest. The lights would dim, a DJ would call out a slow jam and people would start to pair up. I would stand with my back against the wall and try not to cry as I was left standing there by myself. Most of the time, I would just head to the bathroom as the lights dimmed so I wouldn’t be embarrassed when I was standing by myself again.
High school was torturous.
EVERYONE had a boyfriend or a best friend. I spent a lot of my lunch breaks freshman year hiding in Mrs. Lacker’s room because there, I didn’t feel weird and nobody was paired off. My people were marching band people and drama people and people who didn’t quite fit in anywhere. I fit in with them.
But I was still getting my house TP’d at least twice a month, I got made fun of (the haircut shown in the photo below was a source of many jokes) and on one occasion, I had my head shoved in a toilet for a “swirlie.” (hence the haircut.)
Now let’s pause here for a second.
This post makes my younger years sound like some kind of torturous experience, with the bullying and the alone-ness…but I had a good time, I think. I made the best of it with what I had, and I clung to my happy memories.
I was involved with a lot of different sports and activities, I had a great time with music and drama (at which I was pretty decent) and I was a fairly good student.
I just spent a lot of time alone.
Now how much of this is overdramatized in my dramatic preteen and teenage mind and how much is pretty close to reality is to be determined. But out of the 4 dances a year in each of my 4 years of high school, I got asked to one by a boy. And only because I basically forced him to ask me. (Sorry, Jordan!)
I didn’t get asked to my own prom. I was turned down 4 times for once dance by boys when I asked them to our TOLO (where girls ask boys). I didn’t go on a single date all through high school.
My first boyfriend came along when I was just shy of 20 years old.
I’ve been alone a lot.
But then my kids came along and flipped a switch, and I was never alone.
I was at PTA meetings and kindergarten classroom volunteering. I was driving to soccer and baseball and church group. I had a boyfriend or two in there somewhere, so I was really never all by myself.
But now that my relationship with the father of my smallest has dissolved (nearly 5 years ago now) and Wolfgang (my eldest) is 17 and off doing all sorts of his own stuff AND I work from home, it’s kind of the perfect storm of circumstances to shine a very bright light on how solo I fly.
It’s tough, but I’ve endured worse.
So as my friends continue to get engaged and begin to share lives with each other, I transition into a more solo journey as my house empties out.
It’s sometimes glorious, getting to sleep like a starfish in my bed and not having to tell someone when I want to buy a new pan or make something ridiculous for dinner. I don’t have to rely on someone else to pay the bills or expect someone else to know I’m sad and how to cheer me up.
I’m getting very self-reliant, which is great…
…but on the flip side, I’ve been talking to Wolfgang’s cat a lot. I find it difficult to keep my house clean because Wolfgang sometimes helps me but he’s gone so much. I make a lot of food because most recipes are set for 4-6 people and then I end up eating corned beef for days (not that I’m complaining). My Costco membership seems hilarious, since 47 pounds of coffee in one go is a bit extraneous for my consumption habits and a Costco pack of toilet paper takes about 4 months to go through.
95% of the time I’m ok. That’s up from about 55% two years ago.
I’m working on finding the sweet spot between heartbreaking despair that I will be alone forever and “hahahaha! Love is for suckers!” and I’ll let you know if I find it. <3