By my 30s I was happily married for maybe 20 minutes.
That’s when I learned that just because you have a husband, it does not automatically mean that you also have a helping hand.
In fact, a bad husband can add a lot of unwanted headaches to your life. And who needs that?
Because I already knew how to row the boat alone, I abandoned ship and moved on.
While I slid toward 50, the sting of being single hit my heart hard.
My baby boy was grown. For the first time I had nothing to do after work except whatever I wanted to do. On some days that freedom was delicious. On other days it smothered me to death.
So I got married again, thinking that we would laugh and enjoy fun little adventures.
Apparently, I was intoxicated or too hyped up on the Hallmark Channel because that’s not at all how it went down.
So here I am, smack-dab in the middle of my 50s with nearly five years of alone time.
A few days ago a man asked if I was dating anyone.
I should have lied my face off. But that particular day I wasn’t fast on my feet. I answered truthfully.
“Sometime I’ll take you out,” he said casually.
Not, “Would you like to go out with me?”
Just, “Sometime I’ll take you out.” Then he stood there, as if he was waiting for me to jump up and down and clap like a seal.
For the rest of the day I thought about that two-minute interaction.
Then I discussed it with another single woman my age.
“He seemed to think he was doing me a favor,” I said. “I wanted to slap his mouth off his face.”
My friend rolled her eyes. “Men think we are needy and desperate.”
“By this age, the Barbie and Ken stuff is long gone,” I said with a sigh. “I don’t expect a Chippendale dancer. But I also don’t want a guy with man boobs that are bigger than my little baby breast cancer implants.”
“I hear you,” she laughed. “I’m not a fan of those big old beer bellies or hairy ears, either.”
“I’ve never felt cherished,” I said dreamily. “If I can’t have that, then I want to be left alone.”
“Nobody believes in that starry-eyed stuff anymore except you,” she snarled.
I don’t mind if my friend thinks I’m a wing nut.
If she happens to be wrong and romance is still alive, I would love to enjoy some of it. What’s wrong with that?
If it’s not out there, I am content to spend Saturday nights at home. This way, I never have to be disappointed. I never have to cry in the shower because I’m with a lazy sloth who takes me for granted. And I never fall into toilet water because someone left the seat up, either.
Yep, if I can’t have the mushy stuff, life alone is fine with me.