Valentine’s Day is coming, and everywhere you look there are hearts and cards and smushy mushy stuff. Throughout my adult life, I’ve been single on Valentine’s Day more often than not, and previously this time of year was spent feeling mostly shitty about being alone on The Most Romantic Day Of The Year. No date, nobody to send me a card, nothing. In fact, I seem to recall more than one Valentine’s Day when I actually had a boyfriend, and still didn’t have a date or a card. This year though, things are different. This year, I have accepted that I am single, and happy that way. Here are my 10 reasons to be happily single this Valentine’s Day.
1. My Bed is Mine!
Ok, I know S sleeps in my bed – and she is more than welcome there. But I really quite like the fact that it’s just the two of us. I’ve never been able to sleep if I was sharing a bed with a man. I like being able to stretch myself across the bed, to be surrounded by a million pillows and cocooned in two or three duvets, without someone complaining that they’re too hot or the pillows are in the way or can I just turn the light off and stop reading now. My bed belongs to S and I and nobody else is welcome in it!
2. My Toilet is Also Mine!
I can’t be doing with having to put the loo seat down behind someone. I like to find my toilet as I left it. Without pee on the seat or the floor around it, and with the seat firmly down.
3. I’m Very Lazy.
I’ve been single for over two years. It’s winter, and I don’t mind telling you that my legs look like they belong at Monkey World. If the general public is not likely to be seeing it, I ain’t shaving it. Not having a man in my life means I don’t have to care about things like wearing my “good” underwear or whether any of the layers under the hoodie I wear out of the house are reasonable garments. I have a fantastically comfortable pair of purple tracksuit bottoms which I love to wear in the evenings. They are old and stained and have a hole in them… but they’re really comfy and cosy, and nobody is ever going to see them.
4. Dinner For One.
S’s weird meal demands aside, I don’t have to care what someone else would like to eat. I don’t have to worry about how much garlic I put into meals, or whether cabbage gives me wind, or whether oniony food will make me belch all night long. And I don’t have to share the nice food with anyone but my pickle, who mostly has a different opinion as to what’s nice any way. I can cook whatever I fancy for dinner, without having to consider anyone else’s preference. I can eat dinner at a time that suits me, and I can slurp it and spill it down my front (if it’s spaghetti or something; I’m not completely inept) without worrying about looking unattractive or just plain stupid.
5. Crappy TV
I once went out with a bloke who hated to watch Casualty. Casualty is something of a tradition in my family; we’ve always watched it, and my sister and I would often text each other as we watched in different places, betting on what would happen next. But it airs on a Saturday night, and he didn’t like it. So we didn’t watch it. Every Saturday evening I would sit there watching some awful movie or something, wondering what was happening in Casualty. Now I watch what I want, when I want. Well, when S is in bed, any way.
I can invite whomever I want, whenever I want, to come and visit us. I don’t have to worry about whether someone else likes that particular person, whether they would rather spend the evening watching TV, whether they don’t like me associating with them (trust me, this is a big deal for me after previous experience). I can also kick visitors out when I want to, without having someone else complain they were enjoying the conversation, and blah blah. My living room is my own, to entertain guests when I want, and to have to myself when I want too.
If I want to visit a friend, I can visit them. I can meet a friend for a drink without worrying about whether someone else is expecting me back (except the baby sitter, obviously). I can decide to get a coffee or something to eat with a friend, without worrying whether someone at home had been planning a meal.
8. This Blog
I spend a lot of time on this blog (I know, and I make it look so effortless!) When I’m not writing blog posts, I’m tweeting other bloggers or commenting on their posts. Or scratching my bum. Either way, if I had a man here to entertain, I wouldn’t be able to spend my evenings half-watching crappy telly as I work on the blog. I certainly wouldn’t be able to comment on posts, host linkys, or do the amount of general Twitter dicking about I do on a daily basis. I would have to pay attention to him instead. And then all of you would suffer my absence!
9. I’m Very Selfish.
Turns out, there’s no space in my life for a man. I don’t have time, but more importantly I have neither the energy nor the inclination to worry about someone else’s feelings, to take someone else’s plans or preferences into account when I think about what I want to do with my time. If there’s only enough milk in the fridge for one coffee, I get the coffee. I don’t have to pretend to be all selfless and caring and offer it to someone else. I can eat all the biscuits (that S hasn’t already scoffed), I can stretch out on the sofa, I can decide on a whim to rearrange all the furniture in the flat. I answer to no one, which is handy because I’m crap at that sort of thing any way.
10. Previous Experience.
When my friends leave their children with their husband/partner while they go to work or the shops or to visit someone, my first thought is often either “aren’t you afraid he’ll run away with them while you’re out?!” or “aren’t you worried what he’ll do to them while you’re not there to keep an eye out?” It’s a gut reaction, and then I remember that my experience of that sort of situation is not the way things normally are. I can’t imagine ever trusting anyone to care for S as a parent should, when I could never trust her own father to do so. The problem with having been in such an intense, all-encompassing and ultimately poisonous, abusive relationship is that it wipes everything that has gone before. You lose all concept of what is normal.
Just FYI: I’m writing this in my grubby purple tracksuit bottoms, stretched out on the couch, eating leftover sausages for my tea. My legs are hairy, my face is spotty, and there’s nobody here to know. S doesn’t care; I’m her mummy and she loves me, hairy legs or not. And these days, that’s way more important. So you can shove your Valentine’s Day and your hearts and flowers. I may never shave my legs again!