Walking home from school drop-off this morning, one eye on Manna's remaining shoe, idly planning tea, I suddenly realised I could quite comfortably spend the rest of my life in romantic solitude and celibacy simply because I hadn't explored the other option of dating someone. That doesn't seem a good enough reason. If I'm going to be alone I want it to be an active choice.
Next I realised how terrifying the prospect of a date feels. I haven't been on a date for...takes off socks...fourteen years! I mean, within that time has been a whole start-to-finish marriage, but we had already been mates for years, so we skipped the dating bit. And there's been no-one since Thomas died, which is much longer ago than it sometimes feels.
Then I realised I would have to try this anyway or I would always be wondering and feeling a bit cowardly. Damn.
I have no idea how this can possibly work. In fact, I have lots of ideas about why it can't work:
- I have so much emotional baggage I may have to bring a Sherpa to each date. I just still love Thomas and I think I always will. I'm not very good at falling out of love.
- Like I said, deeply out of practise. I can't imagine myself being anything other than shy, awkward, flustered, garrulous/struck dumb, sweaty, embarrassed, hysterical and generally weird should a date ever actually happen.
-I'm all about my girls. Just running my parenting, home-making, tiny business life leaves no spare time, energy or emotion. How could I possibly fit a partner in?
-I still can't drive (sore subject), and who wants to come all the way to my tiny town every time they want to see me?
- Childcare. This should have been at the top of the list. I do attachment parenting as if anything else would result in the immediate death of my children (because a small, traumatised part of me believes it would). So I find it hard when I am not with my children, particularly Manna because she's still just a plumpet. I can leave them with other people (and will have to regularly for the flippin' driving lessons), but it gives me a background anxiety which will not aid the trying-to-look-sane-on-a-date mission.
- I can't remember how to do sex. The whole idea is quite horrifying, although I definitely remember it seeming like a good idea in the past.
- And even if I did remember what goes where, I can't possibly make babies now I don't have ovaries, so I need someone who's happy I have kids but doesn't want any (more) of their own...but I think I'm getting a bit ahead of myself there.
- Oh, and I forgot that I don't have breasts either! So we're looking for a straight man or gay woman who is somehow not particularly into breasts! My Flat & Fabulous sorority report that they're out there, but it does seem like a big ask.
Gosh, all that doesn't look good, does it? Ho hum. On the plus side:
- I'm awesome! I am kind, clever, honest, loving, fun, creative, witty, courageous, confident, loyal, interesting, strong and bold.
- I look fine, if you can get past the no-breasts thing. My body does its job beautifully and my face suits me - it really refelcts who I am - so that's good too.
- I'm not picky because I don't have a clear idea of a 'type' I'm looking for. I can't even specify a gender. I would just like to meet someone who is kind and clever and fun, not too short and has a respect for my family and my work. There must be some of those, surely.
So, that was today's big thought. Now I need you good people to scour the land on my behalf and send me hoards of admirable suitors, or, even better, just the one who will make this seem like a really good idea. It'll be fun...I hope.
I'm scared of putting this out into the world. I'm scared that nothing will happen and much more scared that something will. I'm scared, but I'm doing it...
Two sides of me: