Everyone says they hate the tag. I like it. It reminds me of my childhood violin teacher, Miss Genin, a tiny old lady with crepe paper skin, living in a house full of antiques, with round spectacles on a chain round her neck and a tissue tucked up her sleeve. Maybe that set the tone for my future – I remember thinking “I want to be just like her when I grow up.”
Many years ago, I stopped dating and gave up on relationships. Aside from the odd times when I could really use a partner, e.g. when I’m too sick to fetch medicine from the pharmacy, I’m moving heavy furniture, or I’m cold in bed in winter etc, it’s never been much of an issue. Sure, I’ve always been a little apprehensive about being single for life, but having a family was something I saw as a distant plan. Now the kids thing is looming. Like Rachel said in Friends on her thirtieth birthday, you have to meet a guy, get to know them, spend quality couple time together before getting engaged, then married a year or two to enjoy each other before children…it’s okay for men. As long as they can aim and fire, they’re okay.
Winter brings a multitude of colds, flus and viruses. I must have caught one, because the other morning, I woke up, dying to use the bathroom, sat down, went dizzy, fell off the toilet and hit my head on the duck board as I blacked out. As I touched my swollen brow, it got me thinking.
I. Might. Die. Alone. Will my cats delightedly dine on my corpse? Will my body empty itself of fluids and seep through the floor, to the apartment below? Just how long will it take for my family to realise something’s up anyway?
Mostly, it’s fun being single. I never had to grow up, because there’s never been anyone else’s age-appropriate behaviour to fall in line with. I can party hard, sleep late, heck, I can stay in my PJs all day, should I choose (and I often do). I’ve passed the stage when relatives enquire about my love life. At first, it was: “So, are you courting?” then it moved on to: “Have you met a nice man yet?” Now we’re at the resigned silent stage and they ask my younger cousins about their love lives instead. I don’t know whether to be relieved or put out. They’ve consigned me to the mad old cat lady pile already, and I don’t have my bus pass yet.
When I was younger, I missed out on many gigs, because I didn’t want to go alone. Now I’ve bitten the bullet, I’ve seen all my favourite bands, in countries I never would have visited before. I just have to make sure I write it all down, so I don’t forget the best bits a companion might remember. And I never have to consider someone sitting up late at night, worrying about my whereabouts, while I’m painting the town red. When rock bands invite me on the tour bus, I go!
However, the crisis is creeping up on me and I’m considering the benefits of having a partner and children. At least one of them has to look after me when I’m old and infirm, right? As long as they don’t put me in a residential home - but that can be fixed by warning them that if they do, they get nothing in my will. I’ve thought it through.
But being the cool, crazy aunt isn’t so bad. I’ll get to play with the babies and give them back when they start wailing. I shall embrace my singleness and be as deranged as I please. Give me my pearls, and hand me my leather. I’m off for another adventure.