You know who I felt bad for last weekend? The Instalovers. I mean, is it even Valentine’s if you can’t competitively post images of every little detail? The perfect dinner, the flowers, the present(s), the weekend away, the proposal. Is it even love if it’s not on social media.
I think it’s the first time I haven’t posted actually on Valentine’s Day since I started this blog and it felt quite liberating. OK, that’s trite, I haven’t been held captive in a basement for most of my life and am now savouring my first trip to the corner shop for milk, but for the purposes of this blog, it works.
I wanted to let it slip by this year. Unnoticed, unimportant. In the grand scheme of things, it kind of is. Apart from exchanging a WhatsApp with a friend to say, ‘love you’, there wasn’t any reason to mark it and we say that all the time. If they hadn’t sent a message, I probably wouldn’t have remembered.
I bought myself some flowers the day before, as I sometimes do anyhow. And life continued.
With an impending significant birthday and a few months of unsuccessful dating towards the back end of last year, I got to thinking (for fear of sounding like SaTC) – maybe now is a good moment to just let it go and get on without it. Without someone else, without thinking about meeting someone else, without endlessly trying to meet someone else. How many hours do we waste, have we wasted? Probably years, when totalled up. I mean, come on. What have we missed? What have we not appreciated about ourselves and life in all that time of focusing on trying to get another human into our lives.
Listening to the hilarious podcast Don’t Take Bullsh*t from F*ckers before Christmas, in one particular episode (I can’t remember which) Greg Behrendt said, ‘I got a lot of respect for people who date into their forties. I mean, just be alone, be with yourself.’ I paraphrase. But it really kicked me in the ass. You’re right. What the hell are we doing? Sure, I love being in love but it sucks too much time and energy trying to find it. Let’s face it, endless dating just sucks.
Why is it the topic of every freakin’ conversation? I hope you can hear my exasperation.
For all my adult life, when I wasn’t involved with someone (which has been most of the time since 30), people have asked me, ‘are you involved with someone?’ or, ‘are you looking for someone to be involved with?’ Also, guilty as charged. I asked me that too.
I was recently chatting with a friend on Zoom and opened with an ‘I’ve got news.’ (at the moment, that could literally be putting a bra on or getting up without uuffing). The response? ‘You’ve met a man?!’
No. I haven’t. I’m starting art classes. Jesus Christ.
Different friend, ‘You look good. Have you met someone?’ I probably look half okay because I’ve had a quiet year (you know, like most of everyone), I take my makeup off with coconut oil and sometimes go to bed at half-nine. I say sometimes, I mean 90% of the time. Don’t judge me, it’s *Covid times.
Father, ‘And what about your love life?’ Man alive, dad, you, particularly, must be fucking sick of asking that question. On a regular year, it’s, at best, sporadic, add a raging pandemic to the equation…
So, as I hurtle towards my sixth decade (that’s another post for another day) I have decided to focus on filling my life with things that bring me joy and not waste another minute writing another dating profile, scrolling through another collection of faces, wasting another penny or hour on a dead end date.
What I want is to fill my life with exhibitions, books, live music (when we can) art, writing and dance classes and workshops… how terribly genteel.
Get my agent on the blower, I’m ready for my part in Bridgerton now.
*to be honest, this will probably continue beyond the current crisis. I bloody love 10 hours of sleep.