I wouldn’t say I’m resigned to this fate. I chose it out of a line up of Married With Children, Happily Dating, Casual Open Relationship and Bitterly Divorced.
I’m not averse to The Relationship; in fact I’m considerably more open to it than to consuming ricotta at any given time. Growing old with someone sounds nice, in as much as changing adult diapers, putting in false teeth and crossing Abbey Road with a Zimmer frame might be nice experiences to share with a significant other. But I’d rather do it alone. Or as alone as possible.
Call me selfish, call me an introvert, but it’s been close to four years and I don’t miss being in a relationship; nor do I believe I will ever be in a place where I want one. It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone would actually be able to put up with my penchant for extreme solitude, unless they too wanted to get married, live in separate houses, and not have sex. And trust me: I’ve thought about it. I’m sure. I got this.
But when I tell people this, I get questions. Like, “But what about children?” What about them? They’re not high up on my priority list of life goals (that space is reserved for # 1. Survive Zombie Apocalypse).
“What about sex?” Nah, Lena Dunham nailed that experience in Girls—I have enough awkward experiences fully clothed. I dig the fish’s reproductive method: I can just leave my eggs here and then the man-fish comes by and sprinkles some magic there and SHAZAM! – it’s all done! No heaving, grunting and ignoring strange noises from each other’s nether regions? No nine months of swollen ankles, giant bellies and hormonal fluctuation that registers on the Richter scale? Very appealing.
“You’ll grow out of it when you meet the right man.” How many wrong things can a person say in one sentence? What am I growing out of? A childhood whimsy to be a tap dancing iguana named Shirley? ‘The Right Man’? Who is he and why would I suddenly want to start having sex and babies when I meet him? What century did I stumble into? You can’t even say that any more—what if I like girls? Or my own reflection?
It seems to be difficult for a lot of people in my life to comprehend that I am perfectly happy to be alone for the rest of my life. It’s not that I’m ruling all of that stuff out, but neither am I actively seeking it because I know who I am and that’s a fairly solitary creature. I’ve gone for years without seeing people and, although it gets a bit Jekyll and Hyde sometimes, we’re happy with our own company.
Furthermore, I like cats.
What’s wrong with the loopy old lady at the end of the street whose house smells a little funky because of her army of cats? She’s probably having a ball not having to deal with nosy neighbours, annoying family and their feuds over who gets the house when she dies, or bothering with old sex. Sure, if this was Salem in the sixteenth century Crazy Old Cat Lady might be tried as a witch, but nowadays she gets the honour of the creepiest house on the street.
I’m sure you’ll pass me in the future as I rock in my chair on my porch with a shot gun nursed in my lap, a few teeth missing, surrounded by a herd of cats. And I’m okay with that. In fact, I chose that.
The above illustration is by the wonderful Monika Viktoria. You can find out more about her and her work HERE.