I’m lying on my bed in my pyjamas, procrastinating, so I don’t have to get ready to go out. As in OUT out, being sociable and meeting friends. Ugh. I’ve spent so long putting it off, I’ve even built a den and there aren’t any children here, and now I’m writing this blog that nobody’s going to read because I’m not pimping it out on Twitter. If you think I’m joking about the den, I’m really not. It’s made from pillows and cushions with a blanket roof and I’m really rather proud of it. There is a reason I am the best auntie in the world. All I want to do is live in it, with nothing but a torch and the biscuit tin to keep me company. I’m 36 years old. Fuck.
I mean really, FUCK!
These are the things that are supposed to get easier when you become a grown up. Wanting to go out and be in good company, eat good food, have a few drinks and enjoying yourself, which I do once I get there, as long as there’s no family involved. I love my friends, they put up with a lot. I cry off on them all the time and am generally quite rubbish and moody to be around, but they accept that. I just struggle a lot with the lead up to the night out. It’s not even anxiety exactly, I’m not scared, I just lack the motivation.
Maybe it’s laziness a part of the SAD that’s always worse at this time of year. The long dark evenings are a real struggle for me and I haven’t been coping well for the last few weeks, with mood swings and trying to figure out if it’s other people who are being dicks, or me. Okay, maybe there is an element of anxiety too, and a hint of paranoia. It’s nothing I can’t cope with, there’s no need to ‘U OK hun?’ I’m fine, but I don’t like being around people at all when I’m like this, so I retreat to my cage and return when I’m feeling better able to cope with things.
When I’m feeling low, I like to focus on things that I’ve improved, things I’ve worked at, or what I’ve learned about myself. It was something my college counsellor suggested many years ago and I’ve found it incredibly helpful, so today I learned that for all my teenage rebellion and the ongoing fight to drag my family into the current century, I’m pretty old fashioned myself.
This will come as no surprise to anyone, but I’m a total square who has never been touched by the need for ‘cool.’ It was never going to grace my flat head, lego hair and knobbly knees anyway, so I learned to scare it off by treating it and ‘cool’ people with indifference. Not rudely, just with quiet contempt.
Fashions and fads are not for me. I’m the nan who dressed up in the least sexy outfit imaginable to see Rocky Horror live. I don’t post sexy pictures of my body on twitter and I don’t constantly talk about how horny I am. I’m not knocking anyone who does those things. Not everyone is born a small angry pensioner in a cardigan. In fact, my chat is a complete boner killer most days. I’m the equivalent of a firefighter in a snood and crocs, putting out any flames that may have mistakenly ignited for me.
Dating is for losers, I tell myself. I am a moonlit stroll on a warm evening, surrounded by a Tinder world of instant gratification. In the age of Pandora charm bracelets, real charm seems to be in steady decline. Remember wooing, kids? (The comma is very important there.) The evenings of longing, wondering if he’d call on your dial up phone, and the absolute torture when an aunt called your mum instead and you spent the next hour wondering if he was trying to get through? How it took forever to work up the courage to casually walk past a boy you liked, in the hope he’d smile back. Making him a mix tape. The faux indifference when he asked for your number, when you were secretly so thrilled, you’d happily have written it in permanent marker, in HUGE writing, ON HIS FACE. How it was a real ‘moment’ the first time a conversation lasted long into the night. How it’d take you both FOREVER to get your act together and admit how you felt. How good it felt when you did. How there was no alternative lined up if it all went wrong.
The only remotely romantic dating story I’ve heard in recent years is from my cousin’s son, who met his wife at his Saturday job at a supermarket. For every week for the next year, he found new and inventive ways of asking her out. It was clear they liked each other, but she was worried about his reputation as something of a ladies man. Eventually, he managed to convince her. They’re married now with a daughter and another child on the way.
Actually, that sounds rather torturous and long winded, doesn’t it? Maybe Tinder IS the way forward.
Actually, my relationships have all had an element of waiting and wooing and they’ve all been with men who were friends first, and that’s what’s made them special to me. Social media has killed the romance for most (not all) with the sheer number of people at your disposal and their availability. You can now afford to treat people with contempt if they don’t immediately fancy you back. Why pursue someone when you can just ask the next woman what she’s wearing and if she ever sends intimate pics? I’ll try that tonight.
No, of course I won’t, I am one hundred years old, remember?