I am not sure how many of you have single friends, but, I do. Not a whole lot, but enough to make me think.
There are those who’ve never been married, while others have and then have moved on and taken to singledom with a vengeance (we all have those I can safely say).
What do you feel when you meet/see that friend on facebook? I mean that friend who does not believe that sweat pants were made to be worn all day, everywhere, who is thin, nattily turned out with a, I-just-threw-this-on kind of look, who works, of course, but finds the time to learn photography, fly to Caymon Islands, Amalfi coast and who knows where else (don’t want to know), who alternates between reading David Mitchell and Murukami with her feet up sipping coconut water in some off-the-beaten-track destination (how many of those are there, just by the way?), who watches every film worth its salt (Ukraninan, French, Algerian – you name it), who wakes up and dances to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ while getting ready for work, who takes holidays with her mum, twice a year? What do you feel? Honestly.
Now, I am not saying that I’d rather be single, my life is full and complete and I know better than to get swept away by impressions of a seemingly perfect life. But, here’s the thing. I am a wee bit jealous. It’s liberating to think about this friend’s life. And if my husband’s reading this (not sure I want him to, though), I am not comparing my life to hers, or saying that I cannot do what she’s doing.
It’s complicated. I am not sure how to explain it and I am not even sure if I want to.
But, since I brought it up, what I will say, by way of some sort of explanation, is that if I really want, I can probably do most of those “single” things even now. So, that’s not the thing. Point is, I don’t want to because they will come at a cost; at a cost of spending time with my family, or doing something for them. So, while I make the decision to do or not do something, that decision is made keeping a lot of factors in mind. And, it’s not as simple as you-decide-no-one-forces-you. Part of me wants to be like that friend, but part of me does not. Like I said, it’s complicated.
But (all these explanations aside) in all honesty, how many of you look at that single friend and feel, sigh? And, this does not have to be the reaction each time, by the way. Just sometimes, at some fleeting moment.
There are also times when I look at pictures of a pristine house with a lot of whites in the furnishings and that image (still talking facebook here) says so much, so much about the emptiness and absence of the comforting mess of children. To someone whose house is full of trails of mixed up puzzles from one room to the other, this picture-perfect image is too quiet; the image almost emits that unsettling sound of silence, that deafening vacuum.
And sometimes, when that friend’s eyes reflect this void, I say to myself – thank God for all I have, and damn that Truffaut film festival. Who needs it?