“Single” isn’t something I’ve actually been very often. I met my ex when I was a couple of weeks away from turning 22, and as such, I’ve been in a relationship for my entire adult life. To be fair, I existed for much of the 18 (ahem, 17) to 22 period in the pubs and nightclubs of Glasgow so I’ve not exactly been sheltered, but in terms of actual life experience I’ve mostly been a girlfriend/fiancee/wife of late. I’ve also never lived on my own before – although with a wild toddler I’m still not really doing that now, but you know what I mean. No other adults to keep me right. Or take the blame.
As a result, I’ve quickly learned that there are some serious perks and downfalls to this single thing…
Bin collections are evil
The council are starting to get a little bit peeved at me missing the bin collections on a Sunday morning. They just don’t understand that those baby-free Saturday nights are my precious gin-drinking time, and they’ve got used to me only waking up when I hear the bin lorry at the top of the street. The result isn’t pretty: I can’t imagine that the sight of me in my Spongebob t-shirt and red tartan jammie bottoms, with last night’s eyeliner creeping all over my face, sprinting from my first-floor flat in a fluffy pair of slippers, hair wildly following in whatever shape the day-old styling products and pillow have given me that morning, and possibly some drool, is entirely attractive.
Still, they’re nice enough. They usually wait for me, although I’m not sure if that’s because they know my bins are really full, or they just find the whole attire pretty amusing. Nice binmen. I’m hoping I can buy their silence by leaving a box of lager on top of the bins at Christmas. If I remember to actually put the bloody things out, that is.
There are really nice offers like free prawn crackers and spicy chicken wings when you spend £15 at my local Chinese. Yeah, you don’t get that stuff any more when you’re single, because your dinner only comes to a measly £6, especially if you order before 6.30pm and order the suicide-inducingly titled “Teatime Special For One.”
Or, you do get the freebies, because you order exactly £15.01 worth of stuff, and then you sob quietly into your singapore chow mein with a side of curry sauce because you’re such a greedy bastard eating all that chinese food and nobody will love you ever again, fatty.
NOBODY WILL SAVE YOU NOW.
Same goes for moths/slugs/mice.
In what is possibly the greatest thing ever about being single, your bathroom is revolutionised. The toilet seat is always up or down or whichever way you want it to be. The shower never has “special” hairs in it, and if said hairs do decide to populate your bathtub, you clean them away like a sensible person should before they cause offence.
Your towels match. You can have candles on display. You can hide your Veet and “intimate hygiene products” in the cupboard without having to move all the razor heads and shaving foam.
Also, even though the mirror is above the toilet bowl, you never have shaving stubble all over the really awkward bit of the seat that you can’t get to with a cloth/toothbrush/cleaning spray. I’m telling you girls, this has been a game-changer. Based solely on my delight and joy at entering a girl-ready bathroom daily, I might never co-habit with a bloke again.
I say all this knowing that I’m about to start toilet-training the boy-child, and that soon all this will be lost once again.
There’s yer dinner
I choose what I want to eat, every single night. I mean, I then have to cook it all, AND do all the dishes afterwards (except in cases of Chinese Takeaways, above) but I still get to choose. And sometimes, that’s good enough.
1. Buy loads of them.
2. Put them on your sofa and bed.
Get ready for this, girls. I’m about to do something big. Really big. You now have full permission to incorporate pink and glittery things into your soft furnishings. Go ahead. Do it.
Do you hear that? Listen carefully.
That silence is the sound of nobody telling you that you can’t. It’s amazing, eh?
The first thing one of my pals bought me when I became single was a pair of cushions (see above) which said “When in doubt, add glitter”, and the word glitter was written in sequins. Even the word glitter is glittery. They are immense. I paired them with two new pink cushions, and put them on my sofa in some kind of silent rebellion against marriage. I think she got them in Next, if you want to join me, but I hear that TK Maxx is pretty instrumental in providing similar weaponry.
And do you know what? Sometimes, when I’m crying into a cushion, I smile because it’s sparkly. Take that, depression.
And of course, dating. Online dating.
As methods of torture go, Guantanamo Bay has got nothing on online dating. In fact, I think I’d rather be waterboarded than go back on Plenty of Fish. Yes, there are indeed plenty of fish, it’s just that most of the ones who message you are bottom-feeders (I don’t always mean that metaphorically, either) and there are some bloody great big sharks right there ready to eat you alive. Plenty of Fish isn’t so much the tropical aquarium of dating you expect it to be; it’s more like pond-dipping in the rain on a school trip. Nobody actually enjoys it, but you have to go because your mum refuses to write you a note to get you out of it and everybody else on the trip expects you to participate enthusiastically.
I proudly ditched Plenty of Fish pretty quickly after I joined.
I’m still on Tinder though. Don’t even get me started on Tinder.
As you can see, there are ups and there are downs. Thankfully, I’m reaching the point where the ups outweigh the downs, and I’m hoping that will continue.
For the times when it all gets too much, there’s always gin.
One Single Mama x