I hope all of you had a happy Christmas/long secular weekend. Mine was a lesson in patience and selflessness. You kind of have to go that way when dealing with an 87-year-old in medium-bad health and a 10-month-old with a sleep-deprived, stressed-out mom. So I relaxed into just being pleasant and giving and actually ended up having a good time. I heard some horrible stories from my Grandmother about nasty medical procedures and gastro-intestinal issues, but we had the longest conversation we've had in a year. There were many cute baby times. And as for the cranky mom, I just tried to gently remind her that nobody cared that the baby was crying in the car, and that nobody was going to force her to skip a nap, and so on.
[Speaking of babies: My cousin Liam is halfway through the first grade. He came over with my aunt to see the baby on Thursday, and at one point he sighed and said, "I wish I was still a baby." Why is that? "Then I wouldn't have to go to school." Oh honey. I tried to not dis school in front of him, even though I also hated it, saying "well, you see your friends there, right? I bet there are some fun parts." (I forgot to add, "Staying home all day gets really boring, seriously.") He said, yeah, I guess. There is something wrong when someone who's six is wistful for the days when he was encouraged to poop in his pants. Why does public school have to be such a drag, especially for little kids? They WANT to learn new stuff, why do they have to be forced to sit and stay quiet and still, going against their entire nature? It's like they're indoctrinating them to office cubicle life from the very get-go. This is why the Waldorf and Montessori schools make sense to me.]
But anyway. On Christmas Eve a bunch of family friends came over, and for the first time, well, ever, I was in a conversation with three other single people in their 30s, talking about the perils of dating at this age when everyone else we know is in committed relationships. We are all worried that after having gotten comfortable with living alone, we are going to find it increasingly difficult to live with someone else. And that's supposing we can even find someone we'd want to live with someone anyway. The one guy in the group lives in Mississippi and says he's already pretty much exhausted the dating pool in his small college town; either he's not interested, or he's interested and they're not, or she's maybe a little interested but definitely doesn't want children, and so on. One of the women is 38 and was saying she had pretty much given up hope on having kids, since it was just too late for her; even if she found the right person tomorrow, it would take a couple of years to get to really know him before she'd want to commit to having children. And my gorgeous, funny, and flirty friend who I've known since I was five has been going out on a lot of first dates with a lot of very boring men.
I know I'm getting all Sex and the City on you, but bear with me. What if we all missed the magic hour in which we could just pick someone and say "you're the one; no need to look further"? Is there a certain point where you become yourself so completely that you have no room left to add another person with their own needs and quirks and weirdnesses?
God I hope not. I have always thought I was a fairly awesome girlfriend. It's just been a while since I have had reason to break out my awesome girlfriend powers. I hope I haven't forgotten how to use them.