I used to be really good at being alone. When I was single, I was perfectly happy to stay in by myself with only ice-cream, popcorn and my collection of Sandra Bullock movies for company. True story.
I would dance and sing around my living-room. One particular Saturday night, I did all of that while drinking Baileys from a pint glass. That was special. OK, maybe that night I wasn’t all that happy to be alone.
My point is this. I like my own company. I can read and write, and listen to Garth Brooks at full blast. And the remote control, after I figure out how to use it, is mine, all mine.
I had great plans for Sarge’s stag do. They involved Netflix and me. And then I was going to finish writing my novel. This was not a fake mission.
Dad invited me to Skye, friends invited me to the pub. I had options.
But I also had PMS, and it’s best not to inflict that level of genius on other people.
And so. Alone time. Because really, when is that going to happen again? I was looking forward to reconnecting with my dancingsingingBaileysswigging self. These were moments to be savoured and remembered fondly when I am married with penguins/children who, if they are anything like their parents, will constantly demand books, hot beverages, and impromptu renditions of Soft Kitty. In a round.
Before all that happens, Sarge got ready for Saturday’s camping trip, and I got ready for some quality time with the couch.
Sarge and his backpack left the building. I hoped I’d see his eyebrows again. Because they are wonderful. And they say so much about a person.
My shopping list for the weekend went like this: Ben & Jerry’s (yes, again. Don’t judge.) Doritos. Cheese. Macroni and cheese. Cheese. My PA laughed. I did not.
Anyway. She might have dropped off my supplies and then backed away slowly.
I was alone. I looked in the fridge. I straightened out the magnets on the fridge. I opened the bag of Doritos. I looked inside. I shrugged. Yes, really. I left all the Doritos in the bag.
I tried whistling. I failed.
I missed my cat. And Sarge.
I called my Dad. And left what I hope sounded like a non-depressed message. But not too upbeat, either. Because that would be trying too hard.
I texted my soon-to-be sister-in-law. And my soon-to-be mother-in-law. Because they really needed to know I was eating ‘all the cheese.’ So did Facebook. My Wall asked me what I was us up to. Or something.
I stared at a half-full computer screen. I was still doing OK at this point. So it was half-full, not half empty.
I turned on my wedding song playlist. Not exactly single person anthems. But I didn’t even listen to them when I was single, so I wasn’t missing much.
Now. Most of my playlist would make even the Gahds of Sap blush. Saying that, when Bruce sang I’m On Fire, I truly hoped Sarge was not.
I muted the music. Looked at some old photos. Realised again that my stress levels around the guest-list stem from the fact that my Grandparents won’t be there. Except in my dreams.
I gave thanks for everyone who will be there, in person and in spirit, stopped worrying about any of the lists. And practised my hyphenated signature. Yes, really.
I finished reading a book I started when I was 11. I watched all the TV that
Sarge doesn’t know I watch. I had the Doritos. But I left the Ben & Jerry’s. Times have changed.
When I went to bed at 1.30 am, there may have been a stuffed toy penguin left for me on Sarge’s pillow. I woke up the next morning and I may have been holding it. I turned over in bed, wondering what happened to my life. But I was happy with it.
Some friends came over to help me across the cobbled streets that lead to our book-group, everyone hoping I wouldn’t break any teeth three weeks before my wedding.
We got to the book-group, where I thought every third word was ‘penguin’. True story.
A few hours later, Sarge, his backpack and his eyebrows came home. With Chinese food. And some ticks.
I was reading a book, minding my own business. Which was lucky. Just a few minutes earlier and he would have caught me singing a Carly Simon song, slightly off-key and into my hair-brush.
See, even Bridget Jones liked penguins. They ARE everywhere!