The reason that being alone is no big deal. It’s probably because I have never wanted kids.
Because the battery in my biological clock was a duff, so I have never felt ‘that thing’ (see previous post on wanting to own a cat instead).
I’m an only child (or I was until I was 18) and the youngest but one of my cousins so I never spent any time around babies as a kid. Which was fine by me. I didn’t want to. I never liked hanging out with younger kids. On the rare occasions I was forced to; at the childminders or if my friends had younger brothers and sisters, I generally found them to be a massive inconvenience. They were grabby (putting their snot and god-knows-what-else covered fingers on my sweets and toys), demanding and immune to reasoned arguments. And here I begin to sound like my father…
As an adult I have mellowed. A bit (my father has too). I do coo over babies. They are cute, like kittens, warm and snuggly, they make cute noises in their sleep and are relatively undemanding. If they do get demanding/stinky it is far more acceptable to give them back to their parent. Unlike the small child, who will often demand that you take them to the bathroom. They say that cats know when you don’t like them and will immediately come to you. I think children have the same sense.
(At this point I would like to point out that I have nieces. And they are awesome. I love them, as I love all my family. Mostly from a distance)
Sometimes I think that I, probably, wouldn’t still be alone if I didn’t feel this way. I might have the man AND the cat I always dreamed of if I could just force myself to embrace motherhood. I don’t like to acknowledge that at least one of my previous relationships ended and could never have worked because we wanted fundamentally different things, namely to be a parent/not to be a parent.
The flip side of this is, for me, that being alone is not a fear-inducing, emotionally uphill battle because I am not at the mercy of my hormones. There’s no rush. I can afford to take my time finding the right man. I am not up against the biological clock.
I’m not saying I never get lonely, or despondent. That would be a big, fat, lie. But I’m not compelled to relentlessly throw myself in to the path of suitable men for fear of missing the boat. While the tick-tick-ticking signifying my ever-decreasing, remaining (potentially, I have never had cause to check) fertile years grows deafening.
There are worse things than being alone. Like having kids when you don’t want them.
I should probably explain that this is something I have been thinking about a lot – in relation to the making of One and since I saw Kate Fox’s Good Breeding in Edinburgh.