There was a moment when I was single. It was a happy single. A complain-about-being-single-with-my-other-single-friends single. A I-can-kiss-whoever-I-want single. A boys-suck-and-who-really-needs-them single. We were all in it together.
It happened suddenly. As though an epidemic of mutual attraction and PDA swept through my friends, striking every one of them except an (un?)lucky few. They dropped like flies, and over Easter I lost a multitude of single friends and gained a hefty status as the Third Wheel.
Suddenly I’m eyeing boys up left, right and centre. Where is my one? Surely there’s some left? As though they are a crate of oranges, but the only one left are either covered in other people’s fingerprints, or simply a little bit rotten.
I try and bat my eyelashes appealing and speak more slowly and seductively, rather than my usual non-sensical rambling and wide-eyed, innocent gaze. Eyelashes get stuck in my eyes and my slow speech inevitably becomes high-pitched and over-excited.
And so perhaps this shall remain my status: Single. A capital ‘S’, if you please. I’ll wear it on my chest like the Scarlett Letter, and allow everyone to gaze at me in pity and mild displeasure. They will try and set me up on blind dates when they grow weary of my Third Wheel presence, turning their handsome bike into the less appealing (but always amusing) tricycle. They’ll go on double dates from which I will be omitted because I lack the necessary accessory.
I joke about this, but it makes me anxious. I ask terrible questions: “What’s wrong with me?” “Are my ears really that bad?” “Do I smell?”
And then it hits me, the reality of my situation: I can’t have a boyfriend. I don’t want one. My life is too full, it’s too whole. I have so many aspects to focus on, but not enough attention to concentrate on just one person. I have goals – enormous one – and I know that, being me, I would get too caught up with a boy. I am over-emotional, over-expressive, over-excited, over-loving. I come in excess, or not at all.
Right now – at 20 – I cannot love my friends as much as I do, and be as excited and passionate abut everything as I am, and rightly expect a boy to fit in. He would have to squeeze, crammed into the cracks of my mind, or take over, and occupy far too much space in an already over-crowded heart.
I eagerly get my friends to recount stories of first dates and special moments. They delight in my audience.
They still need me, everything is fine.