I was just complaining to a friend that I want my social life back. Not that I had that great of a social life in the first place -- okay, well, I did when I was 23 or 25, but that's been a very long time ago. But running home to finish a paper is not how I expected to spend my Friday nights (or any night), way back then, when I was 23 or 25 ... and the world was my oyster ... and I was sure I would find Mr. Right.
In fact, what I expected is that I would be finding some out-of-the-way restaurant with my husband, who was as cool as I was (okay, perhaps there's a slight exaggeration on this particular point), with our sickening yuppiness (do we refer to people as yuppies anymore???). We would be able to do this spontaneous dining out on Friday nights because we wouldn't have kids ... heaven! We would drink good wine ... talk about our weeks ... dream about the next adventure we would take together ... planning on the next big home reno to be done ... generally enjoying each other's company.
Instead, my Friday nights have turned out much differently. I go home to the warmth of a computer, a thoroughly disgusting house, and a cat with some serious Kitty Breath issues.
I was in Nashville back in October, with another friend, and during the complimentary breakfast, wherein I discovered the joys of The Waffle Maker, we watched the "old farts bus brigade" eating and talking ... most of them single, some of them sitting quietly by themselves. I realized, as I watched them traipse by me in their flower tees and matching capri sets that I was witnessing my future ... 30 years from now ... dragging my wrinkly old self on trips to keep from sitting in my house watching my "stories" and smoking cartons of Pal Mals (more exaggeration? Probably, but it's quite helpful for the dramatic irony I am working toward here).
"Please promise me something," I said to my friend.
"Promise me that you will come and check up on me to make sure my 80 cats don't start feeding on my lifeless body when I die alone."
But that's part of my charm ... or that's at least what I'm telling people.
Instead, I am now treading the murky waters of the Mr. Not-so-rights and the Mr. Sorta-rights as well as the Mr. So-not-enough-gumption-to-do-anything-about-its. Combined with friends that have kids and schedules and lives wherein they are living out my plan for the future, it's tough not to just plunk down in front of the Lifetime Channel and watch sappy, cheesy movies until your soul shrivels and dries up.
What? Too melodramatic?
They don't make any sort of lighthouse mechanisms in these waters, folks, and it's foggy out there ... and bleak ... and not at all where you'd want to plan your Caribbean get-away to sip fruity drinks with umbrellas on them while baking your body to a golden brown.
So, I suppose I will get a microwave dinner, pour some sparkling wine, put on some flannel jammies, and get ready for another riveting Friday night working on another, endless paper, while the vision of clear sunsets dancing on friendlier waters plays in my mind's eye ...
... a girl can dream.