‘I’m A Single Mid-Lifer – Here’s What I’m Planning to Get Me Through Christmas – I Feel Crushing Shame About Being Single in Mid-Life’
I don’t have an account – well I used to, but no more – so I am unable to access the full article below. You will have to log in to their site if you want to read this article:
(Update, 2021: I now have more access to this article, so I’ll toss in a few more excerpts below):
(Link): ‘I’m a single midlifer – here’s what I’m planning to get me through Christmas’ by Kate Mulvey
I already know how Christmas morning will play out for me. I’ll FaceTime my two sisters and their families, and wish them a Happy Christmas.
When they ask me how I am, I’ll reply “Absolutely hunky dory” with a cheery smile to hide the crushing shame I feel about being single in midlife, suddenly stuck in Tier 4 and unable to join my extended family for the most important day of togetherness in the year.
As a childless, unmarried woman of 56, people like me already find this time of year painful.
Our state of societal failure is highlighted in every schmaltzy advert featuring either happy families in party hats or loved-up couples canoodling in front of the fire.
What has become clear is that as the nation battens down the hatches, plans their menus and gets ready for Father Christmas for a small, cosy Christmas, those of us on the margins of society find ourselves staring once again into the abyss.
…We all want love. We all want to matter. When it’s the season to be jolly and the only company you have is the cat, you feel like drowning your sorrows in a barrel of eggnog.
So once the family calls are over, I will switch off my phone then turn the day on its head. I will revel in the joy of it being effort free: no feigned look of surprise as I open Auntie Vera’s rose body lotion again.
No biting my lip to avoid another sibling squabble. I don’t have to dress up in a sparkly party frock, or concoct an exit plan as everyone is getting drunk. I am accountable to no one.
…I will end the day slouched on the sofa eating slabs of dark chocolate and watching my favourite black and white films.
It’s only 24 hours of my life, and there will so many more Christmases to look forward to.
— end excerpts —
(Update: it’s a very short article. You can read the whole thing (Link), here via the Wayback Machine)
By the same author, written a few years ago: