The land of plenty

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When I was at the doctor the other day to get yet another scan of my ovaries (which seem to be forever protesting that they have been producing eggs for 25 years to no avail actually no wonder they are pissed off), my doctor rather nonchalantly asked me how my love life was going. He has known me for years and has graciously listened to my many fears – some real, the majority imagined – over that time.

Well, I said, I haven’t had sex for so long I think that my hymen may have re-grown. Now it might seem odd that I joke about my hymen with my doctor, but I’ve had some very interesting conversations with this medico since I darkened his door with my plethora of imagined illnesses many years ago.

He is also a very cool dude. In fact, he often recites the many warnings associated with taking the pill in rapid-fire rap-form whenever I have to get a new script from him. Although, my previous comment about my utter lack of any action whatsoever makes me realise that continuing to take the pill is, at best, wishful thinking and, at worst, rather delusional.

Anyway, my comment about regenerating body parts made him laugh, but he did point out that it was also medically impossible. What about Bob, he asked me. Bob? Who’s Bob? Are you going to set me up with one of your medical mates who’s name happens to be Bob, I asked wishfully. No, he said deadpan, B.O.B – Battery Operated Boyfriend.

Oh excellent, I said. Is that what my life has come too? Maybe the statistics about over 40s are true? I’m destined for a lifetime of sexy nights in bed with a “boyfriend” who hums and buzzes, rather than one who whispers sweet nothings in my ear, or one who can speak at all for that matter.

No, I said to my doctor’s naively helpful suggestion. I am not going to purchase a B.O.B. That seems rather defeatist if you ask me and I have always considered myself a (sometimes-misguided) optimist. Nope, I said, I have a much better plan. A very cunning plan. I have purchased a flight to Christchurch.

My doctor was a bit taken aback. As expected in all fairness. Christchurch, he asked. Yes, Christchurch, I said. My hometown, the place that I fled nearly 20 years ago, has four men to every woman. It’s turned into the Land of Plenty. Hallelujah!

You see, two years on from the Christchurch earthquake, the influx of tradesmen into the city means the blokes are vastly outnumbering the ladies. In fact, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism are so proud of their man flood they have seemingly issued a press release “calling all the single ladies to come and visit their city. I am happy to report I will be heeding their call in under six weeks’ time after my baby brother lent me the money to buy my airfare (this was due to a very unfortunate set of financial circumstances and an airline special that really was too good to pass up).

Discussing such a wondrous statistic with one of my Christchurch-based girlfriends the other day, she indicated that in reality the numbers were probably more like six to one in favour of the fairer sex. I bloody love those odds. If I was a betting woman, I would even back myself.

Who would ever have thought that a trip to Christchurch was better than a vibrator? Not me, but I’m more than happy to do my part for improved Trans-Tasman relations – sans batteries thanks very much.

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The space beside

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I woke up on the other side of the bed on Sunday morning. This was not because I was so drunk the night before I didn’t remember which side of the bed I usually sleep on. No, I fear it was because I have become comfortable. So comfortable in single life that I now sleep on whatever side of the bed I want too. This is a new development. And it is a worry.

In the nearly three years that I have been mainly single – which means sans a serious relationship that  involves regular sleepovers at both party’s abodes – I have religiously stuck to “my side” of the bed, even though there is no one in the space beside me.

I sleep on the left-side of the bed (that is, if you are standing at the foot of the bed and looking at the bed – which would be very creepy if I was to catch you doing so while I was sleeping). I don’t know why I sleep on this side. I just tried to do some research on this very important social phenomenon and some people say that women sleep on the side that is farthest from the door, which in my case is true.

Perhaps this is so the big, bold, strong man who is guaranteed to be beside you can protect you from intruders or for those of us who regularly sleep alone, it gives you enough time to grab the baseball bat that is surreptitiously hidden under the bed to smash them over the head with it.

When I woke up on the right-hand side of the bed on Sunday morning I must admit I was momentarily confused – which is not the first time such a turn of events has happened to me on a Sunday morning. I looked around and the room looked very different. The dimensions were all wrong. The wardrobe was too close and the curtains were too far away. My first reaction was to smile. I was kind of happy that I had finally crossed a divide where I had obviously been waiting for someone to fill the space beside me.

But as the day wore on, I became more uneasy. I no longer felt joyous about writhing alone on the wrong side of the bed. No, I felt the fear. The fear that I had resigned myself to a single life so wholeheartedly that I no longer needed to keep that special space available for a man who I can love.

That side of the bed has been empty since May last year. If I’d known then that it was the last time that the man who’d captured more than my attention would ever sleep in it, maybe I would never have let him leave. Or maybe I wouldn’t have pushed, knowing that he would push back. Or perhaps I would have learnt earlier that he had nothing left to give. And that was not enough for me. I think he always knew that.

I know that I am not afraid of my bed being empty, but I am not going to get used to it being so either. Stuff that. So after six months of no dating and of pretending I don’t need love, I declare that I am ready. I am back on the market. I am a fucken catch. Possible suitors will preferably have their own teeth (and not mind that I will soon have braces on mine), have a job, and also a massive, stimulating intellect. Those interested can apply within.

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This is 40

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I think I am coping with being a single lady in her 40s remarkably well. In fact, in the eight weeks since that monumental occasion I have not changed one single thing about my life. Well, apart from developing body dysmorphia (see image above – that’s not actually me but that’s how I think I look now) and the following:

  • I have dyed my hair red and had my eyebrows tinted (the last one possibly to cover the white ones which sometimes sprout like untamed pieces of wire all over my forehead);
  • Begun laser hair removal on a part of my anatomy which I will leave to your very vivid imaginations;
  • Started a 12-week body transformation program which involves eating small portions of forest and even smaller portions of birdseed;
  • Enrolled in a writing course through NIDA (that starts next week – yeah!) which I’m sure will result in me being headhunted as the most promising undiscovered scriptwriter in Australasian history;
  • Realised I haven’t had a date for nine months, let alone anything else which may result in progeny of any description over the same timeframe. Indeed I have become a 40-year-old virgin;
  • Stopped drinking wine – forever – after an unfortunate incident involving me, a swing chair, and a parquetry floor colliding in quite spectacular fashion on Christmas Day. Classy, very classy;
  • Watched so many movies to alleviate the boredom of being sober, single and 40 that I have started to speak in well-scripted sentences jam-packed with meaning, purpose and metaphorical brilliance;
  • Joined an online dating program, which in four weeks has resulted in absolutely nothing apart from a few “ice-breakers” sent from overweight men in their 50s who think that a slim lady in her 40s is quite a catch. Alas I do not have the same opinion about them; and
  • Decided to live 2013 with courage.

That last bit comes from one of the dozens of movies I have watched of late which, while no Oscar winner, included the line that: It only takes 20 seconds of courage to change your life.

Hearing such a platitude would normally make me scoff, but this time maybe it’s the boredom, or the loneliness or perhaps my penchant for badly-scripted rom-coms it was akin to being given the 10 commandments from Moses, or so I’ve heard.

Twenty seconds of courage. Whether it is having the balls to speak to someone who you think is out of your league; or asking your boss for a pay-rise or a week off to go to a NIDA course that has absolutely nothing to do with your job; or deciding to try to get your book published one last time. Twenty seconds can indeed change your life.

So, while 2013, appears to be a year of transformation of the body for me (I told you I was coping with being 40 extremely well) it is also the year where I will have more courage. I will say yes more often when I’m asked to an event, instead of hibernating in the fabulousness that is my riverfront apartment, because you never know who might be there. I will also have more courage and belief in myself and my writing, because if I don’t no one else ever will.

And I will have the courage to smile back when (and if) a handsome man smiles at me, walk up to him and politely ask: I don’t suppose you fancy a root?

© Rinderart | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos