Lilac and Lime

Contrasts in colour, contrasts in life – Mary Bruce

Without further I-do

Writing on particularly personal matters requires great tact. While I’m more than capable of laughing at myself and my friends generally share this trait, the last thing I would like to do is hurt anyone’s feelings if they thought I was laughing *at* them rather than *with* them. For this reason this particular narrative may happen in sections as I become overwhelmed by discretion and sensibility. Heaven forbid. Right now I am itching to write and hope only to let you laugh with me and an anonymous character or two.

Recently I have been subjected to such realistic dreams that I have woken exhausted. Annoying, but I also get bored when I go for months on end without recalling a single dream. Not many of the chapters in my current tome of dreams come to mind in the morning but I’ve reconciled myself to awakening exhausted and entertained.

Counting sheep has always struck me as a backward ploy ; for one thing, if I really wanted to count sheep I wouldn’t lie down to do it. Also, my night vision is pretty good but I wouldn’t choose to audit livestock by moonlight. Therefore a couple of nights ago I found myself engaged in calculations of a nature infinitely more likely to encourage somnolence. It seems that at the end of March (next month) I will have bee
n divorced for about the same period of time I was married : three and a half months short of fifteen years.

There is a tiny fraction of a braincell that finds this interesting but the calculation along with recent developments in my personal life have led to a wee bit of introspection. There seem to be many people who come out of a broken relationship and want to immediately immerse themselves in another. This I cannot criticise as I did exactly that after the divorce and the consequences hurt more badly than I’d have believed possible. This is not a bad thing however as it brought home to me the advantages of being truly independent.

Since entering the post-marital state in 1997, I have been involved in four-and-a-half relationships. The last three I have ended which does concern me, but being dishonest leads to inevitable disaster. There have been a couple of ‘implied’ relationships, hence the fraction.

Going to a movie or eating out on my own really worries me not at all. It has of course lead to me sitting next to a total stranger hooting like a hyena during The Full Monty. That observation is obviously based on speculation as I’ve never actually compared the soundbytes. One particularly disastrous ‘date’ meal still has the ability to send me off into peals of laughter but details will have to wait for a later, um, date : my daughter was present and does not share my hilarity, and the male portion of the diners present at the table does know about the Internet.

As a teenager I’d enjoyed numerous penfriendships, largely with friends I’d known in Pietermaritzburg who moved further afield, but a couple had been struck up on paper and remained powered by 3c and later 4c stamps. Four years ago I decided to make some new penfriendships and, for better or worse, joined an online site to do so. One could choose the category of ‘friendship’ one hoped to make and I most certainly wasn’t interested in dating a stranger. The encounters in that forum could populate a number of posts but it was disconcerting to find how many people don’t understand “I’m not looking for a romantic relationship”.

As it happened, one of the friendships I made did lead to a more serious relationship and we remain the best of friends to this day. The aspect that leaves me feeling more relieved than apprehensive is that I am truly happy as I am. This seems to mystify a lot of people but it’s a wonderful way to be. When asked, I simply say I may remarry if it ever feels inevitable. If not, what’s not to love?


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