I still remember the stunned expression on my colleague’s face, 10 years ago, when I mentioned that my idea of the ideal marriage is one in which the spouses live in different cities and meet once a month instead of every day.
I don’t understand why she was so shocked. Maybe she didn’t have a sense of humour. Or maybe she knew, though that was an offhand remark made with a smile, that I was serious.
Because I was serious. I thought that then, when I was 28 and happily single (though for all I knew, I might have come over all broody by the time I hit 33). And I still think that now, when I’m 38, gloriously single and aware that I’ll never come over all broody. Because I have never been able to imagine anything worse than sharing my home with another person.
So I feel a bit of a fraud writing this piece. I have no heartburn to share about the lack of good, available men – I wouldn’t want one even if he were given away free with a kilo of Darjeeling tea. And I have no horror stories to relate about the men my parents dredged up for me when I hit 30.
Because they’ve always known what I know. I’m a loner and selfish and happy that way, which makes me definitely not cut out for marriage. Their half-hearted attempt to find me a husband was because they worried about who’d be there for me when they go, not because I should be married.
I’m slightly worried by that myself. When I was in my twenties, all my friends were single, so I never felt alone.
Now, all but two are married. I still don’t feel alone, but I don’t come first with them anymore. They’ll be there when I need them, but I won’t be a priority.
But that’s not enough to make me search for a husband. I never want anyone but me in my house. All I hope is, when I’m 65, there’ll be a nice single person next door.