Man Up!

I try very hard, daily, not to be depressed about my sucky life. Single, not quite in the job I thought I’d be in, living in a house share, did I mention single?

So today being payday, I thought I’d treat myself to the life I want. I slept in, I went shopping, I treated myself to lunch, I went out bowling with friends and their kids… and that’s pretty much where the day took a u-turn. I knew I’d be kind of an 8th wheel… I was out with two bona fide families. I’m not suggesting they have their lives perfectly in order – who does? But when each parent had their kids draped over them? Well, let’s just say all my friends are in very different places in their lives than I am.

That list is haunting me again: marital status, job, living arrangement… have I ticked any of my own goal boxes?

They lift shared together and there’s no room for me in the car – which again, is fine. The weather is nice, and that lunch I treated myself to? Well, I pigged out. Could do with the walk. But I decide, when I get home, to head back out again. I’m not done with having a treat day for myself. New Brit-flick ‘Man Up’ is out today, and I was kind of eager to see it. I’ve never shied away from heading out to the cinema on my own, but I’m very aware that I’m the only singleton in that screen. Oh well.

Marital status, job, living arrangement.

Immediately I can identify with Lake Bell’s character… she is single and very aware of it. Set up on blind date after blind date. Can’t say my friends are pitying me that much, but I do know that certain members of my church are praying for me to find someone. It kind of makes me feel a little self pitying. But hey, Lake Bell is 34 and quirky (a word I have heard used to describe me) and finds love in Simon Pegg’s emotionally dysfunctional 40 year old divorcé. By accident. I can hold out for this.

Marital status, job, living arrangement.

“How on earth does she meet him by accident?!” I can hear you exclaim to your computer/phone/tablet (delete as appropriate). She meets a girl on the train who is bound for a blind date – they’ll know each other by carrying a certain self-help book. Lake Bell scoffs at it, and ends up sleeping on the train. When she wakes up at her final destination, the girl has left the book with the bookmark in the ‘Negative thoughts are ruining your life’ chapter. She then goes to buy another book in time to meet her blind date, but Lake Bell chases her off the train, book in hand to return to her… except she meets this girl’s blind date first. Instead of telling him what’s happened, she pretends to be his blind date: a 24 year old, triathlete who works in the city. Of course, he eventually finds out and feels betrayed, but it doesn’t end there. A modern love story, but the ending is a little overdone.

Marital status, job, living arrangement.

As I leave and look around the foyer of the cinema – now an absolute mess, the toilets… well, the less said about them the better and just generally the atmosphere of something used… and not for something pleasant. The drive home through Friday Night Cardiff – stuck behind someone who clearly doesn’t know Cardiff travelling at 10mph; swerving to miss pedestrians who, after a few drinks, decide waiting to cross the road just isn’t for them; reversing down my own street because a taxi driver has decided to set up shop in the middle of the road whilst he waits for his passengers.

Marital status, job, living arrangement.

The shiny, gleam of the day earlier is definitely somewhat tinted now. Hell, it’s totally discoloured and disfigured. I left the house this morning determined to make myself feel good about myself for a change, but I can’t change who I am. I actually, physically winced when the shop assistant told me how much the bill was in the shop. I read Harry Potter on my Kindle over lunch (I also dropped salsa on my Kindle over lunch). I gloated over being the winner at bowling. I took chocolates into the cinema, but just ate a whole pack of Mentos. I got some serious road rage at that douchebag taxi driver. I can pretend I’m something I’m not, just like Lake Bell does, but it all comes unstuck eventually.

I can focus on what I don’t have… marital status, job, living arrangement… or see the positives in that list: freedom, although the job isn’t what I imagined for myself – I’m learning a lot from it, and I move out into my own place in just over a month (sure, I can’t afford it, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it). Let’s face it… I just need to man up.

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