Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Secret of Happiness for a Sad Single Lass; (1)THIS GIRL'S LIFE (2)Life & Style

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Secret of Happiness for a Sad Single Lass; (1)THIS GIRL'S LIFE (2)Life & Style

Article excerpt


I AM depressed. My council tax is going up by more than 22 per cent.

The man I had made my project has turned out to be the worst kind of confirmed bachelor. I cannot find the energy to put the laundry mountain into the washing machine. My brother is going to Australia, and I am jealous.

Plus, everyone is vehemently pro or anti war at the moment, which makes me feel dumb because, frankly, I just don't know.

Am I stupid, too? An ex just took me out for dinner to tell me he's getting married.

While I don't care about his nuptials, it hurt to be patronised as if I were some fragile Bridget Jones-alike, desperate to force my large posterior into a corseted cloud of tulle.

In addition to all this, my "single girl's family", that support structure of friends who listen to my moaning and accompany me on mad nights out, suddenly feels brittle and insecure.

One of my best friends is angry with me, and the rest are either in love or nursing cracked nipples and parental exhaustion. I know it's just bigcity paranoia, but that does not stop me sitting on the edge of my bed cuddling a moth-eaten teddy and letting the tears dribble on to my knees. Oh look, there's a ladder in my tights. Great.

The erstwhile footloose and fancy-free woman does sometimes feel grubbily "single". It never lasts long, though, as I am generally a happy idiot. But while it grabs hold of me, I must lean on the loathsome clichs designed to distract the singleton from her sometime loneliness: shopping, pampering, girly suppers, wine and a good argument with my mother.

Except that she is away with her loyal girlfriends on a gardening course and only has time for a cursory chat, which does not allow enough time for even a minor squabble to build up, let alone a full-blown argument.

So, with every friend either lactating or sulking, drinking alone is the only option. But one glass of St Emilion and I have a headache.

I try to think of some self-improving course or pampering treatment to enjoy. …

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