I find myself on one side of a window looking in at so many people I know and love. They are with their boyfriends, fiances, and husbands. They make breakfast or coffee for each other. One of them rushes off to work calling farewell, perhaps mentioning something about dinner or a phone call that will take place later that day, during a lunch break or the ride home. The other is making the bed or is only a few seconds behind the other, finding themselves in just the right place for a quick kiss goodbye and time to call, "love you," as the door closes and their partner rushes down the hall, out the door, or down the steps.
I keep wondering what it is I have to learn. What life lesson am I missing? Where do I go and what do I have to do to earn the merit badge that okays me for that stage of life. I don't mean the dating stage. I have done the dating stage. I have thought I had the one. I am, in retrospect, glad I was wrong about them. Yes, them. Serial monogamist at your service. And I am tired of thinking about the one, hoping he's the one. I am ready for a new stage. The last first kiss, I know he's the one, no more heart broken loneliness, tears streaming down my cheeks forgetting to say yes because I'm so happy this is finally it stage. The stage in which so many of my friends find themselves. When I finally get to that stage, and I am past the place where I doubtfully pout that it will literally never happen, I imagine a light, invisible to all those who are not ethereal, above my head changing from red or perhaps yellow to green. I imagine those angelic beings pressing tips of fingers to ears, like they do in spy movies, like Sidney Bristo in "Alias," intently listening to the instructions of their commander. Then they signal to each other with complicated special opps sign language that I have been cleared. Send in the one their signals say.
Most of the time I am not upset by this loneliness. In fact loneliness is rarely what it feels like. Most frequently it is just where I am. And I like where I am. Mostly. My own room, apartment, or even house would be nice. Maybe I would have a cat, definitely not a fish. I have the freedom to, mostly, do what I want when I want. Today I relaxed. I spent a good 90 minutes making lunch, slowly simmering my tomato sauce until it was just sweet enough for the pasta over which it was poured. I read a magazine. My friend came over and we went for a walk on the beach. We talked about singleness, actually. We talked about being so happy for our friends and the success of their different relationships. And we talked about the bitterness that occasionally creeps in, and how much we dislike those moments. I am not certain who said it, but I entirely agree that comparison is the thief of all joy.
Perhaps instead of waiting for the green light and secret agent type angels with special hand signals, I just want to be content with this place. This time I am in now. Not just content. Hopefully content. Genuinely satisfied with where I am, while hoping, but not longing, for the future. A time when a relatively unplanned, but absolutely perfect roadtrip requires the consideration of more than my schedule. When we have plans for the weekend. When my close friends are not the only ones with a distinct ringtone. When I can cuddle with more than a blanket on a rainy day. When rather than looking through a window into coupledom, I am on the other side making the bed, or hurrying out the door.