Today is Galentine's Day, that beautiful holiday created by Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope to celebrate lady friendships. I love Galentine's Day. I love how it has seeped into our culture. This year, I even found Galentine's Day cards at Target. Hooray for Galentine's Day! It's something I've celebrated for a long time but did not have a name until Leslie Knope came along (and thank God she did!).
I've been single more or less my whole life. I've lived alone (without a human roommate) for 12 years. At this point, it's genuinely hard to imagine how I would ever share my space with another human being. I feel like I would be smothered. I've come to cherish my time alone. Recently, I spent a long weekend in Texas for a friend's Bachelorette party. All except one night was spent sharing my sleeping space with at least one other person. That was less than ideal for me. I know I'm a snorer. It took me a long time to figure this out because, you know, there's no one around to complain to me about it. However, now that I know, I am keenly aware of it when someone else is also trying to sleep. I like to wait until they're asleep before I fall asleep. That's just courtesy. I also have trouble falling asleep anyway. When someone else is around, I have an especially hard time with it. So, I returned from the Bachelorette weekend feeling sick and very grumpy.
The wedding that matches that Bachelorette weekend is coming up in a couple of weeks. Realizing that I need space to decompress and to fall asleep without worrying about someone else in my space, I had to tell my travel mates that I need my own room for this trip. They were very kind and understanding.
When you're a single, childless woman who is nearly 40, you don't always have a space in society: I don't have a plus-one to ask to any weddings or formal events, I don't have kids to help me make Mom friends. I'm not really complaining. Truly, I value my time to myself and while I do struggle with making new friends and getting out into society, I'm mostly fine with being single. I decided a long time ago that kids aren't for me. It's just a position that doesn't necessarily have a lot of peers.
So, I'm glad for Galentine's Day. I'm thrilled about a solo hotel room. I'm relieved no one has been around to mess up my board game organization system. Maybe some day I'll be ready to make room for someone else in my life. If that day doesn't come, though, I think I'll be OK with that, too. Just, you know, maybe invite me over to your place for Christmas dinner?
UPDATE: This is an interesting article about loneliness and single women that I found pretty fascinating.