Sunday, 25 April 2010

Girl I didn't know you could get down like that.

Throw your hands up at me.

Since splitting up with her husband, my sister has told me that she's surprised herself with how together she has been living alone, doing things by herself and generally being independent. She said she never realised that she could enjoy being by herself in the flat, something I must admit I never thought she'd be able to do. She and I are quite similar in that respect, until recently I've never considered myself someone who could just sit and be quiet, someone who would use a night off work to just stay in and relax instead. My sister and I have always been similar in the respect that we both hated the quiet, both hated sitting still and both hated being alone.

I had a realisation that if my sister could handle all of this then there was no good reason why I couldn't do it too. So the other day I went to McDonalds post-University because I was hungry and had no one to go with. I was perfectly happy to do this, ate my chicken mayo inside then went home. I sat with my headphones in and it was just nice. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw in one of my favourite Sex And The City episodes where she goes for a glass of wine on her own at the end and it's lovely.

It seems, though, that everyone since this incident thinks it's completely tragic. People I've spoken to, my best friend, even my own mother have looked at me with pity in their eyes when I told them about it. Do I really need someone with me all the time? Perhaps you're reading this now and even you, reader of my blog, are imagining the sad scene of me sat alone in the corner of McDonalds, crying into my chicken burger and trying to avoid eye contact with the people around me. I only needed fast food, I wasn't going for a three-course dinner, I just needed some sustenance to stop me passing out on the metro home from University-- why do people think doing this on my own is so unacceptable?

At first I thought this was more boo-nobody-should-be-single patter that I furrow my brow and usually take to the blog over. But then I had a think, and I could have picked anyone to go to McDonalds with. McDonalds is not furniture shopping, I don't need a significant other to do it with. The real wonder is though, why are we so we afraid to do things by ourselves? Alanis Morissette has this song where she goes "why am I so petrified of silence?" and that is just it, what do we think will happen if we do things like going out alone?

I'm not suggesting we all start doing everything alone, walking around with horse-blinders on and never speaking to anyone until the day our lonely existences come to and end, but I think that we as a people should be more willing to do things by ourselves. We talk about independence as if all that involves is not relying on a romantic partner, but it's really so much more than that. I'm not an anti-social person, and there's no way I'd be able to go, for example, an entire day without making someone laugh or hearing gossip from someone. But if you ask me it's a sorry state of affairs if we can't do something simple like buying a pair of jeans or having a McChicken Burger without someone their to hold our collective hand.

And so, in conclusion: get a grip, folks.

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