Out Of Date(s)?

cheeseI discovered an old block of Parmesan in my fridge the other day.

It was well past it’s sell-by date and had been sadly neglected and forgotten about, but I sliced the edges off, grated it and it was just fine. Perfect.

As I was sprinkling it over my pasta, I realised, I am this Parmesan.

Before you think I truly am suffering from an extreme case of Empty Nest Syndrome now The Teenager is at University and my only companion at home is my cat (and my plants), bear with …

Back in 2012, soon after my diagnosis of MS, I lost:

  • My partner (he scarpered, sharpish)
  • My job (bullied, then forced out)
  • My health (left the building)
  • My envisaged future (dashed)
  • Hope (lol)

Now in 2017, I have:

  • A brilliant job
  • Despite MS, decent health and access to treatment
  • A brighter future (I think)
  • A whole lot of hope

Excellent. But this is where the Parmesan comes in. I am still partner-less; I am that forgotten-about block of cheese in the back of the fridge. Whilst the milk and sweet chilli sauce may have regular outings, I never go anywhere.

And, sticking with my very dodgy analogy, with a bit of sprucing up, maybe I should rediscover myself and find the True Me lurking just beneath the surface. Sure, I may be a bit battered and bruised from experiences over the last five years, but with a bit of help, who knows?

Part of me hasn’t looked for a partner, focusing instead on the more pressing matters of giving The Teenager as normal a life as possible, winning a workplace discrimination case and sorting out MS treatment. It didn’t leave much room for anyone else. Plus, I was in the middle of an MS Pity-Party For One, which wasn’t pretty.

Well, now The Teenager is having a ball at Uni (latest text, ‘Being an adult is weird, but am getting used to it‘), my job is sorted and I’m facing the future filled with hope, a teeny-tiny bit of space is being carved out.

Then the Fear Factor kicks in. I simply can’t date because:

  • The cat wouldn’t like it
  • I don’t own any ‘dating clothes’ and I can’t wear heels
  • Ditto dresses. Outside of my job (building-site clothes), I wear jeans
  • When do you bring up MS?
  • The last time I dated, the iPod hadn’t been invented
  • I could suddenly get foot-drop and splatter myself across the floor

So you can see the dilemma I’m in. It would be kind of nice to have a partner-in-crime; someone who didn’t mind the jeans, the cat … the MS. Then again, it would be nice to wear heels again, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

I often wonder if I am subconsciously preparing myself for eternal singledom. I cut out holiday adverts from companies with names like, ‘Only The One’ and ‘Just You’ (no single supplement, no pressure). I am taking an unhealthy interest in talking to my plants. I automatically divide recipe ingredients by four.

As we approach the season of unbridled smugness, i.e. Christmas With a Loved One, spare a thought for little old me, pruning my Poinsettia and signing Christmas cards from me and – you guessed it – the cat.

Sad, much?

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14 thoughts on “Out Of Date(s)?

  1. Annie says:

    “There is a lid for every pot” so get out there? Last I heard flats were the new ? as for being scary I can imagine it would be, but so exciting as well. And just think of all your followers …. we’d all love a few dating tales or maybe even a love story. The right person would be lucky to date you ?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s so sweet of you!! 🙂
      Maybe I should make it a condition of any date I find (not sure where yet), that they allow me to write about them.
      I’d love to be able to report some good news …

      • Annie says:

        Go for it! And as for the MS try not to worry about that, everyone over a certain age has a sack full of baggage of some description! I think if we sat round a table with 10 other people and they all laid their “stuff” on the table… we might be happy to have our baggage rather than theirs… so your date will have “stuff” too, unless of course you’re going for a toy boy ? Get me lol sounding like a wannabe agony aunt ? Happy Friday x

        • stumbling in flats says:

          That’s so true – I didn’t really think of it in that way before, age-wise/baggage-wise.
          As for a toy boy!! Funnily enough, there is a bar down the road from me that has become a magnet for cougars. They’re all gorgeous, but wear tight dresses and have big hair, two things I certainly don’t have!
          p.s. I think you’re pretty good as an agony aunt!

  2. Karen Schlotter says:

    I find myself in the same boat. Not going to internet date and I’ve dated all my friends’ friends. Even if I were to meet someone, how, exactly do you explain MS? When do you explain MS and even though I know I’m being a cynic, who wants to take this shitshow on??? Having said all of that, I’m still hopeful, and I’m glad that you are, too. I’ve learned that nothing turns out the way I thought it would so I guess that means that anything can happen. GOOD THINGS can happen, we just need to be willing to open the door. Or maybe just the window (I’m a born cynic so I’m trying)!!! As always, Stumbling, you remind me that I’m not alone, and make me laugh while doing so ?.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Always good to have a laugh, despite everything!!
      Yup, The MS Question is such a nightmare. To raise it straight off is a bit like saying, ‘I wanna get married’ on a first date? Mind you, someone once told me that it’s a good way to sort the men from the boys – if they stick around, they’re good ‘uns.
      Here’s to opening windows!!

  3. Liz says:

    If you want it that way, B., but we both know we’re both better, and somewhat worth a lot more than that!…., for all our sons sakes?, L

  4. Kiran Narang says:

    I do enjoy your writing! I don’t contribute very often but I look forward to you sharing your thoughts. I, as many others have the relief of knowing it isn’t ‘just me’ and that alone makes that circle of isolation just that little bit smaller. I’m lucky – I have a wonderful, supportive partner, but sometimes it’s almost lonelier experiencing the MS when surrounded by others. Thank you x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you so much!
      MS can be really isolating, and like you say, even if you have a partner. That’s why this blog is so great, it really does make me feel less ‘on my own’ 🙂

  5. Thinking about it and writing about it won’t make it happen. Lets hear some stories of you going out and meeting people.

    Yup give it anonymity but you have got to dive into the pool where you are meeting other people. Can’t wait to hear the stories.

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