I 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.