Megghiu sula ca malaccumpagnata

This time next month, I’ll have been single for two years. And, far from being the tragic period of penance you might imagine, it’s actually been quite fun.

Obviously, the first month or two was a period of mourning, where I was most likely to be found wallowing in a pool of tissues and tears. And that wasn’t remotely fun.

But even though it was hellish at the time, in retrospect even that particularly huge cloud had a spangly silver lining: it made me realise who my friends were.

Yep, it’s a cliché, but the girlfriends who listened to my wailing and teeth-gnashing not only earned my eternal gratitude, they also went up a notch in my estimation. It takes dedication to keep turning up to coffee dates when you know you’re going home with a soggy shoulder and snot on your lapel.

Equally meritorious were the friends who kept inviting me to parties and gatherings, despite my inability to commit to anything until ten minutes before kick-off. They also discreetly ignored my habit of scurrying off to the loo, returning only to make my excuses and leave, red-eyed and sniffling.

I’m especially remorseful that I missed the hen night of one of my oldest and dearest friends. But honestly, who wants a quivering pile of emotional jelly raining on your parade when you’re involved in a day of pampering and female bonding?

(I made it to the wedding, and she was radiant. And the only tears I shed were of the traditional, wedding-related sort.)

I’m also grateful to the guy friends who could quite easily have taken sides, but who made a special effort to keep in touch and maintain an impartial demeanour. The chap who dragged himself from his bed at 8am on a Sunday morning to accompany me to the wrong side of London to collect freebie furniture – after a particularly hard night on the town – should have been given a medal.

Inevitably, a few friends fell by the wayside, but such is life. It hurt at the time, but do I miss them now? Not really. Losing your partner and half your friends is a great incentive to get out there and meet a whole lot more.

The friends I’ve made in the last couple of years are fun, vibrant and active. Sure, we’re a quirky bunch, but with this ragtag band of misfits and miscreants I’ve done wine tastings, walking weekends and trips abroad, scoffed picnics and pancakes and … umm … disgraced myself at vodka parties.

And it’s been FUN.

In fact, one the best ‘gifts’ of that crappy, crappy time was the realisation that I could never feel so bad again. As a result, I’m continually struck by how happy I am now.

Life is good, and if I find a man to share the good life with me, then so much the better. But in the meantime, I’m more than happy all by myself.

As my Sicilian mammina* would say, megghiu sula ca malaccumpagnata: better alone than in bad company. And amen to that.

*affectionate: little mother


9 thoughts on “Megghiu sula ca malaccumpagnata

  1. TreeHugger says:

    FINALLY, great words of wisdom!

    As it happens, just a few days ago I picked up an article by Liz Hoggard, the poster girl for unattached London, who has found a man, an actual grown-up and a writer too, and all that at 45!

    But it’s not the oohs and the aahs of her new existence that kept me reading. It’s the fact that lovers are still prioritised over deep friendships.

    I back her question: Why should a two-day boyfriend qualify as the ‘’plus one’’ on an invite and not a dear friend or a colleague? Why should we regret or be frowned upon for our prolonged single experience when all we have done is built a significant network of lovable likeminded people, who do not moan over our choice to spend Sunday afternoon in a 6 hour body combat workout, and who appreciate our company over a quick coffee, even if the only reason we agreed to meet them was to take yet another glimpse of that sexy barista behind the counter.

    So, should we really measure our happiness and success by the ring or should we embrace the phenomenon of the Urban Tribes*?

    *Ethan Watters, an American freelance writer, uses this term to describe single people in their 20s and 30s who do not follow the conventional middle-class life: a structured career, marriage, children. Instead, they form groups with like-minded peers, and spend the decades between early adulthood and middle age going out together, bonding and gossiping with their new extended family, earning money by freelance means, and drinking a great number of leisurely coffees.

    Now this sounds good, doesn’t it?

    • Leisurely coffees? I like the sound of that!

      Just one question…. is that “FINALLY, great words of wisdom [in this world]!” or “FINALLY, great words of wisdom [on this blog]!”??! 😉

      • TreeHugger says:

        FINALLY, an ode to the people who really matter rather than the frogs (sorry guys, I am sure you were all charming in your own way) you’ve been, intentionally or unintentionally, kissing whilst searching for that Prince Charming.

        By way, has the barista called to arrange the ‘real’ Italian meal deal?

  2. Mrs B says:

    Leave the remorse behind, it’s wasted energy, you are completely and utterly forgiven and we will undoubtedly bond another time (I’m hoping it will involve mojitos). Love from yer old friend x

  3. Wise Old Bird says:

    As someone who has been single for over twenty years after a divorce (I didn’t plan to remain single) I can only say ” Accept every invitation girl, you never know what fun/new friends/excitement/newly acquired skills await around the corner. Life is for living! Enjoy!!!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s