Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Single Swingle

There are few things that remind me I am a lonely Singleton. I am happy to accept or decline dinner invitations at the drop of a hat ( though not after Wednesdays, I am superstitious about The Rules); attend formal functions unaccompanied in the knowledge that there will be ample willing dance partners to satisfy my desire to be a dancing queen and usually buy me drinks all night; and loll about in disgustingly comfortable pyjamas for approximately 35 minutes less than the time I spend in my own home. There are a couple of things that destabilise this happy equilibrium.

Perfume. I love it. I use lots of it. Not excessive asthma-inducing quantities, but subtle, nose-lifting, impression-boosting squirts, strategically placed to waft in my wake and disguise my galloping foot odour. I loathe buying it myself.

I was spoilt at a young age. It's 10 years since I was presented with a gift of the latest, most expensive or whatevertheprettieststewardesshappenedtobeholdingatthetime bottle. My hair-dryer no longer has to jostle for position with large crystal artworks for prestige place. I do not own a dressing table. Even so, the act of going up to the gloriously-technicoloured Boots attendant finds me speaking in hushed tones, pointing rapidly and clutching the resulting carrier bag much as I imagine a methodone patient's mother might charged with her offspring's prescription.

The only other time that I have poignantly felt the wrath of singledom was as an 18-year old pregnant no-hoper at an ante-natal clinic. It was my first scan. I entered the room alone. There was nothing unusual in that as the local hospital had a policy of not allowing anyone other than the expectant mother into the consulting room while the vital measurements and screenings were being undertaken, fathers only being admitted for a viewing afterwards. The radiographer explained to me that she had some technical information to collect so couldn't give me a running commentary on my embryo's vital statistics, that would come later. I lay back for about 15 minutes and finally she turned to me and asked if I wanted to call the father in. I mumbled that there wasn't a father and that I was alone. She promptly turned the machines off and sent me on my way with a tissue to wipe the gizz off my tummy.

It floored me. It still does a little bit. Every week there seems to be a fecund secretary wafting her slate-rubbing of a scan photo under our noses ( they didn't print those off then) and I always look and make the right noises and genuinely feel pleased for her, but a small part of me also acknowledges that I missed out on that experience. I didn't get to see his tiny feet, his sucked thumb, his proud, unavoidably-masculine features . He makes up for it every day by parading around in nothing more than a smile and a Very Confident swagger. I mourn that part of a pregnancy that every mother cherishes.

There's one other small deprivement that I would not bear if I was in a relationship. It's something that is perceivably easily remediable and might possibly change my life, or mood at least, considerably. There's a store stocking the merchandise not less than 500m away from the office. Try as I might though, it is not within me to declare myself quite so singularly resigned as to buy a Vibrator!


Anonymous A.Roberson said...




3:27 am  
Blogger Dave said...

This almost had me in tears. Sorry, I expect it's the drugs. I've been feeling like a good cry all week.

8:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

at my old firm a female colleague left her holiday list on her desk. Top item was vibrator..... she had a boyfriend going with her.

8:24 am  
Blogger Cherry Rolfe said...

That 'nurse' is a disgrace. Little did she know what a wonderful mother graced her presence. If its any consolation, which I know it won't be, my scans were just a blur of hazy indistinguishable parts, more akin to something meteorlogical than human!

9:20 am  
Blogger ziggi said...

ahhh Cherry, you have a fine son, you were obviously not a no-hoper and you are the architect of your own destiny - smile - it could really be worse, just think you could be having to to put up with someone else's foot odour! :)

10:08 am  
Blogger Joyce said...

I love to think of the bravery you showed at age 18. What a lucky sod Jack is to have a mothers' pride like yours.I'm with fluttery fairy lady's comment- those ultrasound pictures are way over-rated. Not to minimize your disappointment, though.It sounds to me that swaggering real life boy is more fun to be with, and you can take all the credit, raising that boy by yourself!! Cudos.

3:34 pm  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Cherry, what everyone else said. You are courageous and sweet and a wonderful mom who has a handsome, happy, young man for a son. What else could you ask for? Besides, Cherry, vibrators are NOT reserved for resigned spinsters. Even happily married ladies have them. They are like the back-up ram in Tommy's post. Check it out.

7:46 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Dave - I think it must be the drugs

Pete - I trust she didn't pack it in her hand luggage

Ladies - thank you. You're all such wonderful mums. I'm just winging it in comparison.

12:10 am  
Blogger kj said...

cp, i plan to read this again. i want to understand the second to last paragraph.

within/without were talking about you on his blog. we both want to meet you!

i'm away for a week but i;ll be back. take care.

12:16 am  
Blogger Pamela said...

Cherry, I admire you a great deal. It's one thing to raise a child, but quite another, and infinitely more arduous to do it by yourself. You are amazing!


12:47 am  
Blogger Ces said...

Wow, this is my second visit to your blog and I am floored! You write so well. I have a lump in my throat.

Hey, go ahead and buy the perfume, online if you have to. Men don't really know how to buy perfume for women. Besides once you have settled for a perfume, for a man to buy the same bottle every month is like buying a box of detergent. I and all my married and attached women friends buy our own signature perfume and keep them in stock so we never run out of it :-) even though we accept other bottles.

3:06 am  
Anonymous A.Roberson said...



3:21 am  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

Cherrypie you never cease to amaze me. Your courage has been rewarded one hundredfold by being closer to your son Jack than most people, men or women, ever dream of...would you trade that in for a ultrasound picture sitting in some photo album?

It is amazing how jaded some health care workers can get..
they should all be vigorously scrutinized and all tedious bastards and bitches should be turfed at the getgo.

Cherry you have so much to be proud many real 'happy' marriages have you personally witnessed while raising your son..maybe a handful out of all of the people that you know...
and how many of those 'perfect' marriages dissolved one week after their kids have left home?

I hate to repeat myself but you are far too critical of yourself and most relationships aren't that great..
you seem to be completely unaware that you are such a fabulous lady. Hmmm I don't know what I am going to do with you...

Now about that vibrator don't get one that's too good because you won't even be considering sex with men after one week!

You certainly don't have to tell us about it but..
If I could have random multiple orgasms at my leisure..
(not the guy kind phffft)
C'mon I am talking full Cosmo toe curlin' lip biting whozyourdaddy ME time..Hello!

4:03 am  
Blogger Stegbeetle said...

I hope your son appreciates how lucky he is to have a mum who's charming, witty and intelligent. One good parent beats two indifferent parents any time.

On the subject of the vibrator, I say why not go for it? At least it won't insist on having football on TV, leave it's crusty socks lying around the house or, when you need some attention, it won't lay there snoring and farting like an impacted bullock!

9:30 am  
Blogger Mise said...

Well, Cherry, I'd only be repeating what everyone else has said if I were to talk about your virtues. But your son is very lucky to have had such an impressive role model as you've obviously been all his life.

As for the vibrator, a friend bought one for his wife as a Christmas stocking filler ...she ate the accompanying smarties and told him to take the vibrator back. She'd prefer chocolate and the real thing!

I dunno...I think that if I were a woman, it's the first thing I'd buy in my life or not! :-D

5:09 pm  
Blogger Melora said...

I cannot believe that nurse -- how absolutely awful!!! Not that you really missed much, as both my kids looked like lima beans and,later, aliens in their ultra sound photos, but that was no way to treat a young girl who was doing her best for her unborn child.

I see your point about the perfume. I couldn't bring myself to spend as much as the kind of perfume I like costs on a frivolity (these days, that is -- in my 20's I did it quite cheerfully). Fortunately, my darling mom keeps me stocked. Ed once bought me perfume that he selected, and it is still a bit of a sore point. I hate it, and whenever I wear perfume he asks "Is that the perfume I gave you?" Ha!

1:41 am  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

You have a wonderful talent for snuffing any glib comment I could make on your posts. If I did that after reading this post, I'd definitely deserve to be cleaved in two by a lightning bolt.

You've done good Cherry. Really good.

2:20 am  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

Singledom has a lot to be said for it, but then so does being in a relationship. I know that in my case I'm just never satisfied with what I have because there's always something that belongs to the other lifestyle that I miss. I suppose I'm just greedy.

The worse part about having my son 28 years ago was the lonliness. Like you, there was no father around, and I was treated more like a piece of meat than a human being in the delivery room. A 17 year old who was pregnant without a father around wasn't popular back then! I was in hospital for 10 days after the birth and while the other mothers could have their babies by their beds, I was only allowed to have mine with me when a nurse or my mum was present. Thank God things have changed.

2:20 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Cherry babe, stick two fingers up at the bastards and tell them you've raised your son and he's a good bloke, so stuff you all.

10:20 pm  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Here in America it's one finger, the middle one.

7:58 pm  

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