So apparently I’ve reached that point in my life where, when I catch up with friends, all anyone wants to ask me is whether I’m seeing someone. I’m not sure if it’s my clitoris or my heart that people are most concerned with, but either way they aren’t concerned with any other achievement in my life. Correction – any actual achievement in my life. All they want to know is if I’m attached, and if I’m not, then why not?
“But you’re so pretty/funny/smart/successful/blah blah blah”…who cares? It’s all irrelevant if what you’ve got isn’t what’s on demand.
It’s weird. I guess I hit ‘married with children age’ a while ago, although I never really felt it happen. But suddenly I’m the single friend, and everyone wants to see me paired up. People look out for me, they feel sorry for me. They want to ‘see me happy’ as I keep getting told. For some reason, we’ve worked out that it’s not polite to ask if a woman is pregnant, but to put someone in a position of analysing their desirability is still okay. The reality is I’ve been dumped more times than a Channel Ten newsreader, and while I’d be kidding myself to say it didn’t hurt like hell to feel that I’ve never been worth holding on to, for the most part it’s not a big deal. I get that I’m a bit left of centre and most of the time I can handle that. My mother let me off the hook a long time ago when she told me that not everyone was meant to fly accompanied. I remember at the time feeling so much calmer with that thought. Shame the rest of the world didn’t get the memo.
Not that I don’t fall in love. I do, though rarely with the appropriate target. I seldom find people who spark my curiosity anyway, so it doesn’t often matter.
And then today someone commented on how many times my position as girlfriend has been made redundant, and I thought to myself “fuck this” – I may be single and live alone, at risk of becoming the crazy cat lady my brothers always said I’d be (bollocks to that, I’m a dog person), but without the knock downs I wouldn’t know I can get back up again…and I wouldn’t have such an extensive music collection. And sure, there are days where having to face another partnered friend and their well-intentioned questioning is just too hard. But it is the way it is.
So screw it. I might have a worse batting average than…um…some shit cricket player (I don’t know names)…but I have learned a lot from every single one of those relationships. They might not be good for a back massage any longer (actually none of them ever were), but these are the things I have accumulated along the way…
The world’s best taco recipe
Learning to use my mirrors when I’m reverse parking
Champagne at midnight
Knowing that Calvin Klein men’s boxers are the most comfortable sleepwear ever
Bright red lipstick
Midnight in Paris
How to walk in super high heels
How to pitch a tent
The rules of AFL
How to order caviar
How to use a strap on (sorry mum and dad)
How to ride pillion on a motorbike
The best way to eat oysters
The best Vietnamese in Sydney
How to apply a smoky eye
How to cook a lamb roast
Friends (not the exes – ugh – but the people around them have almost always been worth it)
A million other little things that have made me who I am
I realise that most of these aren’t particularly exciting. But sing ‘em to the tune of Willie Nelson’s To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, and you may just be on to a winner.
Alternatively, skull a bottle of red and cry yourself to sleep. It’ll all be okay tomorrow…
2 thoughts on “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before”
I am loving your words Carrie. I could read you forever. This piece is so entertaining and honest, like most of your work. I have also just read your story “For Iris”. I am devastated for her and could feel your pain too. What an incredible friend you are. xx
Oh thank you Leigh! In fairness, Iris is the best friend a girl could ever have xx