“You know why, you’re still single?” a friend’s mom asked him angrily. “It’s because you’re closest pals are single and no one wants to end this party” we laughed out loud..yet amongst the gang I know all of us said a silent prayer and thanked god for having each other.
The gang began with about seven of us who were in our twenties and full of dreams and ambitions. About ten to twelve years later we are about ten of us, with a few from the orginal days. What our gang has is the fact that we are all single and our support system. Sure, we love our married and hitched friends. Yet there is some hesitation that has crept in. Both sides try to deny it. Yet that smug married vibe has set in. And I for sure can sense jealousy too!
For me, it was tough when about five years ago, I wanted in...again. From being a single who was loving it, I suddenly crossed over. Got married, moved cities, changed worlds and thought this was life. My single pals kept teasing me on how I had done a volte face yet I knew they loved me all the same. I did not make time for any friends or family for that matter caught up as I was in creating the perfect marriage.
It went kaput. The house of fog came crashing down. I was woken up with a jolt and all I felt like doing was curling up and going back to sleep. I moved back to my city. Family and friends held me together and almost protected me like I was made of glass. Actually put me back together.
The way parents saw the situation, the way siblings wanted me to be, the take married pals had, it all made sense. Yet what the gang said rang even more true. They were home. They had accepted me back as one of them, I didn’t feel like I was at a half way home. Didn’t have to laugh at couple’s ribbing each other or get ecstatic when a four year old learnt how to say balloon.
I could just vegetate on the couch all day at my artistic pal’s place and know that she would go out and have a good time if I insisted I just wanted to watch tv at her place alone.
My crabby banker buddy who just asked no questions but would land up at the crack of dawn to make sure I went for a run with him. I didn’t have a choice. He never asked me what went wrong and yet knew the answers. My physical and fiscal health was what he took over.
The dadima of the group who had been through hell in her marriage, quietly started nourishing my soul. We just did the things we did before I moved. At first it seemed a bit forced but she just wouldn’t let me brood. It was so endearing this act that neither of us dared to stop the charade.
Then there was the intense brooding pal who never had been a favourite. The truth be told, I had a crush on him and he was the confirmed bachelor. Yet once I was back the unspoken equation we built was comforting. He just bailed me out of situations and conversations that were uncomfortable, with uncanny precision. Without expectations and the complications of sex, here was yet another space that helped the healing. Just a late night drive on a monsoon night with this gang worked so much more than any therapists’ session.
In about a year, my well meaning siblings and smug married pals were trying to get me hitched again. I came back from those evenings feeling like I was being stubborn and unreasonable. So I went on a couple of dates. Most of us in the gang dated. Yet when someone gets serious, it’s stock taking time. So it happened in my case too. Like S the banker says, since each of us is the other’s mom, dad, sister, brother, shrink, banker and confession box. So we have to know what we are going to be dealing with. Am sure it can be daunting for a new comer. All that scrutiny and checking out. Yet it’s fun. So when after a couple of times, we all realised that the guy was just not comfortable in his skin, “we” decided it was time to bid adieu.
It’s been almost five years now. Together we have made it...for all of us. I have my own home, a job I love and the guts to dream again. That’s a lot. We all have to be there for each there and that’s a commitment this amazing group of people has. It’s never easy yet this is one roller coaster ride nobody wants to get off! Someday we will all grow old together. In a commune, by the beach. Single, Successful and Senile....