“There are blessings in being single,” my married friends would tell me. That is true, but a person still processing grief cannot possibly imagine what they might be.
For me and many single adults, two of the loneliness times of the week are Friday night and Sunday afternoon. I guess Friday night because it’s the end of the work week and my husband and I always used to begin the weekend with supper out and a recap of the week and a plan for Saturday and Sunday. It was a relaxing, casual night, just a nice end to a long week.
Doing this alone did not seem like a blessing.
One of my worst attempts at a Friday night recap supper was shortly after my husband’s death when I finally got up the nerve to go to the little family style restaurant that he and I had frequented. Now, as a single diner, they treated me like a steerage class passenger on a tramp steamer. It was so bad, I got up and left without eating.
I found myself at another restaurant a half mile up the street where they actually seemed pleased to accept me as I was—alone. This whole experience was the impetus for my novel Party of One.
(Hey, maybe that was the blessing?)
Then there’s Sunday afternoon. You’re leaving church, and all you see are the many family units leaving together as you walk to your car alone. You imagine that they’re all heading home to a Norman Rockwellian dinner and fun family time.
It doesn’t even matter that the mother might be thinking I have no idea what I’m going to fix for dinner. I wish I could have just a little time for myself. Or if the Dad can’t wait to get to the TV to watch the game. And the kids are wishing they could have slept in and are dreading spending the rest of the day with their parents when they could be with their friends at the mall or in their room texting friends and playing video games.
Whatever they’re thinking, all you see is that they are not doing it ALONE.