Too Late for an Ageing Closet Romantic

I am an addict. A romance novel junkie. And nothing ‘fixes’ me up better than a Mills & Boon trashy paperback. I am also a sucker for rom-com movies. There’s something about “Sweet Home Alabama” that’s had me watch it like 50 times without being bored. And my love for all things Bollywood, from Khuddar’s tumsa koi pyara to Veer Zara’s aaya tere dar pe. If you’re having trouble connecting me to any of the above, let me put to you to ease. I covered my tracks pretty well. I never purchase the books directly. When I was (supposedly) too young to read them, I usually got them off an older cousin’s stash. Then in high school, I would take my younger brother to the supermarket (well only the bloody supermarket sold them in my small town!) and bribe him to pick up and pay for the one I wanted, for the sheer embarrassment that someone might see me buying them. This continued till such a time he no longer could be bullied. When I moved overseas, I would usually buy them in stores I’d never go again and in dire times, I would make a runner. This one time, I was in Auckland Airport waiting on a flight delay. I saw the special – “$14.99 for 3!” on the outside rack of a bookstore. I put on my hoodie, counted on exact 15 bucks, dashed through the shop, picked any 3 my hands could grab (no smart show of reading the back covers, thankyouverymuch), slammed the change on the counter and ran all the way to the other side of the terminal just so nobody could identify me! A perfect Friday evening for me, would be curled up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good Mills & Boon.

Despite my somewhat butch personality and layers of thick skin from working in the building industry, deep down I am a quiet romantic. BUT. I still can’t stand red hearts, those stupid teddy bears (like seriously, whatthefuck are those?) and $80 bouquet of flowers. Such a waste of money for something I’ll be chucking out in 3 days. (Unless of course you picked them out of your grandma’s garden – then it’s fine. But do they even make those kind these days?) I still haven’t grasped the female cooing for appropriate situations like ‘awwwww…’ I honestly have tried but every time I cocked it up by ‘awwwwing’ in wrong situations so I just don’t do it anymore. And I hate those love quotes and sayings that people constantly feel they have to share on my timeline as a decoded message to someone they’re mad at. Just spit it out, man. Oh and I do cry when I see soppy movies…just when no one’s around.

So yeah. I am a closet romantic and this is my confession. I have always, unfaltering believed in the institution of Love. I truly believe in the words of my mother that everyone was created in pairs. We all have a soul twin. Someone who’ll make you a better you. Someone who’ll just magnify your awesomeness to the power of infinity. And whatever your beliefs are, we all want to  be intimately connected to someone who just…gets us. In my short 3 decades, life’s blessed me with so many different experiences. Love hasn’t been one of them. Yet. And to be honest, it has never really bogged me down. Because somehow the quiet romantic in me knows that when the time is right, it’ll happen. Right now I’m happily single, doing some very pretty awesome things. And so it hurts when I meet an old neighbor after some 13 years and upon finding out that I’m still single, declares it is ‘too late’ for me.

“But how will I know who my Soulmate is?” Brida felt that this was one of the most important questions she had ever asked in her life.
By taking risks’ she said to Brida. ‘ By risking failure, disappointment, disillusion, but never ceasing in you search for Love. As long as you keep looking, you will triumph in the end.” – Paulo Coelho, Brida

And this is what pisses me off – When people belittle single people. Especially people who are close to you. Just because someone’s single and happy about the status quo doesn’t mean they want to be alone for ever. Yeah they might be a bit closed off at a point in time but that doesn’t mean they have no desire to meet ‘the one’. And just because you are coupled off or married, doesn’t give you the superior upper hand to look down on single people and pass your lame judgement. 6 most consistent putdowns I get these days –

  • You still haven’t found someone? Oh poor you. But you know what – you are so much better off being alone. None of these dramas….anyways I got to go – my darling hubby is cooking me dinner!” Right.
  • You are not praying enough. You must appeal to Lord Shiva. He will bless you with a husband. It’s easy – just fast and do puja for 16 Mondays in a row.” Hmmmm.
  • Your list is sooooo long. You might as well get a dog.” 😦
  • You have to learn to compromise. So what he doesn’t have a good job? He has a Green Card in America!” #facepalm
  • You have to lose some weight. Indian men don’t like big women.
  • You are not looking hard enough. Look. Looook.

A friend’s fb comment on a photo I posted sometime last year, triumphantly posing in my glory on reaching somewhere high up in mountains of Ladakh after a strenuous journey and the only snide thing she could say was that I was ‘all alone in the middle of nowhere”. Bitch. And while I could wrap this up by saying that these condescending opinions don’t really matter to me in the grand scheme of things because it really doesn’t but it is demeaning. Not only to me but to hundreds of other women who are trying to find love. Imagine telling a romantic that it’s too late? That chances of you finding love is diminished because you are now in your 30’s. Don’t you dare tell a single person that they are not looking hard enough.

Because the possibility of love lingers around every corner. We are unconsciously searching for it all the time. Be it walking into a cafe to get a latte or getting on a flight, our eyes are always seeking that one someone to connect to. Whether waiting at the traffic lights to work or trekking through the Andes, there is always this invisible tug on your heart pulling you, urging you forward, guiding you to who you’re looking for. And you know that thought ‘..the moment you stop looking….you’ll find love?’ That’s bullshit. Because you can never stop looking. It’s always there. Quietly at the back of your mind. Silently in anticipation in the pit of your stomach. In fierce hope with every beat of your heart as you carry on with life. There is nothing desperate about waiting or looking for love. It is never too late.

ps. I also believe you can have more than one soul twin. Go figure. 😉

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4 responses to “Too Late for an Ageing Closet Romantic

  1. Closeted romantic.. now that’s something I haven’t heard before 😉 A beautifully written post that many people need to read! I applaud you for knowing what you want and not getting stressed out by the societal pressures. I am sure your “the one” is lurking in the corner somewhere, you will bump into him when the time is right for sure 🙂

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  2. Oh Sharon, you know I’m 100% with u on this. I just got my latest dose of ‘why cant u give this guy a chance?’ from my parents. I feel like I’ve found my secret getaway club when I find posts like this. A lot of us want to find love before we decide to get married, but the ‘wiser’ elders say “love will happen” but how shit scary is it if it doesn’t? So very scary. My last post was on being brave and taking chances (Oh you and others wishing me well means SO much to me..I realised that I’m drawing courage from the encouragement I receive cos here at home it’s mostly just apprehension) and I feel like those girls who are able to choose their partner through arranged marriage are braver than I am for taking a chance on a guy they didn’t choose themselves. All of us our wired to make our choices differently, but some choices are going to get more flak than others. And I agree that these others should just keep their pity and judgement to themselves :/ but for now I’m your ‘new neighbor’:) and I’m saying good on you! It’s never too late. and you know who else thinks it’s ‘too late’? people who married young, popped out babies (sincere kudos to them) and now want to travel the world but cant..they think it’s ‘too late’. But you got to travel, and they didn’t. No one made a mistake, it’s just a choice made..and everything works out as long as one learns to be content in one’s circumstances. Happiness isn’t situational..and ohman I think I’m going off on a tangent here. stopping 🙂 Love the post!

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