Being single can be a pain any time of the year, but the winter holidays drive the point home a little bit harder than one might care to experience. All the cocktail dresses, sparkling jewelry, and cute shoes are for sale to those who have reason to wear them.
There's a necklace I would love to have, sitting in the display case of the T.J. Maxx in the town where my ex is living with the woman for whom he left me. I could buy it, but I have no need for it. The black-tie circuit I was supposed to join by this age is beyond my reach. It is my metier, but not my milieu. Admittedly, he would never have been the one to squire me to such things, and as an adult I've only gone out with one person who moves in those circles...but it would be nice to dress up every once in a while.
It eats at me that my ex feathered a nest before he left me, because he had it in his mind that I was cheating on him. It's the second time that a man's done that to me, and both times it was, as teenage boys say, "the smeller being the feller". He landed on his feet, already in love with someone else, throwing me aside like garbage. He plugged into a whole new family, and here I am, still alone, because I wasn't cheating on him. It's good riddance to bad rubbish, I know, but the magnitude of rejection, and the fact that he told me he pitied me and didn't leave before Valentine's Day since he thought it was too cruel is still painful in ways I can't even begin to describe.
Some people never get the opportunity to dress up and go out, but I suppose what's worse is that some of us never have the opportunity to be in love with someone who genuinely cares about them. That's what's so damn lonely about all of it. This is a season of togetherness, and family. Being a reject leaves one outside that circle, nose pressed up against the glass to look in on the warm holiday scene that belongs to the "haves".
So I will leave the sparkling necklace there in the display case, for the lucky "have" who has somewhere to wear it. Meanwhile, I will be sitting at home downloading books on my Kindle app and fulfilling the stereotype of "spinster librarian".