This time, fortunately, they did not come bearing bad news (The Waffle House seems to be our family go-to for emotional crises) and conversation wandered idly between this new diet my sister was trying, and how our cousins are doing. Then it inevitably wondered over to relationships.
Cue the usual,
"So... any boys on the scene then, Katie?"
"You're not seeing... anyone?"
"Oh...Well why not?"
"Because I don't really need to, Mum."
"Well no-one needs to... but don't you want to?"
This is then followed by that unmistakable little 'trying to work out if you are a lesbian or not' narrowing of the eyes as she took a contemplative cup of tea.
Then, of course, follows;
"....WELL I AM, KATIE, LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT"
See, my Mother is a truly wonderful woman; empowered, strong, wise, some good-looking genes (if I say so myself) and the only flaw in her almost world domination, is that she is single. She's bravely strolled out of an unhappy marriage and a few hopeless romances with her head held high, still striving to find her long-awaited Mister Right. But secretly, she loves being single. She's a bloody catch and doesn't half know it, and I think she rather enjoys having a handful of high-class Gentleman ready to indulge her every whim.
My last (completely earth-shattering glorious, painful and full on opera-level dramatic) relationship was over two years ago, and I think being single for so long has either made me completely relationship-ly handicapped, or has enlightened me to some higher perspective on the whole pointless charade of it all.
Because then my Mother said this;
"And that's when I knew something wasn't right about him, was when the bill came, I said 'oh I'll pay my half, don't worry' and he let me. He let me! Can you believe that? The cheek!"
I just kinda frowned.
Spare me for being ignorant, but if you say you're going to pay your half... isn't that what you should expect to do? The whole relationship language just seem like opposite day to me, and... I just don't get it.
From what I've deduced, if you say you want to pay your half, it means you CATEGORICALLY DO NOT WANT TO PAY YOUR HALF, if you say that you are fine, it means you CATEGORICALLY, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE ACTUALLY FINE and if you say 'I just want to be alone', it means LEAVE ME NOW, AND I'LL BE DAMNED IF I DON'T HOLD IT AGAINST YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
Now, give me a novel and a word count, and I'll smash out a thousand words in half an hour, but trying to find any logic in all that? Hot damn, I'm just not cut out for this shit.
I don't know if I'm socially oblivious, awkward or have the mind of a male, but if it was me, I'd just say "Put your damn wallet away and shut your pretty mouth, boy." and pay the damned half that I wanted to pay. Is that wrong? As always, social etiquette just goes above and beyond me.
That's why, tonight I went on the best date of my entire life. And who with? The best company in the whole entire universe, of course; myself.
I arrived with a chipper "One for Iron Man, please!" and contrary to popular belief, the clerk didn't give me an odd look, didn't eyeball me suspiciously or narrow his eyes, he just sold me my ticket with a smile.
No awkward 'oop, who's gonna pay for who' or any of that. Quick, easy, painless.
Next, I entered the theatre lobby, with an easy fifteen minutes before the trailers. No rushing, no waiting around for the other to arrive, no arguments when you miss the showing you want because they couldn't decide what shade of beige chinos they wanted to wear, and you have to watch Scary Movie 78 or whatever. I was the sole conductor of my evening.
I surveyed my options, then with hapless glee, skipped over to the goodies counter and ordered the biggest jumbo box of sweet popcorn they did, and a gallon of diet coke, because I could. No worrying about whether my partner would think I was a fatty, or if I was expected to pay for myself.
And for the next three hours or so, I sat there in absolute glee at the front of the screen, an entire row to myself, with my feet up and my 3D glasses on, basking in the delights of Robert Downey Jr all up in my face, in between scoffing down handfuls of popcorn and sipping on my bucket of coke, all whilst absolutely roaring aloud with laughter.
Laughter is a curious one. It's usually a thing you do more often when other people are around, to subconsciously show what you like, your understanding of the humour, and your maturity level. With no-one around, I didn't need to impress anyone... yet I chortled my head off regardless. In fact, I probably laughed and enjoyed myself more because I was alone, free of that subconscious and persistent concern of how I was being perceived by someone else.
I even managed to let my mind wonder and came up with a pretty sweet idea - instead of handing out 3D glasses, imagine if, as a marketing ploy, they handed out Iron Man masks with 3D lenses in the eyes? See, I'm a genius, someone should totally hire me.
I left the cinema absolutely glowing, and to my somewhat delight, entered the lobby to see a couple having a heated row about driving home.
That's why I've come to the conclusion that the only thing more underrated than being single, is going out and doing things by yourself.
If you can't go out and do things on your own and know how to be by yourself, then how will you ever be able to function with someone else? I know I'm one to talk, but my idea of an ideal relationship would be to have 3 lives. There's the life that you lead alone, where you go off and do your own stuff and have your own friends, then there's the life that your partner leads, where they go off and do their own thing and have their own friends, then there's the third part, just as equally important; the life you create together. If you can find that tri-living harmony, then you just, win. And you won't need any 3D glasses for THAT.
And at the end of the day: (Y'know I love coming back to my own personal motto's)
'You were born alone and you will die alone, so why miss out on everything in between, just because someone won't come with you?'
If there's anything that I've learnt as of late, is that time is fleeting, and life is for living. So if you're sitting inside crying 'cause you've got no date to prom, or no-one to take you to that fancy new restaurant in town, then I hate to break it to you, but you're just doing it wrong.
I'll keep this short 'cause I'm aware I'm starting to sound a bit preachy, but I just hate to see people not being able to do what they truly want, because they're too scared to do it on their own. At the end of the day, it's your life. Your experience as a human being is entirely up to you to create, and for me.. I just can't see why I'd let 'not being able to find someone to accompany me', cause me miss out altogether.
And besides, only when you're on your own, do you get the chance to meet some truly spectacular people...
(me at the cinema earlier)