Recently, I had a big party to celebrate turning 4 plus 0. In fact, the party was 2 weeks before my 41st which my friends thought very clever of me..everyone thinks I’m 40 when in fact I’m a whole year older..shock, horror:-)
I had spent the entire year planning and then cancelling the party. One part of me didn’t feel like celebrating…If you’ve read my other posts you’ll get why.
Another part of me felt that it was unfair that single girls and boys don’t get to be celebrated in the same way as folks who get married and have children…no church, no dressing up, no gifts, no teary-eyed speeches or first dances..not that I really wanted those things (lie), but I also resented that there was no equivalent for the single childfree life. Not only that, but ceremonies and celebrations are also a symbol of transition and passage into the next stage in your life. They are a way of saying to the world, “Look at me. I’m in the grown ups club now”.
As a single person, you recognise that our social customs and norms haven’t yet made space for celebrating the lives and achievements of those of us who are single and childfree. So, sisters and brothers, we gotta do it for ourselves! Feeling cheated got me all fired up and I finally decided to throw a party pour moi. I had a dress made, hired a venue and friends and family cooked the food and baked the cakes. Pictures of lil’ ole me, from nought to 40 were hung on the walls and I gave a speech. It is in the form of a fairy story because I think we need more fairy-tales which reflect our lives. It’s a little tongue in cheek and I hope you don’t think I’m a raving megalomaniac for posting it…well maybe you do, but I know you’re too kind to say that out loud:-)
Once upon a time, in a faraway land there lived a little girl called Eileen. Although she was highly intelligent and supremely sensitive, like many little girls she was a little naïve. She was rapt and awestruck by the fairy-tales of her childhood…Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel. She dreamed of rags to riches, of growing up to a life of pumpkin carriages and glass slippers. She imagined living in a big castle in the sky with a handsome prince and golden haired, apple-cheeked offspring. Even then, she had notions above her station..no semi-d in the suburbs for her!
When she grew up she could identify with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, except it wasn’t quite the fairy-tale version. There were many dwarf boyfriends (She fondly remembered the magnificent Spaniard…all towering 5 foot of him, not to mention the Mexican boyfriend in the Cuban heels..they brought him up to her shoulders). She also dated several grumpys and quite a few dopeys..Snow White only had to endure one of each…that bitch got off lightly, Eileen thought!!!
When Eileen reached her mid-30’s, she wandered into a dark and mysterious forest in search of a prince. She met various characters along the way and asked them if they knew where the Prince was hiding. She was sick of the hide and seek games which she frequently played in Dublin’s nightclubs, such as Copper-Faced Jacks and Café Insane. She bumped into Red Riding Hood who told her she hadn’t seen the prince but she had spotted a cute Woodcutter..Eileen was impressed by his big shiney axe, but, alas, her anti-violence principles would not let her date him. She wandered deeper into the forest . She felt alone and scared. What would she do without a prince and a castle full of applecheeked offspring?
She lay down under a great Oak-tree and cried for three days and three nights. On the third day, she saw some people walking in the forest. They belonged to a hiking club and invited her to join them. She didn’t remember hearing about them in fairy-tales. She thought they were a curious looking bunch but they looked like fun. They brought her on adventures in the forest..she discovered mountains and rivers and far-away lands and she began to feel happy again.
The more she explored the more she discovered other girls and boys who had come to the forest by themselves and made their homes there. They taught her that you don’t have to live in a castle with a prince and little apple-cheeked offspring to be happy ever after. You could build a tree house or a boat house for yourself or you could live in the wide open under the stars. They told her that they would help her build a house for herself.
Eileen was very excited about building her new home in the forest, but she really missed her old friends and her family. She had been lost in the forest for a long time. She climbed to the top of the great oak tree and called out their names. Everybody came straight away. They built the most magical house together. The walls were decorated with pictures of all her friends and her family and their apple-cheeked children who she loved very much. Some of the pictures of Eileen were put up high on the walls so the children couldn’t see them. This was because she was (and still can be) a very naughty girl and the parents didn’t think it was a good idea for the children to see pictures of Eileen going wild.
When the house was built, Eileen decided to have a great party to celebrate her amazing adventures in the forest. Her sister Cena cooked a big feast for all the guests.
Everybody gasped when they saw her in her princess dress. They said she looked like a real life princess, except even better, but she was way too modest and humble to think that herself. Eileen looked at all the people who had come to be with her for the party. She realised that her house wasn’t empty and she wasn’t alone after all. She belonged to everyone in the room and everyone in the room belonged to her…they were all her family. They all partied their socks off all night long and Eileen was the happiest girl in the whole wide world.