One of the Wiktionary definitions of curmudgeon is "an ill-tempered person full of stubborn ideas or opinions." According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it's a "crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man." I'm not a man, and I'm not particularly old, either, although at just shy of 40 I'm pretty old by societal standards to be single and never married. But does that mean I'm too old to ever be consciously coupled?
I've been single for the majority of my adult life. I had one relationship in my early 20s with a dumbass who I shouldn't have wasted four years on. Then in my late 20s I had a relationship with a lovely man, but unfortunately he had far too much inner torment going on for the relationship to last. I've been single for the past 8 1/2 years, and I mean fully single—no dates, nothing.
I've spent years living alone, and I like it. Scratch that, I love it. I have depression, which tends to make me asocial, but I have my four pet guinea pigs to keep me company. I have a walk-in closet that is full and there is no way I'd ever be willing to make room for a guy's stuff in there. I keep strange hours, going to bed very early and then getting up in the wee hours before dawn. I'm a homebody; going out isn't really my thing, and I'd much rather curl up on the couch with a yummy meal, a glass of wine, a furbaby at my side, and some Netflix.
I've gotten grumpier in general. A big part of that is my depression, but that's sticking around like a bad smell without any hope of it going anywhere. I'm a world traveller, and that's built up a tolerance that I still have for people who are out there in the world. But when it comes to in here in my world? Whole different story. I have a hard enough time biting my tongue when my best friend does dumbass things, and I can't imagine I'd be able to exercise that level of restraint with a significant other.
Then there's money. My parents always were very careful with their money, and I learned by their example. I have zero debt and I have money in the bank. There's no way I'm going to be willing to put up with some guy who's racked up a bunch of pricey credit card debt, and who can't wait for the day that "my" money becomes "our" money and he can go to town. I would need an iron clad prenup, and that just seems like far too much of a pain in the butt.
Truth be told, I've always been stubborn. It used to drive me parents absolutely crazy when I was young. At this point, though, I truly own it, wholeheartedly embracing my inner mule. I wouldn't want a doormat who let me steamroll over everything, but there could be fireworks (of the not so good type) if I tried to be in a relationship with someone approaching my level of stubbornness.
So, in a few months when I turn 40, should I proudly claim curmudgeonly old maid as my title? After all, it's been more than a decade since I had a first date, not that dating was something I was ever any good at to begin with. Internet dating is out for much the same reason I don't like shopping at some of those massive discount stores; there's just way too much crap you have to wade through to find the good stuff. I wouldn't tolerate anyone who didn't love my babies (aka my guinea pigs), and I'm not interested in being flexible on my early bedtime.
Okay, I think that settles it. Three months from now, I won't be having a birthday party, I'll be having a curmudgeonly old maid party. You're all invited, and p.s.—don't forget to bring some bubbly. 🍾