Not a new expression, or one of my random new phrases. That new Bastille song. Do you remember that Co-Op a couple of years ago? It was for BBQ food or something during the summer, but it used Christmas music. Messed with my brain! Christmas music in June?! Not ok.
So I’m a fan of Bastille, have been since Laura Palmer. It was one of those that I used to listen too on repeat in the car and the odd song would trigger the usual M25 teary moment. So when Bastille were back on the radio again, the song was turned up and I passively listened to it.
It took a while before I realised it was called ‘Good Grief’ which prompted a Google search of the lyrics. Shit, that’s a sad song. That’s a really sad song! But the melody, the beat, it’s all so upbeat! Someone once told me that the expression on your face is neither here nor there. If you’re smiling you’ll see it in the eyes. This song is that idea personified.
“Watching through my fingers, watching through my fingers
Caught off guard by your favourite song
Oh I’ll be dancing at a funeral, dancing at a funeral
Sleeping in the clothes you love
It’s such a shame we had to see them burn, shame we had to see them burn
“What’s gonna be left of the world if you’re not in it?
What’s gonna be left of the world, oh
Every minute and every hour
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more
Every stumble and each misfire
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more”
Throughout the last couple of years, in amongst all the shit and bollocks, there have always been these lightbulb moments. When things have just, you know, clicked. One was having lunch with my lovely friend J, whist her son was pooping in the soft play area, that actually things might get easier rather than harder! Another was when I had the conversation with our colorectal nurse, that made me realise my Beanie was dying. Then there was one when I realised I was ready to go back to work. And then there was the one I had at the end of August.
I’m 31 years old. Widowed. Mum of a 2 year old. And I’m having a relationship, a marriage with a memory. And as strong as my memories are, one day, they will fade. What holding his hand feels like will be harder to recall. The way his ribs used to feel on my cheek when I was lying on his chest will fade. His laugh, his smile, the sound of his snoring will all become fuzzy. And he will forever be 37. Do I really want to be in my 50s, with Nunu gone off to live her life, and me, sitting in my house, trying to recall enough of a memory to make me feel like I’m still close to him?
Beanie wouldn’t want that. In fact, I know he didn’t want that. Because he told me. He told me he didn’t want me to be on my own. That he liked the idea of me finding someone special. He wanted me to live the life we planned. But we didn’t plan Cancer. We didn’t plan me living on my own.
So, light bulb moment – I think I’m ready to try dating again.
Old friends will know that I’ve never been very good at dating. I’ve been dumped too many times than I care to remember for being too ‘nice’ (I’m not NICE!). So, with an extra 7 years, an extra 2 dress sizes, an extra dogs and of course the ‘single parent’ label, am I really ready to put myself out there? Well, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?!
So, ran the idea past some of my dearest and dearest – zero judgement or concerns expressed. One in fact reminded me, why would I care what other people think? Beanie wouldn’t care what other people thought, it would be about doing what’s right for me.
And you know what I want? I want a laugh! I want to have fun! I want to sit on the sofa and watch crap TV with someone who doesn’t resemble a mop (although I still love my mops with all my heart). I might even want to leave the house every now and again? Go out for dinner with someone who doesn’t demand spag bol and peas, or has a tantrum if I don’t let them run around the restaurant.
So, I did it. Put myself out there. And there were the usual weirdos asking you to drive over to theirs at 2am. Or feeling that ‘you’re fit, wanna meet?’ is an acceptable introduction?! Erm no! What about ‘hi, my name is…!’.
But then amongst all the usual shite (that of course gets send over to B for lolz, as it did 7 years ago…), there’s the odd one. The odd one that looks vaguely normal. That seems to have a friendly face. And dogs. And seems to like burgers. I like burgers. I like dogs. So you send him a message, he sends you one back. A bit slow at first, but then it picks up. And you find myself smiling when the msg pops up. And laughing at jokes. And just simply enjoying talking to someone who wants to get to know you. And doesn’t see you as a mum, or a widow, but as Leah. Who he seems quite interested to get to know. Who brings another dimension to the day. Something else to look forward too. Another thing to think. Another thing to feel.
And how do I feel? Well, I’m fucking terrified aren’t I?! Scared, nervous, terrified, excited, happy, content…..note the absence of guilty or regretful. Simply because they’re not there. Which makes me think, maybe I am ready for something new? Something different? What’s the worst that could happen?
So, first date planned. Second date discussions and he says ‘do you like Bastille?’.
Course he does. Good grief. Bring it on.