- I am not an unexploded tear bomb. You can ask me how I'm doing and I won't break down and blub uncontrollably. I save my crying jags for when I'm on my own.
- Do not say things like 'you must come to dinner' or 'we must have lunch' when you have no intention of following through. I'm lonely and if someone makes a suggestion like that, I make the mistake of getting excited, having something to look forward to. Then I am bitterly disappointed when the invitation never comes. It's like dangling a fish in front of a cat then whipping it away.
- Don't say 'you must get out more'. I know you mean well but I find it intimidating to walk into a crowded place on my own and I'm terrified that, after the initial hubbub of greetings that I'll be left wandering about trying to find a conversation I feel brave enough to latch onto.
- Don't say 'you should get a proper job then you'll meet people'. Gee, really? Believe me, if I could get a job with a salary, benefits and the little extras like office Christmas parties and bonuses then I'd be on it like ugly on an ape. Unfortunately, I am 56 years old, overqualified for office/retail work and too many years out of touch with the UK town planning network. I didn't choose to be self-employed and, as a single mother, there is nothing scarier than working without a safety net. So, if anyone knows who's looking to employ a loyal, hardworking but not-young former planner/self-taught editor do let me know.
That's pretty much it. Having had my little moan, let me just add that I'm doing okay. I get by and I will continue on because that's what I do. I am so thankful for those friends who have listened to me babble, to those lovely people who have fed me, taken me to appointments, invited me to parties. I'm grateful for my online friends who've put up with my ranty Facebook posts and offered sympathy and support. It's just, sometimes, I need to let rip!
Thanks for listening!