Blindly, I reached into my beach bag for lipstick, but instead forcefully rubbed my fingers across my Venus 4 blade razor that I thought I had lost months before. Tetanus was a secondary thought, as my throbbing fingers dripped bright red blood. The best of Machel and Calypso Rose rocked our glass bottom boat. A group of White and Asian Brits held on to the railing twerking. Someone cracked me a slightly warm Stag, and I thought, “Fuck, I’m Alive”.
My best friend, who I have known since I was seven years old, got married this month! Thankfully I like her new husband very much. I would hate if we (yes we) married someone lame or obnoxious or lame and obnoxious. But William is fab. So being Maid of Honour was truly an honour, and being MC was not a Mudda c– haha! That was such a Dad joke, I’m sorry. The wedding brought in people from the UK, Australia, India, New York, Canada and more. Needless to say, the dance floor was a sight to behold. I’m not a major fan of weddings, but this particular event made my heart sing. I’m definitely going through some life stuff, and I do spot 11.11 on the clock quite regularly these days, so perhaps I am just extra sensitive. To see so many people come out to celebrate wholeheartedly, reveling in the union of two wonderful and genuine souls- well it was a magical and eventful night.
As the wedding was approaching, I braced myself for all the questions about my break up earlier this year (oh yeah, my ex was in attendance). I would be the only unmarried/unengaged woman in attendance, far less what felt like being the only single person on the planet. My younger sister also got married this year, leaving me the unwed 30 year old older sister. This really bothers people. It’s odd. So many times I get asked about how I feel that she got married before me. Honestly? ECSTATIC! I thought it would take the attention off me for a good while. Can’t wait for them to have children! Weddings fuel invasive conversations about people’s personal lives, and I was prepared to be the target of much interrogation. This was an overwhelming thought for weeks. I pictured myself on the dance floor with my Dad, imitating Travolta’s “Staying Alive” moves. Big host, in a bright bridesmaid dress, with no date. I don’t know why I cared so much. It’s not like I actually want a boyfriend or a husband right now. I’m pretty content with the current do-over of my 20’s. But the anxiety was real. And really unnecessary.
I’m guessing there are many women like me (I know there are actually. We chat all the time.) who are concerned about if they will ever find love again. I see people pushing strollers and all I can think is “How could you purposely let someone impregnate you?” Like, how can you trust someone to be bound to them forever? Scares me shitless. But if there is one thing I learned from the #Ramlinson2017 wedding, it is that there are so many full life experiences happening around us, and we’re missing out on living them when we zone in on just this one thing. Life can be found in the most unlikely places, and while milestones like marriage and children are worth celebrating, so are moments like catching the sunset on a party boat, and having friends you can call at any time to confess your sins without judgment. While every date you go on might not end up down the aisle, there are so many treasures to be found in meeting new people. I have learned about detachment and self love from a 24 year old Rapper. I’ve learned about gentleness and kindness from a DJ, and been shot up with creative vision and fearlessness by a 20 year old model. I’ve learned to say “Yes” more and to never turn down an adventure, or a meal (or a drink). I’m truly living for the first time it feels like, though I’m single as a red dollar bill.
I cut my finger on the boat, in the middle of what felt like a movie scene. The vibrant blood was a signal to me that this was life. We went to Tobago, guzzled beer and rum punch, kissed underwater at the Nylon Pool, swam over the coral graveyard, climbed up onto every surface of the vessel, wining and twerking to the best of our abilities. We ate on No Man’s Land, simmered in the water while the sky pinkened. The bride sailed us along the mangroves with the sunset wrapping around us. We ate mountains of pizza and never cared to suck in. We played drinking games, stayed up late (well some us of did) and had breakfast on the patio with the view of the rolling waves not too far off. In Trinidad we stood in line at the side of the road waiting on aloo pies to fry in a trailer. We drank coconuts straight out of the fruit and scooped jelly with spoons swiped off the husk. The next weekend was another one of my best friends’ birthday and we spent it popping bottles (and sneaking cheese sandwiches) on an evening boat ride. When I look at the lines forming under my eyes and see the grey hairs popping out from even my 1″ long undercut, I sometimes wonder if I should go the J.lo route and give up all alcohol and smoking and whatever else she does to achieve vampireness, but nah. I have lived a life of “No” and of fear. I’ve seen friends of mine die young, and even older people who passed with regrets. I’m going to jump on to this train and get off wherever it stops, because I am single and childless and it’s still okay to be happy.