OK, a meditation on the concept of partnership. Coz hey, why do we do it? What is it about humans that makes us form partnerships? I'm sure there's a wealth of literature on the subject, but for me, at my time of life, here's the only thing I can come up with:
It's good to have someone who can see those parts of yourself that you can't, and who likes you enough not to be put off by them. Of course, it has to work both ways (unless you have a fabulous GP who bulk-bills!)
Tragic, isn't it? I have this incredibly itchy spot, dead-centre between my shoulderblades. My fingers can find it, and it feels nasty - raised, big, blah blah. But, not having a 360 degree swivel neck, I can't bloody see it! It could be the size of New York and I wouldn't know. If it's still there the day after tomorrow and I haven't died of it, I will have to go to the doctor and spend a fortune to have a professional look expensively at what a partner could look at for free - and it might be bloody nothing!! Pleasegodmakeitgoawaybeforethen.
Thinking about the mutual usefulness of partners in middle/old age has been a bit of a revelation about why we partner up in the first place.
Well, obviously - in the early days it's all about chemistry - sex and all that stuff.
Then I think, if you stick around with that particular partner, it might turn into companionship, with the occasional flurry of romance and sex to keep it all real...
And then (I have no experiential knowledge, honest, i'm speaking purely from a hypothetical basis) I think maybe you become mutually useful. The sex may mostly die, but there's someone to cut the toenails you can't bend to cut anymore... someone to look at bits of you that you can't reach/see anymore... Tell me that's not more useful than being a good root, ha ha ha ha! It may even be the Greatest Love of All...(cue Whitney Houston)
So what should the middle-aged Singleton do??? Because Singles need to be able to see those awkward spots - of their backs, or legs, or arses... and seriously, you can't ask a stranger! Or can you? Should we cultivate 'special friends' who are tasked with such unsavoury things as checking unseeable sore spots, cutting intractable toenails (ugh) and disposing of any sex-toys in the event of your unexpected demise (before the descent of the relatives!) Or perhaps a drawer full of wacky sex toys would be a bit of a status symbol. Hmm, Auntie Daisy knew how to have fun, tee hee! OMG, it's too scary!