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In Hot Pursuit of Happiness

The Virulous Hag

My apologies for taking entire weeks off without notice –very bad form. They have been work-filled, loveless weeks –or else you’d know about it.
No, I can’t. Seriously. Seriously? SERIOUSLY you want The Count? Fine. I’ll give you a sample from one of the websites I most recently joined:
limorasta: Hi there? What’s your name? I like your profile.
stanmlula: try me
GuddyBoy: woww, nice profile, tempting
sigss82: hi, hw is u?
benkim4u: hi.
sallamhd: hallo gal. you sound lile my kind of woman.
lamacks: Hey.. 😉
Ngwasuma: Hi,you look good,lets b friends ama?
Enough said. Except, to top off a loveless, hopeless month, I received, last week, a private Facebook message from a Virulous Hag.
The Virulous Hag is a woman who’s only life ambition has been to get married, and, having tried to accomplish this through a party phase, a pious phase, and through work, has finally been taken off the shelf by Some Dude.
As SOON as she gets engaged, the Virulous Hag, whose immediate circle of friends and family are all married, will immediately click through something useful like a Facebook list of ‘friends’ in order to identify the two that are still single, and indulge in a mighty crowing session about her newly changed status –c omplete with an informal wedding invitation, to which is appended the inevitable hint of encouragement bathed in pity, such as:
“…I’m sure Marshall knows tons of eligible bachelors to invite, so there’s a good chance you’ll end meeting someone special at last!”
To such messages, the Poor Spinsters (such as I) are expected to respond  to the Virulous Hag with Joyful Heartfelt Congratulations, as well as an Eager Plea for a formal wedding invitation; which, naturally, none of us can afford to let slide, because of the promise of eligible bachelors previously mentioned.
Though it is good for us to reply through FB, we are also expected to follow up our original reply with occasional emails to the personal email address that she included in her message ‘in case you don’t have it’, which of course, we’ve never cared to ask for, since we don’t really care for her. These follow-up emails should be positively awash with compliments and questions and comments designed to stir up even more excitement about the Virulous Hag’s upcoming wedding, to show her that we’re sincerely happy and excited for her. They MUST include comments on The Dress, the flowers, a possible theme, a probable venue, etc. , as well as discreet inquiries on the prospective groom, and the story of how they met, because this will indulger her need for some indication of envy on our part. They must also include offers of ‘anything I can do to help’ because this, more than anything, will show her how eager we ourselves are to be involved in her wedding.
I have an aunt I highly suspect was once a Virulous Hag. Three months into her marriage, she was so traumatized by whom she’d married, she all but lost her tongue. For the next 355 years (or however long he lived) she dutifully fetched and carried and bore children for her Lord and Master. He thanked her for her services for the first and last time on his deathbed, and, after a suitable mourning period, she (and her tongue) were reborn. I have every intention of inflicting her upon my teenagers, when they come whining to me about some fatal hitch in their lives, such as being too embarrassed to go to school in last year’s shoes. She’ll happily remind them (as she has done me) that there is no clause in any historical document that states that Happiness is anyone’s due, and stridently add that Fairy Tale Endings are an American, Hollywood invention.
                “And everyone knows Americans are crazy. You had better keep your feet firmly planted in the ground, my girl.” She advises. And right she is.
I had to rewrite my reply to the Virulous Hag five times, because the first three made me sound like a Bitter Hag (the absolute worst type of spinster) which I’m emphatically not. The next one made me sound defensive (I think I included something like: “I’m happily single, and intend to stay so unless and until I have found the Right Man for me.”) Comments such as these make the Virulous Hag gloat all the more, because she’ll deduce that I’m in denial, since, according to the rules of her world, being single is not only so embarrassing that it makes you a social pariah, but it is also the greatest evil on the planet… In the end, I sent her something gushy and meek and mild, because, I figure, if she wants to gloat and enjoy a moment of feeling superior, who am I to take the pleasure away from her? Life is tough enough.
I have, however, absolutely no intention of going to her wedding. And it’s not because it’s hers. It’s because I never go to weddings. Or funerals. Or , really, any gathering of too many people. I myself don’t want a wedding. I want a maximum twenty-minute marriage ceremony, during a week day, that should consist mostly of signing the relevant legal documents. Then I can get on with my day, and my new husband and I can invite a few select friends to a small celebration that evening, or on a weekend night. Finito.
And now… on with more work. Thank God I’m a busy gal these days!
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About Ciggie Cramond

Ciggie Cramond is an author, writer, editor and translator currently living in Nairobi, where she is actively writing her next book, supporting Arsenal, and looking for The One... Online, naturally!

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