Tag Archives: Ally McBeal

All the lonely people

20 Oct

I spent the past five hours on the train from Edinburgh to London. Wedding Boy texted just as I was getting on the train. Not sure what is going on there, but – due to the location difference – it has no choice but to be a slow burner either way. Which is probably good for me right now. I’ve stopped looking at my online dating profile. I miss my ex too much.

Anyway, five hours on the train, and I spent the entire journey watching season two of Ally McBeal. I have a much, much deeper appreciation for it these days. When I loved this show as a 16 year old, my only personal experience of heartbreak was dealing with the fact Leonardo DiCaprio and I were unlikely to ever get together. Now, well, it all makes so much sense.

Who knew this show is not about law at all?

It’s about loneliness.

In nearly every episode we see Ally walking home alone. Yes, she’s wearing great coats and wandering through Boston looking its most magical (I know, I know, it’s really a set in LA), but she’s alone.

The thing with loneliness is, it’s a feeling – not a state of being. I’m not isolated. I have fabulous friends in London and elsewhere. I work in a really sociable environment. I’m one of those weirdos who tends to talk to people in shops or strike up a conversation with the dude behind the till in the coffee shop.

But I am lonely.

In one episode John Cage says that loneliness means you don’t believe things are going to change. I’ve kind of been feeling that way recently. It took me 30 years to find someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I can’t imagine feeling that way again. And – if our relationship was so perfect (as he said), but he still didn’t want me – maybe I’m just not lovable in a romantic sense. Feels like there isn’t much working in my favour right now.

Wedding Boy is a nice distraction, yes. But he doesn’t take away the loneliness.

Something’s missing. He’s missing.

And every night I walk home alone.

How Ally McBeal continues to shape my life. Seriously.

6 Oct

I have a cold. I never get ill. In 2012 I did not have a single cold. Not once. Naturally, I’m blaming this current snot-fest on my ex and the emotional upheaval I’ve been through for the past nine weeks. My immune system has been compromised. Yet another reason to be angry.

But it’s not all bad news. I’m going to Boston on business in a week’s time. I love Boston. And in the autumn, well, what could be more perfect? So I’m wrapped up in blankets on my sofa preparing for my trip the only way I know how – by watching old episodes of Ally McBeal.

I wanted Ally McBeal’s life. In fact, I decided to study law based almost entirely on this TV show. Watching it now (not as a 16 year old) I have a different appreciation for all the cr*p she puts up with from men. And the whole Billy thing. Ugh. I know I couldn’t work in the same office as him.

My best friend and I watched every week, recorded every episode, and then watched it again. (My best friend also ended up studying law.) We both dreamed of this exciting lifestyle – wearing suits with overly short skirts, lounging around with cartons of ice cream and tartan PJs in a gorgeous apartment, working with crazy characters who regularly broke into song, and dating. Dating lots and lots of men.

Well, my best friend was lucky enough to meet the love of her life while we were at university. They got married a few years ago. They moved to Australia, and she’s having a baby in January.

All my close friends from university are married these days. It’s easy to feel hard-done-by that I’m the one yet to meet my person. And it does seem unfair. I’m one of the nicest people I know. Why am I the one with nobody?

But what I do have is stories. All these years of dating and doomed relationships. The guy I met online with the ‘quirky sense of humour’ which turned out to be a legit obsession with dinosaurs. Kissing boys on drunken nights out. Getting dumped via text message. Having to presume that I’ve been dumped when guys disappear off the face of the earth. Secret office romances. The dude I went on one date with who then repeatedly made me CDs and bought me a T-shirt with a lion on it. The date with the guy who was clearly homosexual. The guy who talked non-stop about the mating rituals of foxes. The long-distance relationship. The crushes. The first kisses. Meeting the person I thought I was going to marry – who told me he wanted to marry me – only to find out he was “never completely in love” with me.

Like I said, when I was 16 I wanted Ally’s life. And she didn’t have it easy either. She got it wrong. She got hurt. But she believed in love. She believed enough to sing ‘Goodnight My Someone’ in that beautiful apartment of hers.

I believe too. It would be too ridiculous for me to go through my entire life alone. And I’m going to look back on all these stories and be grateful that I gained from these experiences.

Plus, the psychic I saw post pizza of doom seemed pretty sure that I would be travelling a lot with my new job, and that I might meet someone on a flight.

Now, isn’t that just the kind of thing that would happen to Ally McBeal?