"I'm one bad date away from being bitter." - Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Oh, I've already passed that milestone, I can assure you.
What I'm scared of is sliding into the territory covered by Dame Judi Dench's character Barbara ("Ba") in Notes on a Scandal, which I saw over the weekend. (Fantastic, by the way.) Barbara is bitter, fed-up, and frustrated. She sees an opportunity to take advantage of a naïve new coworker, and uses it to her full advantage.
I'm a good person. I don't enjoy hurting others, and strive to do quite the opposite. But on the eve of my 37th birthday--and after six and a half years of being single--I worry about the effects of prolonged disappointment and solitude.
In the movie, Barbara reads from her journal: "People like Sheba [Cate Blanchett's character] have no idea what it's like to construct an entire weekend around a trip to the laundrette."
Are people like Barbara forged as cruel users in childhood? Were they pulling the wings off flies and playing baseball with frogs? Or, can they be changed that way in adulthood?