“I know you’ll be fine alone, you’re not a baby in a hot car.” -Justin Timberlake, in the movie Friends with Benefits
I’ve been wanting to write about being single, but I never know where to start. There have been a lot of different studies and opinion pieces in major news outlets lately about single people (in most cases, women specifically): how they are better off, worse off, happy, miserable. Most of them generally conclude, like Justin Timberlake in that movie, that yes, women will be fine without a man around to keep us from doing something stupid (obviously we’d lock ourselves in hot cars if left to our own instincts?). But are we happy? Well…I have a confession.
I like being single.
I do. I enjoy it. Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent the better part of almost 32 years that way- it’s my normal. I don’t really get lonely. I won’t say I never do (but I also think everyone does, married or not), but just because I am single and live alone doesn’t mean I sit home alone most of the time. I have fun friends who I like to hang out with, I’m close to my family, and I have a dog that pretty much demands attention all.the.time. So I am able to keep myself entertained –gasp– without a man. I won’t apologize for enjoying my life right now, and I won’t just sit around singing, “Someday, My Prince Will Come.” Snow White did that and it almost got her killed. I do want to find Mr. Perfect (for me), but as I’ve mentioned before, he’ll be an improvement to my life, not just an addition. I want to meet someone worth making time for.
I even like living alone- something I never thought I’d say! I never had any great desires to live alone; in fact, I was quite afraid of it for a long time, despite my independent nature. When the time came that I knew I would probably need to live by myself, I just sort of embraced it and went “all in.” (The distraction of choosing paint colors and shopping for furniture and decorations helped, I’m sure.) I came out on the other side realizing that I enjoy alone time more than I thought I did (or maybe I’ve just adapted to it). Sure, there have been 3am phone calls to mom and dad because the house was maybe on fire, or someone was maybe trying to break in and kill me, or maybe I need someone to come kill a big spider for me (OK, I never made my parents come over and kill a bug for me, but certainly I thought about it). It’s forced me to step outside my comfort zone and learn to take care of things myself that I wouldn’t if there was someone else to fix it for me. For example, I can snake a toilet with a coat hanger (thanks, Google!), and I realized you can just suck spiders (and other creepy crawlies) up in the vacuum cleaner. I’ve “fixed” my washing machine twice just by simply fiddling with it until it worked again (I’m sure it just wanted me to leave it alone). But I’ve lived alone for several years now, and while there are occasions that I wish there was someone in house a little taller, stronger, and better at plumbing/assembling things/opening jars than me, most of the time I appreciate not having to worry about anyone but myself (and the dog). Other great things about living alone/being single?
I get total control over what I watch on TV, and I don’t have to share DVR space with anyone.
If I don’t feel like cooking, I don’t feel bad about having dinner that consists of just Triscuits and an apple, or a bowl of cereal, or chips and salsa or hummus, or a chocolate malt from Sonic.
I get to have girly sheets and bedroom decor (something Ms. August tells me won’t last once there is a boy living with me).
There’s no one there to see the embarrassing things I do… like falling asleep on the couch at 5:30pm after a really hard day. Or fall down my stairs. Or fall up my stairs. Basically, I do a lot of falling.
The number of beauty products and rituals it takes to keep me looking this fabulous remains a secret (and I can have them strewn all over the bathroom counters free of judgement).
I don’t have to consider anyone else before I make plans. Therefore, I always get to do what I want!
No one hears how ridiculous I sound when I talk to the dog (and trust me, it’s pretty ridiculous). Or my conversations with the birdies that have taken up residence in my bedroom windowsill.
I could go on. But you get the point. I am “fine” alone. Most of the time, I’m pretty happy that way, too. I’ve lived alone for a long time, and I do on occasion fear that I have become too “set” in my single ways. I’m not gonna lie- I think it’s gonna be pretty hard for me to adjust when the day comes that I do find someone worth making time- and possibly space!- for! It will just be a new adventure… right? I had a roommate when I let a friend stay with me for awhile, and there were times I just wanted to be alone, but for the most part I enjoyed having someone there to help shoulder some of the household responsibilities, appreciate my cooking and baking and of course, help kill the spiders. Because while the things on the above list are nice and convenient for me, I really wouldn’t mind passing off spider-killing-duty to someone else, permanently. But for now… I’m still accidentally single.