The downside about living alone is that you have no one to kill the spiders for you.
I've lived alone for about six years now. And while it's annoying to have to do everything myself, for the most part, I love living alone. In fact, I honestly don't know if I could live with somebody again. I've been spoiled with endless opportunities to watch whatever I want on TV, not be grossed out by other people's fingernail clippings in the bathroom and I can sprawl on my couch every night without judgment. I get my couch. My couch gets me. But there are a few misconceptions and/or disadvantages to living alone that I want to sort out:
1. I don't flit around the house naked. In fact, I still find myself wearing a towel when I go from the shower to my bedroom and once in awhile I instinctively shut the bathroom door when I pee. Why? I have no idea. And even though I know it's ridiculous, I still instinctively peek around the shower curtain like I assume a crazed lunatic is in there checking his smartphone while he waits for me so he can attack.
2. Bugs are always a problem. I can't freak out over a spider and delegate removal to anyone else, so either I "remedy" the situation or consider the arachnid to be my pet. A new pet is not in the plans and bug relocation isn't the only thing that won't magically take care of itself or be done by somebody else.
3. That tiny twist tie that I dropped on the floor as I ran out to work in the morning ... is still there when I get home. No one has picked it up while I was gone and I can't blame it on anyone else.
4. Trash can Jenga: the act of stacking up the trash as high as you can until something tips over instead of taking it out is a game to be played only if you're a) living with someone else who might break first or b) at the office. Much like the twist-tie scenario above, the trash fairy does not come while I'm gone.*
5. *However, the trash man will come once a week, and if I don't remember to put the big bin out the night before, it won't magically roll itself out to the curb and will instead fester for another whole week.
6. Low battery smoke detector beeps are always mine to investigate, and I swear I could live in a house the size of a shoebox and it would still take me an hour to find which one it is. *beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere that I am not. *beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere where I am not. You get the picture.
7. Folding sheets ... becomes a matter of neatly folding the pillowcases and then taking the actual sheets, attempting to find the corners and align them to fold before haphazardly bunching them up and throwing them in the closet.
8. The fear of choking and being found by an emergency crew bundled up in robe with a mouth full of hummus. I imagine it's just a slow spiral of shame down from there.
9. I talk to myself. With the absence of a second opinion in my house, I find that I have a commentary on everything that I occasionally still say out loud. It's like I always have an audience, and no sane person has as many conversations with inanimate objects as I do. When putting out a new candle, I might opine to the television that, "Yes, I think that looks nice there," or "Hmm, I should add paper towels to the grocery list I'll forget to take with me tomorrow." I admit it's a little weird to notice the self-speak going on, but on a positive note, at least I'm wonderfully supportive of myself. After all, no one else can do it for me.
This article was originally published at Abby Has Issues. Reprinted with permission from the author.