Recently, I had been rattling around my house (the smallest one bed bungalow you will ever set eyes on) thinking that this living alone malarky was a pretty lonely existence. No one to share your day with, no one to cuddle up to late at night, etc. etc. and then I thought, hang on Katie, do you not mean – no one to judge your sporadic eating habits, no one to leave the toilet seat up, no one to put stupid boy programmes on the telly.
Is it really that bad being a solo-dweller/lone ranger? Let’s look at the many, many positives that living alone has…
Complete control of the remote. I’m talking binge to the extreme on your favourite shows and not even a muttering of, ‘Babe the match is on’ or the continuous, horrendous drone of cars racing around a track. Sit back and relax as you tuck in to 14 hours of back to back Sex and the City without a single interruption.
Be your hideous, gross self. It’s great when your boyfriend stays over and you can enjoy wild nights of passion, or not, but you have to dig out your cute PJs, pluck every single hair out of every single crevice (and there are lots!), then race to the bathroom to beat the morning breath struggle and frankly, it is exhausting. Isn’t it great the next day when they’ve gone and you’re eating a family size pack of Bourbons in bed, a wild forest growing on your legs, with breath that could kill a mountain goat… It is good, healthy even, to have those gross moments once in a while and living alone means you have all the time in the world to be a sweaty, hairy, socially offensive pig.
Individual living styles remains. Let’s praise some people’s need to be tidy and then let’s think about some people’s innate need to make a bl**dy mess of everything. Then there are the people who’s idea of fun is playing computer games at volume 104, while there are others who would rather enjoy an hour of yoga on the living room floor. When these people come together, all hell breaks lose and certain elements of each person’s life have to mould to accommodate their new partner. Live alone and you can be your anal, tidy self without anyone ruining it (only house guests, who if you are lucky sod off after a few hours) or if you are a bit of a messy bugger enjoy making so much mess that you disgust yourself, but remember it is only yourself who can be disgusted.
You can let out your weirdness whenever you want. Sing at the top of your lungs in the shower, have a full blown conversation with the dog, do headstands on your bed, heck, why not act out a scene from Dirty Dancing in your living room… Whatever tickles your fancy, live alone and live judgement free.
Don’t forget about the 25% off Council Tax! Council Tax is a pig, who knows what I am paying for each month, apparently rubbish collection, road repairs and street lights. The fact that I live in a property that the bin man won’t drive to, on a private track that doesn’t have any street lights and I could easily lose a child down some of the potholes in town; I just don’t see the cost outweighing the benefit here. Nevertheless, it is a fee I have to pay and a big one at that! So when the council wants to give me a quarter off, I say ‘yes please, thank you very much’ and quit my whining about what they do with my dollar.
Heat your house just the way you like it. My thermostat is constantly on 30C because I like to live in a sauna like environment and walk around in a pair of shorts and not much else. That’s the life I chose and the fact that no one else has control over that little shiny dial gives me great pleasure in life. Imagine if I lived with someone who spurted out rubbish like ‘just put a jumper on’ or ’18C is actually the average room temperature in the UK’ or ‘the back door is open, it’s August and it’s 34C outside, please can we turn the heating off’. Nope, I do not even want to entertain the idea of such negativity.
Eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Some mornings I will get up, get so busy doing something that I am occupied until the afternoon without a thought about eating, those days are great because I do not have a little voice in my ear begging to be fed or asking to be taken somewhere that food is readily available. Other mornings I wake up and want to tuck into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s before 10am and honestly, it is nice doing that when you live alone for two reasons 1) you can indulge without someone reading out the calorie content and making you feel like a gluttonous troll and 2) you are left to enjoy your entire tub without having to share a single bite of it.
Decorate your house exactly how you want it. So you dig pink? Paint the whole kitchen fuchsia and while you are at it buy that candy floss fridge freezer. Or if neutrals are your thing, beige the whole place and live happily in that calm oasis you have created. No one will be bugging you to hang up their ‘Wedding Crashers’ poster or asking if it is time to put the ‘Transformers’ bed spread on.
No bathroom queueing. Whether you want to grab a shower or are desperate for a wee, there is nothing more infuriating than having to wait while someone else uses the bathroom. And then when you go in there and the place smells like rotting vegetation (because men have a habit of emptying their bowels just as you want to get ready for an important night out) or you jump in the shower and there is no hot water left… this takes me from pleasant and well mannered, to level 10 on the angry Katie scale.
No one else’s alarm will wake you up. My levels of hatred for being woken up earlier than I need to, cannot be measured. It makes me off the chart, hulk-inducing angry. Especially, when the person who set it then does not get up and either ‘snoozes’ the alarm or just ignores it. Who sleeps through an alarm? And then you have to get up and turn it off. It is not even my alarm! A big no, no in my life I am afraid. Living alone means any alarms going off are for my own benefit, either I need to get up or there’s a fire.
So it seems there are tonnes of positives to living alone, it just takes a little imagination and recollection of past housemates to remember what they are. And whilst I absolutely agree with every point I made above, is there any better feeling than coming home after a hard day at work to open arms and the warmth of a loved one? Maybe, I can let a few messy habits, rubbish tv preferences and food choice judgements slide, or maybe I can just buy a bigger house with a room that I can keep just for me, a tub of ice cream and maybe its own bathroom…
…In the meantime, I think I will make the most of this living alone malarky.