Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hey there, lonely girl...

One of my nieces had a birthday last month and we went to dinner on a Sunday afternoon. Her mother let her choose the restaurant, so IHOP it was (I'd have gone for fine dining, even at 16, but the kid loves her some IHOP). So the fam and I are making small talk, I'm picking at a spinach salad, and out of the blue my older niece asks, "now that Michael's gone, aren't you LONELY?"

My first instinct was to ask her if the question was directed at me, since she'd spent the earlier part of the meal chatting on her cell phone. But I don't comment on the kids' manners anymore, mostly because I take a happy pill before family dinners and no longer care, and also because we were at an International House of Pancakes.

What I wanted to say: "Listen, kiddo. First, Michael was my roommate and friend, not my constant companion. He has always had his own life and I have mine. Second, he didn't die; he lives in his own house now less than a block away. Third, we're both over 30 and need our own space. Fourth, I lived alone before Michael moved in. I loved living alone then; I love it now. I have always liked being alone and my biggest problem in any (romantic) relationship I've had has always been lack of room to breathe. I need my space. Finally, I just don't get "lonely" and I'm not sure I'd know it if I did. Maybe I do and just don't recognize it as "loneliness." But I think just from hearing other people talk about it...well, I'm not lonely. My time is my time, all the time, and I like it that way.

But I didn't get into all of that. I have a "no deep discussions at houses-o-pancake" rule. Plus, it was a legitimate question from someone who has never lived alone. What I said was: "Naked time." Seriously, the first thing I do when I walk in the door is drop trou. When you live with someone else platonically, it's really not polite to lounge on the couch in your underwear (or anything less than your underwear). But when you live alone, if you want to paint the ceiling while listening to The Ramones at 3am wearing only a drop cloth tied around your neck like a cape, that's your prerogative.

9 comments:

  1. Ahhhhhahahaha! (that was me shrieking with laughter)

    Naked Time indeed. Love it! And I know EXACTLY what you mean, especially with wool pants. OFF THEY GO!
    -J

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  2. Does this mean when I come visit I can't watch TV naked while eating Cheetos?

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  4. I might make an exception. But no Cheetos. I don't want to get orange cheese dust on my ass.

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  5. Conversations with the family... when mine visits, we discuss the weather a lot... nice weather down here... yep... sure is...

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  6. Dammit Kelly...I was wondering where my cape went!!! By the way, Tommy and I looooved the Pinot...although I ended up drinking most of it. -MK

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  7. Being nekkid is good, but being able to pick your nose and wipe the boogies on the underside of the sofa cushion (wiithout threat of being caught) is better.

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  8. Ahh, the joys of living alone. I love my husband and all, but sometimes I wish that we could live in separate apartments. Seriously, I used to say that the only way I'd consider marriage was if I could have a house with my own private wing. Now I share less than 1,000 sq. ft. and only ONE bathroom with a dirty (but lovable) boy.

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  9. I love it! This is so funny you should expand on it and send it out somewhere for publication. It's just too great!

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