I have never lived alone. I am the youngest child in my family. I had housemates after college. And I went straight from living with housemates to getting married. Within a year, we had our first child. I loved my family as a child, had fantastic housemates, and a great family now. So I'm not complaining. Still, living alone is that unattainable thing I fixate on from time to time.
But after reading this puffy New York Times piece on how awesome (and quirky!) those millennials (and others) who live alone are, it's enough to make me feel just fine about my living situation. The single-occupant home, we're told, is a breeding ground for eccentricities. But those eccentricities sound remarkably similar to what life in the Hemingway household is like on its worst days -- pants you only wear at home and clothing tossed in inappropriate places. Or:
Among her domestic oddities: running in place during TV commercials; speaking conversational French to herself while making breakfast (she listens to a language CD); singing Journey songs in the shower; and removing only the clothes she needs from her dryer, thus turning it into a makeshift dresser.
Are we really to believe that these things are that eccentric, much less only achievable by living alone? I know tons of people who exercise during commercial breaks (or tidy up or whatever). I not only sing Journey in the shower, I play their albums (possibly unironically) during the dance parties my children and I have each and every afternoon. Now, that dryer business? That's just inefficient.
And yet as these anecdotes go on -- one woman says she never shuts the bathroom door, mon frere! -- I wonder if the big problem is that living alone makes you think that you're the center of the universe. A special little flower.
Again, I would love the pleasures of living alone and I would love to read an article about the real pleasures (and eating a roasted sweet potato and nothing else for dinner isn't exactly what I'd call a real pleasure, OK?). But to write a puff piece about the joys of bathrooms without doors and odd dinner creations without either digging into life as an introvert or the downsides associated with living alone (you know, like it could kill you) is just odd.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to drink some pickle juice straight out of the jar and pretend I'm just as special as these eccentric young whipper snappers. Just kidding. But I am kind of curious about your (or your housemates') eccentricities.