“Aren’t you lonely?” and “Don’t you love it?” These are the two questions I get when I tell people I live alone. It’s one or the other. They either can’t fathom the idea of living alone or think it’s the best thing ever. I am of the “best thing ever” camp. I’m a bit of an introvert, somewhat of a slob and deathly allergic to confrontation. So, it’s the perfect living sitch for me. I get my daily dose of “me” time, while never having to worry about fighting with roomies over dishes or drain hair. Though, just as young Kevin McCallister learned, the independence of living alone has its consequences. Here are ten reasons why living alone makes me nervous.
1. Strange Noises
When you live alone, every strange noise is something that’s probably going to kill you. The wind rattling the front door is a burglar. The hiss of the heater is a toxic gas leak. The car backfire is the gunshot of a trained killer who knows enough not to leave witnesses. Without roommates to tell me I’m crazy, these things seem wholly possible and often result in lack of sleep. Speaking of lack of sleep…
You might be saying, “Well, you’d have spiders in your apartment even if you had a roommate.” To which I say, “Yeah, but at least it would be two against one.” Do you know how many spiders I’ve let slip through the cracks while living alone? I turn my back for a second to grab a tissue and poof… he’s gone. I lay awake all night, knowing he’s out there, waiting to make a move. Having a roommate means having someone to run surveillance while I tissue-up. It also means having someone to backup my story later on when I tell everyone the tale of the six inch spider.
3. No One To Borrow From
You’re running late for work, you run out of toothpaste and you live with roommates, no big deal. You bum some Crest off someone for a day or two until you have a chance to get to the store. You’re running late for work, you run out of toothpaste and you live alone, you’re screwed. You’re either going to work with unbrushed teeth or stopping to buy toothpaste, making you even more late. When you live alone, there’s no one around to borrow from, which kinda blows.
4. There’s No “We” In “Living Alone”
If you screw up, it’s on you and only you. The angry note from the guy upstairs will not be addressed to “Residents of Apt. 3”, it will be addressed to you. You alone will face dirty looks in the laundry room after waking everyone up with your 3am dance party. And if something breaks, the landlord knows you’re the one who broke it. There’s no shared responsibility. Everything that happens in your pad is on your shoulders and when the landlord is pulling a crazy amount of hair from the drain and blaming you for destroying his plumbing, there’s no one there to share the guilt with.
5. Getting Ready Alone
My favorite part of having roommates was getting ready to go out together. Aside from the fact that it’s more fun to get pretty as a group, roommates are great to have around for catching things like unremoved store tags, unzipped flies and mascara smudges. I also find that I’m less likely to forget something if I’m going through a checklist with someone. “ID?” Check! “Keys?” Check! Without roommates, I’m always nervous that I’m going to walk out the door keyless, with a big ol’ stain on my butt.
6. I Need To Be Judged Sometimes
If there’s no one around to say, “You’re better than this,” when I’m shoveling peanut butter into my mouth with my bare hands, I’m probably going to continue shoveling peanut butter into my mouth with my bare hands. Roommates force me to see myself from the outside and adjust accordingly. Left to my own devices, I fear I will turn into a complete monster.
7. I’m Not Prepared for Your “Pop-In”
I have a few friends who are fans of the “pop-in”. They show up on a random Sunday afternoon just to chat. When I had roommates, I loved these “pop-ins”. My apartment was usually relatively neat and I was always somewhat presentable out of respect for my roomie and the possibility that she may have someone over. Now that I live alone, I’m not used to having people around and I’ve grown accustomed to my bra-less squalor. “Pop-ins” are my worst nightmare.