How I learned living alone isn't like 'Home Alone'
When I was younger, I thought living alone sounded like a dream. Oh, the freedom! The ability to eat whatever you want (without asking first), to dance in your underwear as long as your heart desires, to marathon whatever you want on tv without consulting any parent, roommate or sibling. The pros are endless. I couldn’t wait to get my own place because I was sure it would be amazing. Or, so I thought. One of my all-time favorite movies, Home Alone, just celebrated its 25th anniversary and is showing as a re-release in select theaters as I type this.
The IMDB description describes the film as “an 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.” Sounds fun, right?! I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that kind of set-up? The answer is a lot! But the way little Kevin handles himself is a little misleading. When I was eight, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know how to do half the stuff he does. However entertaining, I learned a lot from this movie, including what living alone actually means, compared to what my eight-year-old self thought it meant.
A tarantula on the loose is a TOTAL deal-breaker
I’m not squeamish by any means. BUT, if you told me I’d be living in a place where a giant arachnid lived, I’d be out of there in a nanosecond. Sorry, Buzz. That’s if the thing is still IN its enclosure. If I were to “pull a Kevin” and snoop around my older brother’s room, clumsily setting the arachnid free, let’s just say I would no longer live in this home alone. Having a place of my own, seeing any kind of spider is not cool and while it may be useful in scaring away intruders, I typically prefer my residence a bug-free zone.
Burglars aren’t actually that funny
I figured when I grew up and lived in my own fancy apartment or whatever, if anyone tried to break in, it’d be cool. Because I knew how to play massive tricks or how to use booby traps to keep them at bay. Not once did I think of any real consequences. Thankfully, I haven’t had to find out yet. But just in case, I have the Christmas ornaments and hot iron ready for any Wet Bandits that come my way.
Going to the grocery store isn’t that exciting
Grocery shopping is a necessary errand that often gives me anxiety. The freedom of choosing foods and paying with my own money quickly loses its excitement once you’ve been made to do it on the regular. Buying a toothbrush is super responsible but IRL, not as adorable as when Kevin does it.
A big,empty house can feel lonely at times
Having alone time is great. You learn the invaluable lesson of relying on yourself. But, there comes a time when you might miss having a brother or sister around to argue with or Mom or Dad to nag on you about the chores you didn’t want to do, or even a significant other to talk to after a long, stressful day. Living alone, for me, meant not always having someone there for longer than a Christmas vacation. The point is, living alone taught me not to take my loved ones for granted. Not to mention if I jump on the bed and trash the house, the only person to clean it all up? Me.
Talk to strangers cautiously
Not every mysterious neighbor has a heart-warming story that ends happily. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but generally, when you feel frightened of Old Man Marley, and you’re home alone, it’s probably best to keep to yourself.
Ordering pizza is rarely as exciting as Kevin McAllister made it appear
I would LOVE for my next pizza delivery to be as exciting as ordering from Little Nero’s but sadly, my instances have not been so. Typically, I order, they deliver, I pay them, transaction over. And if you’re even thinking about playing a movie through the door to trick said delivery driver, trust me when I say it doesn’t work.
Appliance noises aren’t a joke
There are times even as an adult, noisy appliances scare me. Late at night when everything else is quiet, if the refrigerator rumbles, I’m out of my mind. When Kevin is faced with a scary furnace, he learns to face his fear. Everything makes noise at some point so if this kid can look his fear in the eye, so can I, right (she tells herself)?
Living alone doesn’t have to be hard but it’s also not as easy as I thought it would be. Home Alone is a great reference in both what not to do and what to appreciate while you have it. In life, while there’s no timely music, scripted lines, or comedic relief when I’m feeling lonely or frightened, if an eight-year-old can survive, so can I (possibly).
[Image via 20th Century Fox]