Yes, I’ve been home alone, childless and husbandless for exactly two weeks now. During our almost ten-year marriage, Tony and I have been apart for a couple of days on a handful of occasions. But this is the first time we’ve tried it for an extended period of time. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since this is the first time I’d be the one without the children.
I kind of thought it might be fun to try out, since I have never lived alone before in my entire life. Literally. I lived at home, and then I went to college and had roommates, and then I went on a study abroad to Syria and had more roommates (and we had a safety rule that we could never go out alone), and then I went on a mission and had a companion (and even more stringent rules that we always had to be together). And then I got married.
I love my life, and I certainly can’t say I haven’t traveled or done adventurous stuff after having gotten married (relatively) young, because Tony and I went right on doing that after we got married, and dragged our kids along too. But I look at my single friends sometimes and wonder what their lives are like. Specifically, what it’s like to come home to your house and find everything eerily as you left it, and nobody there to greet you (except the pets).
I don’t at all pretend to now understand what it’s like to be single, since I do have a husband and children, and speak to them over the telephone or video chat daily at least. But it was interesting and different to be alone doing all the mundane, everyday tasks of life. All those house chores that we have divided up fell exclusively to me (although minus the ones that involve children, so I think I actually came up on top there, aside from my battles with the lawn).
When my brakes started making a weird noise, I kind of panicked. Who would pick me up from the auto shop? Turns out the auto shop had a complimentary shuttle service in the person of a very chatty elderly man named Max who spends all day long chauffeuring people around Palm Coast in a leisurely, friendly way. In fact, the man he was dropping off after he dropped me off at work had a list of errands Max had cheerfully acquiesced to take him on.
Then there was the time (it was the very day I flew home to Florida by myself) I locked myself in the garage. It was easy enough to get out of the garage by opening the garage door, but how was I going to get back into the house? There was nobody inside to let me in, and nobody outside with his own house key to let me in when he came home. I eventually recalled that I’d left the bedroom door that goes onto the screened-in-porch open. The door to the outside world from the screened-in-porch happened to be unlocked too, so I was saved.
When I told Tony about the incident, he reminded me of the spare key he’d carefully hidden outside before he left. Am I this pathetic of a person when left to my own devices? Or is it just that I’ve unconsciously adapted to being part of a twosome?
To say nothing of the fact that even with my 12-foot body pillow taking up more of the bed than Tony does, I couldn’t help feeling alone and unsnuggled at night. When I went to pick up some DVD’s from the library to make the house seem less empty and silent, I made the mistake of getting romantic comedies that only made me feel lonelier. Switching them out for action movies helped, although not much.
You know the things you picture you could do if you just had a weekend to yourself? Well, I couldn’t remember any of them, or I didn’t feel much like doing them. This is my third solo weekend, and I am tired of having a weekend to myself.
I know multiple married people who have done the long-distance relationship thing for a summer, or just coming home on weekends, and it worked for them. I am pretty sure it would not work for me. I like having my people around. I like to hug them and go places with them and watch movies together. I do NOT like coming home to an empty house or waking up in an empty (besides me and my body pillow) bed.
Here’s to Monday night at 11:15 p.m. when I pick them up from the airport and get my normal, hectic, happy family life back.