For some reason, when people find out I’m in my forties and not married or don’t have at least a live-in girlfriend, they look on me with pity, like I’m missing out on what “normal people ‘should’ have”. They think that when I tell them it’s intentional that I’m just telling others and myself that in order to cover up for my “real” desire to have what they have. I’d like to state quite clearly this is not the case, and that, even if I were in a very serious committed relationship, I would still have a separate living situation. I also choose not to live with any roommates. Here’s why:
When I get home, it’s blissfully quiet. I can relax, have a beer if I want, and I don’t go from a set of work expectations to a set of home expectations. I can simply unwind in peace. If I want to play a videogame, watch a show, read, wank, play some guitar, or just sit and breathe, I can. No one is asking me questions or asking me when I’m going to do something for them. I have sanctuary.
I do my dishes and clean my place on my time and at my pace. If my place is sloppy or tidy, it’s all on me and it affects no one else. I don’t have to hear about it. When I’m in the mood to clean, I can put on whatever music I like and get to it.
I never have to worry about my food being eaten by anyone I don’t serve it to. I can buy some Ben & Jerry’s and know it will remain as intact as I left it. I can cook meat, or spicy food or whatever and know that I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s dietary proclivities, or have them tell me what mine should be.
If I want a pet, I get one. If I don’t want one, I don’t have to have one. I’m not bugged about it either way.
I can play my guitar at any time and it doesn’t disturb anyone. In fact, whatever I do, I don’t have to worry if I am annoying or disturbing another person. At the same time, I know that there is no one to annoy or disturb me in any way.
I can sit and read a book and not be interrupted.
If I want to nap, I can just do that.
Now, I know there are those who consider this whole thing as rather selfish. However, I must ask…who am I supposed to live for? Whose expectations should I follow? Why “should” I live with another, besides finances, of course? Since I alone pay rent for where I live, why should I not have things set up in a way that makes me calm and happy and doesn’t disturb others? What the heck is wrong with having things my way in my place?
Plus, just having another person there triggers a kind of aversion to do anything that might make noise. Even if they’re totally cool and don’t care, I still worry about disturbing them. I don’t feel comfortable and I can’t just walk around naked or really feel relaxed. Hell, let’s get down to it: I can fart without consequence…to others anyway.
Of course, if I have someone over, I do my best to be considerate. Several friends will tell you that I show great hospitality, cook great food, and give what I can of what I have, and make decent use of my small place to entertain and make a nice space to just hang out. I’m kind and generous (sometimes to my own detriment) with guests. So, it’s not an inability or lack of desire to share.
As I like to say: there is no such thing as one right way for everyone to live. I know several people who can’t handle living alone and need to live with someone. I say go for it! I just think it’s wrong to assume that one person should want to live the way many people do.
© 2015 William Suphan
- Whole Foods Must Die
- You Are An Individual, Just Like Everyone Else