How To Be Alone

I used to be really good at being alone. When I was single, I was perfectly happy to stay in by myself with only ice-cream, popcorn and my collection of Sandra Bullock movies for company. True story.

I would dance and sing around my living-room. One particular Saturday night, I did all of that while drinking Baileys from a pint glass. That was special. OK, maybe that night I wasn’t all that happy to be alone.

My point is this. I like my own company. I can read and write, and listen to Garth Brooks at full blast. And the remote control, after I figure out how to use it, is mine, all mine.

Bliss.

I had great plans for Sarge’s stag do. They involved Netflix and me. And then I was going to finish writing my novel. This was not a fake mission.

Dad invited me to Skye, friends invited me to the pub. I had options.

But I also had PMS, and it’s best not to inflict that level of genius on other people.

And so. Alone time. Because really, when is that going to happen again? I was looking forward to reconnecting with my dancingsingingBaileysswigging self. These were moments to be savoured and remembered fondly when I am married with penguins/children who, if they are anything like their parents, will constantly demand books, hot beverages, and impromptu renditions of Soft Kitty. In a round.

Before all that happens, Sarge got ready for Saturday’s camping trip, and I got ready for some quality time with the couch.

Sarge and his backpack left the building. I hoped I’d see his eyebrows again. Because they are wonderful. And they say so much about a person.

My shopping list for the weekend went like this: Ben & Jerry’s (yes, again. Don’t judge.) Doritos. Cheese. Macroni and cheese. Cheese. My PA laughed. I did not.

Anyway. She might have dropped off my supplies and then backed away slowly.

I was alone. I looked in the fridge. I straightened out the magnets on the fridge. I opened the bag of Doritos. I looked inside. I shrugged. Yes, really. I left all the Doritos in the bag.

I tried whistling. I failed.

I missed my cat.  And Sarge.

I called my Dad. And left what I hope sounded like a non-depressed message. But not too upbeat, either. Because that would be trying too hard.

I texted my soon-to-be sister-in-law. And my soon-to-be mother-in-law. Because they really needed to know I was eating ‘all the cheese.’ So did Facebook. My Wall asked me what I was us up to. Or something.

I stared at a half-full computer screen. I was still doing OK at this point. So it was half-full, not half empty.

I turned on my wedding song playlist. Not exactly single person anthems. But I didn’t even listen to them when I was single, so I wasn’t missing much.

Now. Most of my playlist would make even the Gahds of Sap blush. Saying that, when Bruce sang I’m On Fire, I truly hoped Sarge was not.

I muted the music. Looked at some old photos. Realised again that my stress levels around the guest-list stem from the fact that my Grandparents won’t be there. Except in my dreams.

I gave thanks for everyone who will be there, in person and in spirit, stopped worrying about any of the lists. And practised my hyphenated signature. Yes, really.

I finished reading a book I started when I was 11. I watched all the TV that Sarge doesn’t know I watch. I had the Doritos. But I left the Ben & Jerry’s. Times have changed.

When I went to bed at 1.30 am, there may have been a stuffed toy penguin left for me on Sarge’s pillow. I woke up the next morning and I may have been holding it. I turned over in bed, wondering what happened to my life. But I was happy with it.

Some friends came over to help me across the cobbled streets that lead to our book-group, everyone hoping I wouldn’t break any teeth three weeks before my wedding.

We got to the book-group, where I thought every third word was ‘penguin’. True story.

A few hours later, Sarge, his backpack and his eyebrows came home. With Chinese food. And some ticks.

I was reading a book, minding my own business. Which was lucky. Just a few minutes earlier and he would have caught me singing a Carly Simon song, slightly off-key and into my hair-brush.

See, even Bridget Jones liked penguins.  They ARE everywhere!
See, even Bridget Jones liked penguins. They ARE everywhere!
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8 thoughts on “How To Be Alone

  1. I’m thinking that the next step for this Blogger’s career needs to be the last page of a trendy, glossy magazine. What do publishers call that page?

  2. It’s hard to sing Soft Kitty in a round when you live alone. My cat is so uncooperative! Just so you know, I’ve had you in my iPhone address book with your hyphenated name for ages now! xoxo

  3. Your writing always makes me smile. I’m headed out for a sailing trip on Thursday for three and a half weeks (with my foot in a walking boot because of a foot surgery recovery gone partially awry….maybe I can send you a disability story.)
    Have a wonderful wedding. I’ll look forward to hearing all about it when we get back the end of June.

  4. Weird, isn’t it? I’m an only child so I’m quite happy with my own company–or the company of Ben & Jerry. But now that I’ve lived with Mr. Weebles for 7 years, the idea of suddenly NOT living with him terrifies me.

  5. I live by myself. Well, Reggie lives here too so I should say that I’m the only one with opposable thumbs in this apartment. I don’t mind. But sometimes it would be nice to have the company of someone capable of language. 🙂

    PS- Cheese = good.

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