Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Have A Dog, Right?

I have never lived alone.  I had roommates in college; I got married at 22 and had Taylor at 25.  I have no idea how to live a solitary home life.  I don't mind being alone. It gives you time to read, to escape into other worlds, to have adventures without leaving your home.  There is also a sweet justice in having control of the remote and watching every single episode of America's Next Top Model without remorse, compromise, or random sports shows. I can comfortably pass a day or two in my own company. HOWEVER, how do you pass a year, five years, forty years living alone?

This is one of the questions I have been pondering lately.  When Taylor leaves for basics, does my life become one of silence at home transforming me into a clingy chatty person whenever I am around people? No one likes to be around  THAT person, so how do I avoid it? Do my meals become sandwiches, soups, and the occasional meal out with friends? Which meals can easily be cooked for one? The questions keep coming until I feel overwhelmed and panicked... Seriously... How do I avoid becoming the stereotypical cat lady who lives alone? I don't even like cats.

I've asked friends of mine that live alone for advice.  They fall into two categories.  The young ones who are living alone until they meet Mr. Right or Mrs. Right and begin their lives.  They are out partying, working, shopping, and dating.  They are not worried about living alone because it is a temporary thing.  Their future as a duo or a family is waiting for them somewhere. That was the first half of my life, and this is the NEXT half...  The others in the second category live alone by choice.  They are the introverts.  They settle into their homes like an old man sinking into his Lazy Boy recliner. They go to work and come home to the silence they crave.  This is not me most days.  I need people to talk to, to laugh with, to simply make noise. How do I do this?

The best answer I have received so far to my questions was a simple question..."You have a dog, right?". I do.  Bella is a Pomeranian mix.  Taylor and I bought her this past summer as a pet for him, but she has quickly became part of the family.  Bella crawls up in your lap whenever you are watching television, ensuring that you have someone to whom you can make your observations about the show. She runs to you when you unlock the door welcoming you home. She is smart and will play fetch for as long as you are willing to throw the ball for her making sure you are needed and never bored. Most importantly, for me right now, Bella makes noise and so whenever I hear the floor creak or a bump in the other room, I am not frightened because I simply attribute it to Bella. Before we had her, I would panic fearing that it was a robber. She also acts as an alarm system of sorts.  Whenever a car pulls up the drive, Bella growls.  There is no way to sneak up on us.  She will not allow it. In extremely basic terms, Bella keeps me company. I guess those cat ladies are on to something, but I still don't like cats.

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