Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Single Life

            If
one were to ask the average person what the benefits are of dating, mating, and
perhaps procreating, she would likely receive some sentimental response
relating to the magic of sharing an intense emotional bond with another person,
the comfort of having someone to grow old with, or, for some couples, the wonder
of bringing new life to the world and experiencing the joys of parenthood.  Very few people would answer
“because it saves times and money,” because that sounds awful and
heartless.  But it’s also true.  The emotional aspects are only part of
the benefits of being in a relationship.

            I’m
well aware being single has its perks. 
I can eat what I want, when I want.  I can go to bed early, sleep in the dead center of my
mattress, and have only the cat to disturb me. I can work in silence when I
need to and dance and sing obnoxiously when I want to (at least until my
downstairs neighbor pounds on the ceiling).  However, in other ways, beyond just the lack of companionship,
being single sucks.  It sucks time,
money, and energy. 

            Last
weekend I decided to tackle a list of home improvement projects.  It seemed like a small list, one that
would take a few hours if all went well, which I was smart enough to know
wasn’t likely.  Still, I planned on
part of a day, five or six hours, tops. 
Two fourteen hour days later, I collapsed on the couch finally finished
and ready to enjoy the fruits of my labor­­–except by then the weekend was over
and I was back to work.  What went
wrong?  Nothing.  At least nothing I hadn’t expected: the
plaster needed major patching, I needed more touch-up paint, Home Depot sucked
at cutting the blind, and I should have been about four inches taller.  What I hadn’t factored in were the
regular chores that needed to get done. 
I still needed to shop, do laundry, pay bills, make lunches, clean, correct, and
blog (the last two never happened, shocking, I know).  Now, I’m all about breaking the gender boundaries.  I strongly believe girls should be
allowed to play contact sports, a woman should be president, and all females
should know how to use power tools. 
But just because I can do
everything myself, doesn’t mean I want to.  I would be perfectly happy playing June Clever and handing
my hubby a beer while he swore at Home Depot, cursed the crappy plaster, and
nearly took out the flatscreen trying to balance a ten foot curtain rod in one
hand and the level in another. 
Hell, I might have even offered to help hold something (the pumpkin beer,
perhaps?).  After all, there is
something to the old adage “many hands make light work.”  Even if Mr. Right isn’t Tim the Toolman
Taylor, some help is better than none.

            This
is true of finances as well. 
Looking at my bank statement after a weekend of playing HGTV, I nearly
choked.  Perhaps things wouldn’t
have seemed so bad if I knew the hit would be divided between two
salaries.  Couples tend to have
this misguided view that they have double the expenses, so being single isn’t
really more of a financial burden.  I wish this
were true.  Unfortunately, the
companies that provide cable, internet, phones, other utilities, home
insurance, and mortgages don’t provide a singles discount.  I don’t even get a pity-rate for
premium channels so I have something to watch when I’m home alone on a weekend
night.

            But,
hey, it’s my own fault really. 
Admit it, some of you are thinking it.  If someone dislikes being single so much, she can just go
date more, right?  In theory,
yes.  As soon as I finish writing
this blog, cleaning my condo, correcting my students’ papers, and planning my
meals for the week, I’ll get right on it. 
I’ll use all that extra time and cash to join a time-sucking online
dating service, sign-up for a few ridiculously expensive singles events, and
buy myself a few nice over-priced outfits to go out in.  Then I’ll spend the rest of the
afternoon riding my unicorn.  Hey,
if we’re living in a fantasy world, I should at least get to have a unicorn.

            Back
in the real world I know I’m lucky enough to be blessed with a job that
provides great vacations to carry out projects (if I’m patient enough to wait
for one) and a salary that allows me to live more comfortably than many.  Time and money are what you make of
them.  When it comes right down to it, I’m
happy to have what I do, and hopeful that someday soon I’ll have someone to
share it with–both the love and the laundry!

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