Sometimes I forget the kind of enjoyment I get out of having the apartment to myself.
1. I get the TV all to myself and frequently it's just off. And when it's not off, it's turned to something I alone would want to watch. I can also watch my Pride And Prejudice DVDs, all five hours of the BBC mini-series. I can also listen to the Glee soundtrack.
2. I can order in, only what I want, and then get to eat all the delicious leftovers myself. I did this a lot when I lived alone, having takeout or delivery at least once a week and then subsisting on it for two days. Healthy? No. Tasty and fun? Yes!
3. I get 100% of the Smokey cuddles. Smokey likes the Dude a lot and when Dude's not here, Smokey gives me all the loves.
4. The dishes are always done and they get washed before they're all dirty or before they start taking over the kitchen. Generally, the apartment is cleaner when it's just me. Men are so messy.
5. I don't have to wear earplugs. I sleep with ear plugs every night. I'm not sure why, but during the first stint of a relationship, a boyfriend's breathing or night time noises don't bother me. After about a year or less and I become attuned to the noise, it keeps me awake. So I wear ear plugs (I've also worn them to block out the sounds of raccoons mating outside my window). But no boyfriend in bed means no ear plugs.
If there were tons of these absences, I'd enjoy the alone time less. But as it is, it's like a little escape into my head. Frankly, my friends often think I spend too much time there anyway (in my head, that is), but when I'm alone I don't have to either apologize for it or make an effort to be more mentally present with others. It's relaxing.
Actually, I'm probably one of the few people who enjoy a long bus ride. Sitting beside strangers in the aisle seat or listening to cell phone calls or holding my bladder not withstanding, I like the opportunity to completely let go of my awareness and stare out the window and organize my thoughts. Being home alone a few days is like a more convenient and comfortable version of that.
And as much as I want kids, it's something to consider that it may cause me to fully lose my mind more than most. Or maybe I'll adopt the tactic that so many mothers, including mine, have relied on for eons: I can't hear you!