Friday, September 23, 2011

Let' s Eat Dinner in Bed at 4:00. I'll Bring the Peanut Butter Sandwiches.

As most of you know, I am now living alone for the first time in my life.

This change in lifestyle happened pretty suddenly, and pretty dramatically (to say the least), and I've had a little trouble adjusting to it.

I do have two cats, and though I consider myself a sparkling conversationalist, they tend to fall asleep in the middle of my exciting recounting of the day.

Their eyes start to droop before I get to the story about parking in my usual spot at school, and by the time I start to talk about what kind of sandwich I had for lunch, they are sound asleep.

(Unless, it was a tuna sandwich and then they tend to open at least one eye to see if I have any leftovers in my possession.)

I have many friends who live alone and like it just fine. Me? Well, I am just not used to it and find it pretty lonely at times.

However, I am attempting to find some good in it.

After some thought, I have come up with a list of three things that I like about living alone.

1. Loosely set dinner time.

Dinner at our house has always been at 6:00pm. I made this rule in 1981 and we stuck to it for thirty years. I had dinner on the table every night at six o'clock. HOB knew dinner would be ready and was home from work by that time. The kids knew to be home at 6:00 and even their friends knew if they wanted to be fed, 6:00 was the time to show up.

The other day I got hungry at 4:00 and thought, "Oh, two more hours until dinner." Then it struck me! I could eat at any time! What a concept! I fixed a meal for myself and (brace yourselves for evidence of my new, wacky lifestyle) ate it at 4:20! Yes!

Bonus! I can eat anywhere I want now too!

2. Large bed to myself.

At first this was tough for me.

I'd wake in the middle of the night and reach for HOB. I'd wake up and wonder where he was. Once I remembered, that side of the bed then seemed even larger and more empty. Then I discovered that I could place my I-Pod, my portable radio, my notebook, my DVD player, and my book on that side of the bed. I reach for these things in the middle of the night when I can't sleep and it's comforting to have them nearby. Voila! A handy entertainment center once wasted on a sleeping body!

Extra Bonus: No time to fold laundry? No problem! Dumped on that side of the bed, it waits patiently and provides a little clothing snowbank reminiscent of a bumper pad in a crib.

3. No Guilt Peanut Butter Knives

Every morning for breakfast I have peanut butter.

It is part of what keeps me so darn pretty and my skin so supple.

I use a knife to dig out the peanut butter and then place the unwashed knife in the sink. This drove HOB crazy. He wanted me to wipe it off immediately.

Washing a knife first thing in the morning before eating breakfast?

Touching a sponge before touching my food?

I don't think so.

In the last few months he was home, he made a very big deal out of the peanut butter knife.
When I left it in the sink, he used it as an opportunity to get offended. "You're sending me a message every time you leave a dirty knife in the sink, " he said, dramatically. "You expect me to clean your knives for you, don't you?"

So, I started washing darn knives first thing in the morning and hated everything about it.

NOW, I put them in the sink with peanut butter still on them and then dance a little jig around the kitchen. Sometimes I have four or five peanut butter knives in there before I get them washed. Whooooooo!!!!!


So, my dear readers, if you live alone, tell me one thing you like about it.

If you live with others, tell me how your mate/loved one drives you crazy with small, annoying habits.

Gloat. Vent. You'll feel better; I'll feel better.

Leave your comment here at Betty's sink.

I won't even try to clean it up and you can leave it right here for as long as you want.


Peggy K said...

One more thing on YOUR list, Betty. Those annoying crows don't "mysteriously" show up anymore.

As for me, not having to live in a meat locker during the summer would be lovely. You see, he runs hot, I don't. So I figure it's a compromise for him to keep it colder while my inside wardrobe consists of some of my winter clothes.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you're finding small pleasures now. Guess I don't like my wife leaving her coffee cup in the sink, but not enough to protest.

Old Kitty said...

Oh BB! I love that I can watch every darned silly programme on telly that I want to watch without justification! In my last relationship - it was his way with the telly or no way. LOL!!!

May your sink be full of unwashed knifes slathered in peanut butter! Take care

Connie said...

Betty, it doesn't surprise me that you are looking for the good side of things. That's just the kind of person you are, and I really like that about you. Finding the positive will help you cope better too.

As for me, my hubby drives me a little crazy with the mail he gets. He lets it pile up and won't sort through it for days at a time. If I sort through it and throw things out, then of course, I've thrown out something he wanted to keep. haha! I do things that drive him nuts too, of course.

Enjoy your peanut butter! It's a good source of protein. :-)

Unknown said...

My husband doesn't pick up after himself; it drives me batty!

Teresa Evangeline said...

I think I can say this with a fair amount of certainly: it's never about the peanut butter knife in the sink. We're never upset for the reason(s) we think we are.

My epiphany came after baking a chocolate cake and realizing I could stand in the kitchen and eat it out of the pan. Magic moment.

I still do. And lots of other stuff, too.

I was just thinking yesterday that I might start having PB for breakfast... Mmmmm....

You crazy 4:20 gal you. ;)

Teresa Evangeline said...

certainly/certainty, same same.

Anne Gallagher said...

I lived alone for many many years and the one thing I always did was use the bathroom with the door open. If it was just me and the dogs, they didn't care what I was doing in there. Now, with people in the house, it drives me insane to have to close the door. Claustrophobia? Maybe.

Alison said...

Wow, your recovery has begun pretty quickly. I lived alone for a loooong time. I liked the laundry: I could do one load, once a week (two if I'd been going crazy), and be done with it. I even had enough extra closet space for my hang-dry stuff, so it wasn't all over the place. Miss Chef goes through so many clothes we decided laundry was her job, and now we always have at least one full drying rack in the guest room. Right now there are two.

There are many things that drive me crazy about her habits, mostly the unfinished projects I have to walk around or do myself...but she works nights, so I also get the flexible meal times and freedom can have pb&j for dinner if that's what I feel like.

Unknown said...

I am happy dancing with you over those knives in the sink!!!

Bonuses must be enjoyed when they are found!!!


Brian (not the cat) said...

Since my son moved out, it's been just his sister and me in the house. Whereas neither of them was formerly concerned at all about household neatness, I have had to adjust recently to my now-adult daughter's recently developed need for cleanliness and order. There's now a long list of things that ought not be left near the sink. We have our little squabbles, but we are learning to respect each other's wishes for the most part.

Despite having her off in her own corner of the house, it is still like living alone for me, in most respects. The freedom to do as I please is nice, but too much freedom for too long can become a quagmire of unlimited choice. And as you've noticed, many cats are not great conversationalists, and they do not seem interested at all in foreign film.

Pamela Gold said...

I don't live alone at the present time but when my husband and I were separated, it was Fall and the weather was really cool. I'd open the bedroom window on Saturday morning, grab my coffee and book and read in bed all snuggled under the blankets for as long as I wanted. I miss that.

Lin said...

When I'm home alone, I like that it stays so nice and clean with minimal effort. I like playing MY music loud and watching what I want to watch on TV.

I like that only half of the bed needs to be made....or not. And I don't have to wash everyone else's clothes--nobody ever does that for me. (Well, they tried, but they ruined MY stuff.)

Weird how the PB knife drove him crazy. Isn't that funny how you recall that now?

Leah J. Utas said...

Having the place to yourself has its charms. The eating what and when you want is a major bonus, but I am quite fond of the not cleaning.

SUGAR MOON said...

I live alone during the week while he works and he comes home on the weekends. I think making decisions and not needing to stick to any kind of schedule is pretty cool. I've been doing this for over five years. It took a little adjustment, but I like it fine.

Sara said...

~~ Happy House to Yourself Dances!!! ~~

Two things:
Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter. Amaaaaazing!

and - What do you think of buying yourself a fabulously girly duvet cover or bedspread or quilt for you new entertainment center bed? Something you'd never buy if you needed someone else's opinion or approval. Something that's just utterly you and makes you happy every time you see it :)

Out on the prairie said...

I don't worry about a thing around here. I have lived by myself for 8 years and it was hard at first. I have had a kid come stay for a few weeks, and it gets a bit testy toward the end of the stay. They developed all my habits so this works well. I use a cleaning lady who sometime shakes her head when she come over, and I generally leave to let her do her magic.I hang all my laundry, that is the closest to folding, except for a few items like shorts.

Texas Yellow Rose said...

Before I remarried, I enjoyed the "eat when I'm hungry" routine and so did my body. I also relished in the knowledge that I could paint my toenails robin's egg blue at 2 AM if I so desired! Of course, I could still do that now, but - as life is all about choices - I choose not to do so. You're making progress! Enjoy these pleasures and continue building a darned good life for yourself!

My Mind's Eye said...

BB you are an throws you lemons and you make the sweetest lemonade ever. Bless you heart for finding a positive twist.

I live with my hubby, when he helps unload the dish washer or put something back in the fridge..he never puts them where he got them. As for me...if he were to answer this question, he'd say that I never learned to subtract. BTW I can subtract on paper w/o any problem...but I have problems with the check book.


Nicole said...

I think living without kids and pets (and a husband who just does his own thing) - I tend to feel like I live alone. Dinner whenever is my favorite!

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose you know that the dishwasher can be loaded incorrectly. And if that happens, it cannot be touched by anyone but the poor soul who just can't learn the proper way to load it. (That would be me.) The loading and the unloading are then my job and mine only.
On the upside, since I am also incapable of washing clothes the proper way, that is no longer my job.
I would love to be able to have dinner when I want to.

Hilary said...

I live with my 21 year old son which is practically alone because HE has a social life. ;)

I also live part time with Frank. We each have our own homes about an hour apart but he's here most weekends, I'm often there for a few days or we're both together up at the cottage. We are VERY different and have quite a number of peanut buttery knife-like moments, although that particular issue isn't among them.

We've come down to an unspoken "your house, your rules. My house, my rules" agreement with a few exceptions when one or the other really can't live with the rules. We lock horns over a few things but for the most part it works out well enough. If/when we're ever living under only one roof, we'll have to divide the house into his, mine and ours. ;)

I'm glad you're finding some positives. :)

Katherines Corner said...

The little things will bring you joy.Hugs and wishes for a joy filled weekend.

Ms. A said...

All my little annoyances are still here, when they aren't working and his big annoyance is still sitting right where he left it, when he gets home.

Brian said...

I hope your have a peanut butter filled weekend!!!

Empty Nester said...

I don't like it when Hubs comes in after a long day at work, outside, at the port authority, all dirty and sweaty and sits right down on my sofa.

But if leaving something in the sink drove me nuts, I would have been committed YEARS ago! Eat your peanut butter! And leave those knives right there in that sink! And you were nice to wash them before- I never would have.

Mandy_Fish said...

I like leaving the television on whether I'm watching it or not. I like drinking wine while I'm cooking. I like to walk around in my underwear. I like staying up late reading. I like doing what I want to do, when I want to do it.

I don't always get these things in relationship-mode. They were kinda nice when I was single. Also, I used to have a TV in my bedroom and could watch TV in bed. Add that to the list.

rainbow said...

Love your post and everyone's comments. I have not spent much time alone, my short time of being the Boss of the home was after the 1st divorce but I was too busy with a 9 and 11 year old boys to have any time to myself. After 3 years of just us, I tried for hubby #2. He had custody of his 5 kids (4 boys and 1girl), going from the mother of 2 to the mother of 7 was a real change. On top of that the guys could do nothing right and the girl could do nothing wrong. BAD NEWS ANYTIME but she knew how to use it. When I took up for the boys, he said I was too soft on them or if I corrected the girl, I was being too hard on her. Can you see why that only lasted 6 months. When my guys got out on their own, that is when I had less than a year I met Hubby #3. When we married I said, "I am not going through another divorce, if you want to leave me I have a gun and I will take care of that and besides I am having a 50th Wedding Anniversary." He said "Do you know how old I'll be then?" I said "Yes 99, and if you died early on me or try to leave you are going in the freezer and you will go as a popcicle. I am having a 50th Anniversary!" POINT MADE.


Tabor said...

Unfortunately my husband is thigmotropic when he sleeps and I am not. You would probably like that, but I like lots of room when I sleep and he is too warm! It was great in our twenties, but I am different now.

Eileen said...

When I first split with my ex-husband, the big bed got me, too. Then a friend moved and had no room for her gorgeous antique double bed and asked if I might want it for my guest room. I said yes and put it in my room instead. It was a revelation. Not only did the bed not feel so empty, I also discovered that instead of fighting someone for covers or not putting on the sheets I liked best because they made him hot, I could put any kind of sheets and comforters on it I wanted. I went super girly-girl with a pretty pink comforter and Laura Ashley flannel sheets. I put not one, but TWO feather beds on top (am I a wild woman or what?) and it was heavenly - no more hard bed for me. And when I slept, I'd put one of my big long pillows down next to me on either side and sleep in a sort of wonderfully soft and warm nest. It did wonders for me.
At first I was lonely living alone but then I grew to love it. I could vacuum at midnight, paint the walls whatever color I wanted, eat when/what I wanted, stay up late, sleep in late, talk on the phone all night, veg in front of the TV and not have to talk if that's what I wanted to do.
I live with someone now - a wonderful man whose only fault is that he needs a hard bed. Sigh...

Baby Sister said...

Oh I'm glad you're finding good things. :) That's a step in the right direction. While Boyfriend and I don't live together, he's a bit messy and it drives me slightly crazy whenever I go to his house. If we ever get married, he's going to have to work on that.

Keep finding good things and enjoy your peanut butter knives and bed storage. :)

Claudya Martinez said...

I've never lived alone, but I think I would be great at it. I don't really have any regrets, but if I was forced at gun point to name one it would probably be that I never got to live alone. Now I don't want to because I love my family, but still when I was younger it would have been fun.

jenny_o said...

I need a lot of time to myself to be happy, and I'm picky about a lot of things. But I've noticed it's easier to ignore them when I feel close to my partner. The little things seem to become a barometer for closeness. When I find myself being snappish, I need to take time to be with him.

And all his little habits that drive me nuts are balanced out by his ability to ignore my pickiness, which seems fair, now doesn't it? :)

Gigi said...

I could go on and on about the annoying things the people in my house do that irritate me....but I'll leave it at this; when Hubby puts something away (rare, I know) he never puts it where it belongs. And then when I'm looking for it, he has NO idea where it is...

Joanna Jenkins said...

When I lived alone I never watched and endless stream of sporting events on tv.

Enjoy the peanut butter!
xo jj

Marlene said...

Oh, you make me laugh!!! Peanut butter on knives, left in the sink! LOL!! Who the hell gets upset by that? So trivial.

My pet peeve is that hubby likes to tell me which knife I should be using for which job. I use any ol' knife. I am not a chef (neither is he). I don't bloody well care if I take out a giant butcher knife to chop an onion. It's whatever knife I fancy - and that's that! LOL!

Ann said...

Oh Betty, I'm so happy that you are starting to discover the good things about living alone. When I was in between husbands I absolutely loved the fact that I could do what I wanted when I wanted and didn't have to answer to anyone. I can't believe I gave that up.
Living with a man who is picky about everything is driving me crazy. Or maybe it's me who's driving him crazy :)

Eloise said...

For me the best part of living alone is not having to relive your mistakes by sharing them. Maybe there are partners who respond with sympathy when you lose your purse or back into the mailbox, but that has not been my experience. It seems most take the opportunity to point out your faults as if you are not already very aware of them. One of my most empowering moments came shortly after my divorce when I was mowing the yard and ran over the watch I had left by my lawn chair. I really liked that watch a lot and was really upset, then realized that I could fix it. I drove to the city and bought an identical watch. No lectures, no recriminations, no appropriate time of penance served. said...

I lived alone for many years. Now that I have a housemate, I REALLY miss being able to walk around in an unpresentable state (e.g., without clothes or only partially dressed). Plus, I have extra chores to do that I'm starting to resent (e.g., opening the garage door a crack every morning if the cat - not my cat, mind you - wants to go outside...). There's a real freedom to living alone.

[Psst, though you didn't toss the peanut butter knives in your sink to spite HOB, I'm going to toss a few in mine to spite him.]


Chuck said...

My wife makes sandwiches with slathers of mayo...I mean enough to make me gag just looking at it. She leaves the knife in the sink caked with mayo (my peanut butter knife I guess). She does not even rinse off the excess. I do most of the dishes (all of them actually) and I hate having food particles of any kind in the dishwater. Sometimes after I have run a sink and am not looking, she will throw the mayo-coated knife in the water. When I finally get to it I always seem to grab the business end which is now gooey with mayo which dispurses throughout the the water. Real pet peeve!! Great post Betty...hope your spirits are looking up.

Carnival Girl said...

Honey, it's your good friend Kathy here to tell you that there are MANY great things about living alone!!! Here are just a few that I've always loved:

1. Video binges: you can sit down and watch an entire season of some show that you never have time to watch during the school year or catch up on all the movies you didn't get around to. Just sprawl on the couch, get your drink and your eats, and go for it. If you want to watch all day and all night, SO WHAT?

2. Reading binges: same as above, only with books. Leave them scattered all over the floor if you want, and then you'll have the full visual selection right at your finger tips.

3. Order pizza delivered that's made exactly the way you want it, with no one around to judge you for your weird tastes or the fact that you just might eat that pizza and nothing else for the next two days.

4. You can call in "sick" at work (I call this a mental health day, for those times when you're not really sick but you just need a god damn day off, you know?) Call in, go back to bed and sleep late, get up and catch up on your paper grading, and you don't have to make excuses or justify that absence to anyone.

5. Project Freedom: This one is the best! Start an enormous, time consuming project that must be spread out all over the house, like organizing all your photos or making valentines or scrap booking or burning everything in the house that makes you sad, and you can leave the mess exactly where you left it until you're finished. Take all week to complete the project if you want-- nobody is going to mess with it or complain while stepping over it.

6. Box of See's candy, no sharing required, need I say more?

Love you baby! Embrace the new. There is good in it, I promise.

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration. You are one of my favourite's! Truly!!
Have a great weekend! Be good to YOU!

Barbara said...

I've been single over 25 years..luv it! My sister over 23 years. Her comment: If she wakes up at 2 a.m. and wants a bearclaw, she can go get one. She doesn't have to explain to anyone where she's going, when she'll be back, how long she'll be gone, how much she's going to spend, or how many calories she's going to eat!! Enjoy! You'll do just fine! Really.

Linda Myers said...

Tuning the radio to my station and leaving it on.

Sueann said...

I saw you in your nighties dancing around the kitchen sink and it made me laugh out loud!! Hoorah for dirty dishes in the sink and eating at 4PM!! Loved this post!
I do not live alone...but I am alone most of the day and night. He works a lot. I love it! Having the house to myself and doing what I want when I want too. Ahhh!! Freedom for sure!
Enjoy deserve this sense of peace and joy!!

Liz Mays said...

No more globs of toothpaste in the sink, and no puddles of pee on the floor!

Pat said...

When my husband does the dishes, he just drains the water and leaves all the yucky stuff in the drain and a dirty sink. Drives me crazy!

I like to see you looking at some positive sides of the situation!

Just Plain Jane said...

You have lots of support as you restructure your life. I'm only a recent reader of your blog, but admire the way you're getting on with it and also your honesty about the hurt suffered. I'm with you all the way!
Keep on keeping on.

Kazzy said...

What a great attitude!! Love the entertainment center idea. :)

nick said...

I'm with HOB re peanutbuttered knives. Shame!