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[100 Things] Closing the Bathroom Door

22 Oct

One small but cool thing about being single is that you don’t have to close the bathroom door. I always thought I was the only one who liked leaving the bathroom door open, but I was talking to a single friend who is about to acquire a roommate. She remarked that one of the biggest adjustment was going to be learning to close the bathroom door again.

Anyone who has cats will understand that a closed door is just an invitation to be interrupted. It doesn’t matter which side of the door the cat is on; it always wants to be on the other side. Leaving the bathroom door is just a matter of convenience.

I confess, though, one thing I’ve never been able to do is shower with the door open. Must be a lingering memory of that scene from Psycho…

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[100 Things] No Full-Service

4 Oct

The other day I was talking to a friend who was worried she didn’t have enough gas to get home from a meeting. No problem, I said, you have enough to get to the gas station two blocks from here. Her response?

“Oh, I don’t know how to pump gas. My husband always does that.”

Guys, my jaw dropped. After I picked it up, I started laughing. I’m sure I acted like a jerk, but I was seriously floored that anyone could live to be over twenty (or over forty) and not have any clue how to pump her own gas. As a single girl, I would be screwed if I waited for some man to pump gas for me.

I pump my own gas, check my own oil, add windshield fluid and engine coolant when needed. I take my car for oil changes and tire rotations. I even know how to change a tire myself, for those times I don’t feel like waiting on AAA.

This woman has a good career that involves regional travel all the time, most of it via automobile. How does she manage? Are there any full-service gas stations left in the Midwest? I know a couple of states in the Union actually require full-service (Oregon comes to mind) but here in Middle America, we pump our own gas. And maybe if we lived in New York City or Chicago she could do all her travel by public transport, but that isn’t the case. So how does she get by?

It’s one thing if her husband pumps the gas out of consideration. But if he only does it because she doesn’t know how? I know not every married woman as as helpless when it comes to car-related things, but I think it’s pretty pathetic if a woman can’t manage in life by herself. What is she going to do if something happens and she is suddenly a widow or divorcee? And if she can’t do something as simple as pumping gas, what other vital life skills is she missing?

I made her follow me to the gas station, where I taught her how to pump gas and pay for it with her check card. I told her, “You don’t have to tell your hubby you know how to do this, but by gosh, you’re going to learn.”

But I confess, weeks later, I wonder if she remembers how.

[100 Things] Crazy Cat Lady Status

10 Aug

Two cats snuggling on a desktop

I’m not sure whether to file today’s post under “100 Good Things” or “100 Bad Things” about being single.

Let’s start out with a few facts:

  • I’m a single woman.
  • Over 30.
  • I love cats.
  • I have two cats.
  • I tend to talk about my cats as if they’re my kids.
  • I post pictures of my cats regularly on Facebook & Instagram.

So am I a crazy cat lady? I love my cats. They bring endless amusement and joy to my life. Also endless frustration, since one of the cats insists on waking me up in the middle of the night by knocking over anything she can find that makes noise, and the other frequently meows piteously for company, then hides under the bed when you go looking for him.

When my coworkers talk about their kids, I can occasionally relate because I’m a cat-mom. (Yes, I realize that my use of the term “cat-mom” probably qualifies me instantly for cat-lady-dom, do not pass Go, do not collect $100.)

But the fact is, even for single people who have lots of healthy human relationships, loneliness lurks around corners, waiting to spring out at you and make you feel inadequate. Except it’s hard to feel inadequate when you have 15 pounds of warm, purring kitty sitting on your lap and licking your wrist.

I won’t even talk about how unfair it is that crazy single people who own 10 dogs aren’t referred to as crazy dog ladies, even though I firmly believe those folks are way crazier than I am. I mean, at least my cats go to the bathroom by themselves! (Of course, there I go, feeling superior as a cat-lover, which means I’m probably closer to cat-lady-dom than I want to believe.)

I cling to the belief that if I only own two cats, I don’t count as a crazy cat lady. But I’m not sure if that’s even a widely-accepted belief, or just something I’ve constructed in my head so I don’t have to fully embrace the knowledge that someday I will die alone, unmissed, and have my face eaten by my hungry cats.

[100 Things] Sunscreen

4 Jun

Memorial Day weekend here in Indiana was hot and sunny. I spent Memorial Day with my mom, helping her do some planting in her market garden. You can already tell where I’m going with this post, can’t you?

It was hot, we were in the country, and we were doing hard physical labor. I decided to wear a fairly skimpy top and shorts, since it was just us girls. I even remembered to put on sunscreen.

What I forgot was how difficult it is to cover all the important spots by yourself. I know it’s a commonly-used come-on to ask someone to help you with your sunscreen, but there’s a practical reason to ask for help. And unfortunately I didn’t think to ask Mom for her help.

No, I went merrily on with the work, stopping every ten minutes to drink half a bottle of water. I put a lot of effort into staying hydrated and not overexerting in the heat. Good for me. We got all kinds of planting done and neither of us collapsed with heat stroke, and we were feeling pretty good about ourselves.

Or at least, I was…right up until bedtime, when I realized my back was really sore.

Yep, you guessed it — I’d missed huge swaths of skin with my sunscreen, and the resulting sunburn was not only painful, but funny-looking.

You think getting your back covered with sunscreen is hard as a single person? Try putting aloe vera on by yourself! Not only are you trying to smear sticky, gooey stuff on hard-to-reach parts of your back, you’re also trying to do it without increasing the pain you’re already feeling! I’m sure my cats thought I was crazy for going through a series of contortions in front of the mirror while mostly naked. I’m just glad neither of them decided it was a dance they should join in. I can’t imagine a cat scratch on top of sunburn!

But I survived, and the pain has mostly faded. I’ve had an itchy back for the past few days, but that’s been a little easier to deal with.

So next time some random person comes up and asks you to rub their sunscreen in, just remember–they might be hitting on you, but they might just be a weirdo like me who doesn’t want zebra-striped tan lines.

This is part of my [100 Things About Being Single] series.

[100 Things] Being Sick

15 May

One of my subcategories of 100 Things About Being Single is the Bad Things. Being sick is possibly in the top three of all bad things about being single. (I’ll get to the other two, so stay tuned.)

I remember when I was a kid and got sick, my mom would make me Jello-water to rehydrate me, give me lukewarm Sprite or 7-Up, read out loud to me, and generally make me feel better. In fact, there was one truly heinous illness (my doctor diagnosed me over the phone as having encephalitis, but who knows what it really was besides terrifying periods of fever and delirium and truly skull-splitting headaches) that I only remember as a blur of being buried in pink blankets (this was back when we still sweated out fevers) and Mom’s voice reading Miss Bianca by Marjory Sharp.

As a single adult, when I’m sick, my cats may curl up with me to keep me company as I lie in misery on the couch. Or they may be running in circles and meowing in complaint that I haven’t scooped the litter today. I don’t have anyone brewing me ginger tea to keep me from barfing, or making chicken soup, or even bringing me medicine. And the only person reading aloud to me is the guy who narrates The Lord of the Rings audiobook.

Of course, maybe married people don’t have caretakers when they’re sick, either. I know my mom just wants to be left alone if she doesn’t feel well, but Dad seems to be very considerate about brewing her tea and feeding himself on freezer pizzas, if nothing else.

Do any married people want to weigh in? Am I missing out on a better sickness experience? Or is everyone alone when they’re sick?

[100 Things] Licking the Toothpaste

12 May

Oh, don’t look at me like that. Even if you’re married and can’t actually lick the toothpaste, I bet you’ve been tempted.

Just a little too much squeezed out…welp, can’t put it back in the tube…is anyone watching but the cat…

*LICK*.

Sure, it sounds gross. But only because of the possibility of being the second person to lick the toothpaste, instead of the first.

Licking the toothpaste, along with drinking milk out of the carton, eating ice cream straight from the container, and leaving your dirty socks on the floor, are all the province of single people. I know if I was sharing my tube of toothpaste with someone, I wouldn’t be licking it. Who knows where that other person’s tongue has been!

But since I’m single, there’s no one around to witness my gross behavior. Or to possibly infect me with hoof-and-mouth disease, or whatever you might get from going around licking things other people have licked.*

A blogger I follow recently mentioned that she brushes her teeth in the shower. That’s one I hadn’t thought of before, and you couldn’t really do that if you shower with a partner. Then again, between washing extremely recalcitrant thick hair and shaving my legs and trying to get clean, I already have enough to last me 20 minutes if I don’t rush!

What other sorts of cool, “gross” things am I missing out on doing? Give me some ideas!

This is part of my [100 Things About Being Single] series.

* Keep your dirty jokes to yourself!

[100 Things] Snoring

30 Apr

You want to know one of the great things about being single?

Snoring.

Yup, I said great. And I meant great. Let’s view it as a sort of married-people’s waterboarding. A form of torture we single people aren’t forced to endure.

I come from a venerable line of snorers myself. My mom’s family spent years trying to convince Grandma that she snored. They even tried to tape record her. As a kid, I was always on Grandma’s side. After all, I never heard her snoring! (I always conveniently ignored the fact that I was such a restless sleeper that I probably kept Grandma awake whenever I spent the night.) My mom doesn’t snore much, unless she’s got a cold.

On dad’s side of the family, the snoring is even more amazing. Grandpa used to fall asleep in the recliner whenever we visited (this is a trait of the males in that family; I’m sure it has nothing to do with my scintillating conversation and wit as a visitor). The deeper his sleep got, the louder his snores got. And the more amusing. We used to sit in the living room giggling while one leg twitched in time with the snores.

But barring family vacations and boring living room visitors, we single people don’t have to deal with the day-to-day (or night-to-night) reality of sharing the bed with a snoring partner.

And thank God we don’t. Because if my husband snored the way my dad does, I’d be a widow at a really young age.

 

This is part of my [100 Things About Being Single] series.

[100 Things] Midnight Snacks

21 Apr

At 1:36 this morning, I had a snack. Not just any snack, either. Four pieces of toast–two with Nutella and two with butter & brown sugar. And some kind of Green Thunder Mio water drink. I’m not sure what flavor it’s supposed to be, because it tastes like candy.

I’m telling you all this, because I bet most of my married friends were asleep at 1:36 this morning. Unless they have newborns, in which case there’s a very good chance they’re awake, but they’re feeding someone else.

I learned about midnight snacks from my grandmother. I always slept in Grandma’s bed when I spent the night. I was a restless sleeper, and I don’t know if it was self-defense that prompted Grandma to start this, but sometime in the middle of the night, she and I would sneak out of bed, go to the kitchen, and have a snack.

Sometimes it was Pop-tarts. Sometimes cereal. Sometimes ice cream. In fact, sometimes Grandma would scramble an egg at midnight, because that’s what she wanted.

Maybe Grandma had midnight snacks before Grampa died. I don’t remember one way or the other.

But if you’re single, there’s no one to wake up and ask what you’re doing. There’s no one you have to share with. There’s no one to complain about the house smelling like popcorn at 1:36 am. If you’re single, your midnight snacks are no one’s business but your own.

Well.

And your cat. Because your cat will cuss you out if you don’t share.

 

This is part of my [100 Things About Being Single] series. It belongs to the [Great Things] sub-series. It’s also my first of the hundred posts.

100 Things About Being Single

12 Apr

I’ve just signed up for a new blogging challenge called 100 Things. Of course, the whole blog is, generally, about Singleness. But I’ll be interspersing my 100 Things posts with other content that falls under the umbrella of being single in the family-oriented church and white Christian in a multi-cultural society.

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{ Take the 100 Things Challenge }

I’d love it if others joined me in posting about 100 Things.

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