Top Ten Reasons I Cherish Living Alone

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10. Laundry. No one ever needs the washer, dryer, or drying rack at the same time I do. There’s no quarreling over which scent of ridiculously overpriced detergent or fabric softener to purchase. There are no knock-down, drag-out fights about a red sock being washed with a load of whites. No one takes my clothes out of the washer and leaves them in a sopping, wrinkled heap in front of the dryer while they help themselves. I can wash my clothes in peace, when and how I like.

9. Bedtime movies. Are you starting to see a pattern emerging here? Well, I still have a 13-inch monster with a built-in VHS player. One of my favorite nighttime rituals is selecting a movie to fall asleep to. Even though I always set a sleep timer, I love to watch VHS tapes because my circa-2001 television rewinds them, ejects them, and turns itself off. What’s not to love about such a self-sufficient machine? Even better, I can be the prima donna of the remote, and I don’t have to agree with anyone on a flick.

8. Cabinet space. When I had three roommates my senior year, sharing cabinet space was a big issue for us. My parents and another roommate’s parents provided most of our dishes and utensils, so we expected that when two other roommates joined us, they would respect the established order of things. Not so. They shoved their pots and pans wherever they saw fit, and they didn’t care about organization or orderliness. There were more than a few occasions when I wanted to tell them where they could shove things…

7. Labeling. One of my biggest pet-peeves about having roommates as an undergrad was labeling my milk, my leftovers, and my yogurts so my roommates wouldn’t “mistake” my items for their own. Oftentimes, in the interest of turning over a new leaf with the self-serving bitc girls, I would forego labeling my food; invariably, they drank my milk, ate my leftovers, and stole my wine. Go figure. Living alone, everything in my fridge is mine, all, mine 😉

6. Quiet. My apartment complex is not one that most people would consider “quiet.” In fact, it can be quite noisy at all hours. The noise my upstairs neighbors used to make parading across the hard floors at 1:00 a.m. was a mouse fart compared with the noise the roommate who shared a wall with me made. However, the hours during which it will be quiet are predictable. I can get work done at the times that are most productive for me — without interruption. I don’t have to beg and plead for private study time. Sweet relief!

5. Door-slamming. There is almost nothing so offensive to me as slamming a door. I swear, the people who lived at my undergraduate apartment complex majored in Door-Slamming and minored in Talking Obscenely Loudly, some with concentrations in Excessive Tobacco Use. The door of my current apartment is blissfully quiet, even when the wind catches it or it accidentally closes on its own.

4. The dishwasher. I am insanely particular about the way the dishwasher is loaded. Cereal bowls must be lined up along the left side of the top rack, silverware must be placed handle-up, etc. If it’s done “incorrectly,” space is wasted and unloading is a bitch. There is a method to my madness. [It’s called OCD.]

3. Self-Reliance. When something needs doing — for example, scrubbing the bathtub — I am aware that I’m the only one who will do it. If I choose to let the toilet develop a black ring, that’s my own doing; it’s not due to the inattention or laziness of a roommate. In the end, it’s up to me to keep the place presentable (and functional) and I’ve noticed that it’s created a positive self-fulfilling prophecy.

2. Privacy. When I’ve had an outright shitty day, the last thing I want is someone up in my face with a box of Kleenex, a chick flick, and a carton of Ben & Jerry’s going, “It’s okay, you just let it all out.” You know what? I don’t even have tear ducts. My stuffed animals don’t judge me when I don’t go to the gym, and “if only these walls could talk,” they wouldn’t ever spill my secrets. I can close the curtains to the world, or I can sit on my porch in solitude and people-watch. Oh, how luxurious the privacy of a single-bedroom apartment is…

1. FREEDOM. I go where I want, when I want, with whom I want. I invite over as many or as few guests as I see fit. I host parties when I feel so inclined, and I stay in on the couch in my sweats when I feel equally as inclined. My visitors can come and go as they please without disturbing anyone else, or making my roommates seethe that I didn’t first ask permission or sign my guests up for visitation rights. Living by myself has a lot of perks, but this one is by far my favorite!

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