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My Solo Week or Good Times with Puzzles and Pizza

936645_1460868874172570_7362638582314441128_nI pride myself on being a loner, but I can’t fool myself any longer. I am a loner + 1. “Co-dependence gets a bad rap,” Sam says when I point out that we’re always in the same 1/4 of the apartment. I didn’t think I’d be able to tolerate living with another person. Now, I don’t relish extended periods by myself. So when he planned a trip overseas (one I didn’t want to take at all), I braced myself for the inevitable worrying, bad sleep, and television marathons. For the first twelve hours after his departure, I celebrated madly and relapsed into old habits. Here’s a sampling of my week:

1.The second he left for the airport, I turned on Bachelor in Paradise and stuffed my face full of takeout food–two things I can’t share very much with Sam. He feels both are unhealthy. I feel they’re deliciously toxic–and a nice break from being so perfect! The next morning, though, in my sugar and bikini coma, I began to realize he was on a plane to a place that is not having peaceful times. When I got home from work, I started looking at his Facebook photos and pictures of us. What if he didn’t come back?

2. I noticed the silence after a day. It made me somber, but no worries. This time I didn’t want to cry and play FreeCell all day. Please, I’m sophisticated and instead played Candy Crush for hours. I kept reminding myself that I’d lived alone like this for twenty years, with my own schedule, my own responsibilities. I wondered how I’d react if he didn’t come home. My imagination filled with worst case scenarios. I did not watch the news, but made progress on The Goldfinch.

3. With marriage comes bargaining. Yes, he could go overseas for a week if I could get a kitten. If I used my time wisely, I could get little Cliff or Dolly immediately. But I soon learned that you can’t just drive to a farm and pick up a kitten. In NYC, you have to investigate shelters/pet stores/ASPCA, fill out forms, and get a house visit (all completely understandable). Having lost two cats, I was reluctant to begin the process even though I desperately want a kitten (not an older cat since we just finished caring for one). With my mother’s help, I went to my first “cat truck” and saw several I could have adopted. The truck was too crowded so I left after a few minutes. I’ll try again this Sunday.

4. Sam and I talked via FaceTime, the way we did during our courtship, before we reunited in person (as described in Romance Is My Day Job). It’s heartening to be able to see a loved one who’s so far away.

5. It would have been a good opportunity to catch up with friends, but I went even further underground than usual. There was also some denial that I was alone for the week. Ten years ago, I went out with my friends every Friday. How life has changed. It made me sad. Then I played more Candy Crush.

6. On the weekend, I spent seven hours working on this wild puzzle and watching One Tree Hill (seasons 5-7) and Sex & the City (seasons 1-3). Then I spent seven hours doing the same thing the next day. Needless to say, I felt dizzy afterwards. I was scared that my mother would catch me red-handed (she has a key), though I think she’s aware of my hibernation habits…and where I get the cupcakes.

7. I’v10154130_1420895221503269_7061014535412761438_ne lived in a couple scary places, but NYC hasn’t been one of them. Despite this, I set up booby traps and a chair up against the heavily locked door. Just in case. Getting to sleep was a problem the entire time.

8. The hideous nightwear came out of hiding, especially if if I stayed in the entire day. One time, I did leave the apartment in my nightgown to get a slice of pizza (also something Sam wouldn’t do, unless it’s whole wheat, which I find completely nasty). I was a little embarrassed halfway down the block, but no one noticed. It’s New York.

9. The giant and urgent pile of work I needed to do got done–including three books to edit, one short story, three revision letters, and two proposals.

10. I cleaned 1/2 of the living room with the Swiffer, but then I ran out of Swiffer strips. Since it’s only going to get dirty again, why bother replenishing? Will clean again when he starts sneezing.

11. Every morning, once more in denial, I made enough coffee for two people. It was wasteful, but I think I will do this for the rest of my life–well, except for the fact that he usually makes the coffee.

12. On the seventh day, I realized that it had been a good week overall–even with the agita, obsessive puzzling and insomnia. Sometimes, you need a week. As I went through my routine, I got excited that there would soon be that vivacious presence I’ve gotten so used to these past five years.

He’s home, I’m relieved and happy. And now it’s time to get serious about that kitten.

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9 thoughts on “My Solo Week or Good Times with Puzzles and Pizza”

  1. Glad he’s home safely. Can’t wait to see the new baby. (I highly recommend Siamese cats. Such personality!) I see nothing wrong with getting pizza in your jammies, and I am from Oklahoma, much different than New York.

  2. Yay for hubbies back home safely and prospective kittens. Magic the Cat strongly recommends little black kittens with lots of personality. For some reason (PEOPLE ARE WEIRD), black cats are harder to get adopted.

    Although from my experience, your cat will pick you.

    Welcome back, Sam!

    1. I don’t get why black cats are avoided! Silly people. I’m getting nowhere on the kitten search but I figure it will happen at some point. With each cat I’ve had (3), they’ve all picked me rather than the other way around. Sort of an experience of “our eyes meeting from across the room” and instant love. Let’s hope it happens soon!

      1. Adopt a black cat. They are most likely to be killed. Go to a rescue or adopt directly from NYC ACC or the ASPCA. Save a life.

  3. I can appreciate all you went through and id. My guy went away for a week too. even though I had my 12 year old grand son with me, we ate all the foods George doesn’t like. And we too could keep a schedule that did not have to mesh with someone else’s. But a little family emergency happened and plans had to change quickly. At that time, I realized how much I depended on George’s calmness and support. Iam glad that Sam is back safe and sound.

    1. Laura, I’m sorry about your family emergency! I hope all is okay. I hope you get another chance to vege in the near future. 🙂

  4. Laughing Out Loud! It is exactly the same way I behave when my husband is not home. And my Mom does not have a key… Neither my sister, who would be more alarmed than my mother if she knew about my hibernation habits (I truly think I got my habits from my Mom.) I read this post to Gustavo, avid reader and admirer of artists, hoping he would finally laugh and find it not so unhealthy after all. Who knows, I thought, maybe now he sees it as something interesting people do :-). Nah! Wrong! Not even hearing it from you, he found it funny. I am LOL even harder. Thanks!!

    Gisela

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