#2. There Are Such Things as Two-Person Jobs
For someone who hates everyone all the time, I sure do enjoy other people, and I like working with others. I like collaboration.
That's why every third article I write is based upon a prompt I receive from a vagrant I pay in a bucket of huffable gasoline.
But hey, some people are loners. And in truth, sometimes that's me, too. I can write my novel or edit videos with very little interaction for hours. But there are such things as two-person jobs, and when you live alone, you're just not getting that helping hand.
On my first day in the apartment, I was met with such a challenge. I decided to make an omelet, and you know the old expression: "You can't make an omelet without somehow swishing the egg right out of the stirring bowl onto the counter where it then slides 4 more inches and drops down in the 2-centimeter crack between the counter and stove, forever trapped and festering." Oh, that's not the expression. Funny, because that's exactly what happened. I still don't understand it. I did half a swish, and one of the two eggs achieved liftoff before turning my counter into a slip 'n' slide and making its way to freedom.
Squirmed to freedom through this tiny space, brave little guy.
I couldn't image a worse smell than a festering raw egg, so I acted quickly. With the strength of 10 Cracked columnists (or five normal-bodied men), I pulled the stove from the wall, grabbed a sponge, and then squirreled my body into the crawl space like an X-Men.
Yes, that one.
Here's the thing, though. Once I took the first stab at cleaning, I needed to keep rinsing out the sponge in the sink, and I couldn't get to the sink without finding a way out of the crawl space each time, like some sort of X-Men.
No, we're still talking about Nightcrawler, but thanks for the compliment.
So something that would have taken three minutes to clean took like 15 because I didn't have a buddy by the sink, rinsing the sponge and complimenting me on my cleaning agility.
#1. There Are No Surprises
Without a doubt the biggest thing about living alone that you need to get used to is the absence of surprises. When you live with other people, nothing stays the same. The garbage gets higher and higher, and/or someone empties it. The number of eggs in the fridge goes down. Things get better and things get worse. Someone is cooking something special that night, or someone is a friggin' slob who couldn't even microwave a chicken pot pie without getting that viscous goo all over the place.
But when you live alone, for good or bad, everything is exactly as you left it. No one did the dishes you left, but no one made new dishes either. That little tiny bread twist tie that you dropped on the floor on the way to work is still there. No one has either picked it up or dropped another one next to it. No one stole that frozen Snickers you were leaving in the fridge for a treat, and no one brought home ice cream on a whim either. There is an insane sameness that I have never ever experienced in my life.
Also, if you don't feed the gimp before you leave for work, don't expect anyone else to.
I'm not used to no surprises. I have three children and many roles to play in life. One world has always been precariously balanced on the other, and typically a small child would bump into it, scattering it to the floor. Now there is more stability. There is quiet. There is an almost oppressive sameness that needs to be disturbed by other people, and will be. But for now, when my children stay with me and turn the newfound constancy of my world upside down in one whirlwind mess, I am very, very happy.
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