Living Alone: My Lessons after Twelve Days

I was sitting at work this morning (because where else would I be these days?) and I came up with a great idea for a blog post. After reaching for my planner, I realized I had left it at home. I could have used a sticky note. Or put it on my Evernote app. Or emailed it to myself. But I thought, “No. This is a good one. I’ll remember it.” Four hours later, I can’t remember a damn thing. Only that it was good. This doesn’t surprise me. It just pisses me off a bit. 

I’m happy to report that I was able to pack up all of my belongings, move them about 30 miles south, then unpack them. It was a hectic weekend. It took about three trips to get it all done, because I grossly underestimated my possessions. “Twenty-five boxes? I don’t have twenty-five boxes worth of things.” Turns out I have about fifty boxes worth of things, not including the large pieces of furniture. When I finally started packing, my box supply ran out fairly quickly. One trip was not going to cut it. 

Photo-bombing teddy bear FTW

Photo-Bombing Teddy Bear & Awkwardly-Placed Tree FTW

I won’t bore you with the story of moving, because it’s exactly what every story of moving is: so many boxes, so many stairs, bulky furniture and doors almost too small. My variation on this story included a half-dozen or so nasty bruises that drew the eye.

“I’m not an abuse victim,” I’d say, noticing someone’s eyes on my arms. “I just moved over the weekend.” 

Nods were accompanied with a skeptical look. “To where? A fight club headquarters?” 

Now that the bruises have faded and I’ve been in my new place for almost two weeks, I’ve learned a few things: 

Palmolive Passion fruit Plumeria smells like a cheap vodka drink that causes a nasty hangover. It’s holding me back from washing my dishes every day. It was on sale when I was picking up necessities that were adding up quick, so I just grabbed the girliest-looking bottle. Washing dishes the next day, I had flashes of a terrible hangover from freshman year: Fleishmann’s vodka, fruit punch, & pink vomit.

You don't have to be intimidated by my glamorous kitchen. I promise: I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you.

You don’t have to be intimidated by my glamorous kitchen. I promise: I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you.

Of course, I’ll continue washing my dishes with it because everything is expensive. Seriously. I took a look at window dressings. Twenty dollars for a window panel? They know you typically need two, right? That means I have to spend money on blinds (~$10), a curtain rod (~$10), two window panels ($40 apparently), and $30 on decent vodka to drink while I’m putting the damn things up. You’re looking at almost $100 per window! Even without the vodka, $60 to make my windows look like the ones on my Pinterest boards is too much. I’ll just live with the warped and dusty blinds provided by my landlord until I have a pile of money to spend on window hangings. Till then, my money will be eaten by rent, student loans, a credit card, utilities, internet, groceries, and flower pots.  

Oh you know, just hanging out with my plants.

Oh you know, just hanging out with my plants after eating half a cantaloupe.

I’ve also learned that my need for sleep is relative to a roommate’s presence. Living with Carissa last year, I often knew it was time to go to sleep when she was often on her way home from work, around 10:30. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see her or that I was avoiding her, just that I knew if I was still up when she came home, we would end up talking or watching television for an hour. If she went to sleep before me, I didn’t want to disturb her. But now? Bake a cake for my dad’s birthday? It’s only 9pm – why not? Remember while cracking an egg that my roots are dark? I’ll dye my hair while the cake bakes. After showering, I’ll organize my linen closet in a towel while the cake cools. Once it’s frosted, I can just watch five episodes of Friends. Turns out I don’t get tired till about 1am.

On that note, tube TVs are hilarious. Despite the fact I have a list of shows I love, I’m not much of a tv person, so I haven’t felt compelled to drop several hundred dollars on a flat screen. Left to my own devices, I’d rather putz or read a book than sit and watch hours of television. I’ve gotten by just watching shows on my computer or Kindle. But moving into my own place, I thought it would be weird to invite someone over to watch a movie on my laptop. I’m pretty sure that after college, that’s not really allowed. My parents gave me, among many things, an old television. It’s enough to hook up a DVD player and my Roku (though I have to switch one out for the other), so I happily accepted. (Did I mention I’m poor?) After watching a few episodes of Friends, I found that the volume spontaneously crescendos and there is a bluish spot in the upper left corner.  Oh, it also buzzes. Constantly. 

As strange as it was for the first few days, I’m starting to feel at home here. I’m still getting used to the noises of a new neighborhood and the fact that any strange bump in the night cannot be explained by a roommate. It’s probably just a rapist seeing if I lock my doors. If you don’t hear from me for a while, I doubt I’ve been killed – I’m probably just on my couch with a bunch of blankets and pillows, eating Thin Mints for dinner. 

Welcoming Couch wants you to grab a book and relax.

Welcoming Couch wants you to grab a book and just relax.


3 thoughts on “Living Alone: My Lessons after Twelve Days

  1. This would be a great opening line for a story: “Palmolive Passion fruit Plumeria smells like a cheap vodka drink that causes a nasty hangover. It’s holding me back from washing my dishes every day.” I absolutely love it.

    I don’t live alone, but I had the discomfitting experience of spending this weekend alone. Our tiny house, which is usually too small for my 6’4″ husband and two exuberant children, is way too big for me, solitary and alone. But I did discover, to my relief, that those noises in the night I heard weren’t a rapist checking the locks on the doors–it was just the cat.

    Congrats on the new digs.

  2. Your apartment looks adorable 🙂 I first lived on my own at 23 and I moved to Baltimore, MD. I remember being in the apartment the first night, 100% sure I was going to be raped/murdered/abducted/probed. Also, it was a joy when after 2 months of being on my own I realized I miscounted my bills and couldn’t afford dirt. I used dish towels as “window treatments”. Haha. These will be some of the best memories to look back on… enjoy your new home!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s