Dying alone. That’s gotta suck.
Dying alone. That’s gotta suck.
So dying alone. That’s gotta suck.
That was my thought just now.
It’s Sunday night. I’ve been drinking white wine spritzers alone since, like, 4. It’s been supah awesome.
If it’s true that how we act when we’re totally alone is who we really are then I guess I’m a drunk, gluttonous pervert. Go me.
I could make all kinds of excuses about how many times when I’m alone I go hiking or biking or take in cultural events. But I’m thrilled to tell you that it’s too hot to do any of that today so I’ve decided to sit in my dark living room, order in and watch bad TV.
I haven’t had any alone time in weeks. I love my kids. I love my Irishman. I love my mom and my sisters and my darling Jezebel (holla, girl!) and all my lovely friends.
But I need to get the fark away from those people sometimes.
And not just them. All people.
That’s just me.
It’s party time on the crazy train
I’m either superbly lucky or superbly crazy that I can have a party all by myself (even without the wine).
I sit in my house and watch funny thangs and laugh my head off.
I guess that part is not so disturbing.
The part that’s disturbing is that I think funny things and then laugh my head off.
In my house.
Like a what?
Like a crazy person. You can say it.
I am SO my own best friend sometimes.
But right now, instead of watching things and thinking things, I thought I’d write.
Because then it’s called creativity, bitches.
That’s right. (Imagine I said that in a high-pitched, sing-songy, white-girl-attempting-to-do-a-ghetto-voice. Are you cringing, too?)
Death and despair
I was just watching Louis CK. In the episode, Louis got in a motorcycle accident and was recovering at home.
His crazy ex girlfriend who just broke up with herself (you’d need to see the episode to understand, but yes, that’s what happpened) came over and was all like, “What? Is no one taking care of you?”
He wasn’t even close to death, but he was limping and feeling sad and forlorn on the couch.
It didn’t take a lot of brainpower (thank God) to fast-forward 20 years or more and think this: Dying alone must suck.
Again, not that he was dying.
But someday he will.
And you know who else will?
And you. (Sorry.)
And why am I thinking about all this?
Because earlier today I was feeling like everyone was too … all up in my cranium.
The Irishman and his wee little lasses slept over last night. My littlest munchkin was CRANKY this morning. My oldest munchkin was getting all Wizards of Waverly Place on me (which means heavy on the attitude, light on the humor).
I was counting the minutes until EVERYONE WENT AWAY FROM HERE and I could have some TIME to BE ALONE and do NOTHING IMPORTANT AT ALL.
Because sometimes people get on my darn nerves.
Not that they were doing anything wrong. They were just doing what they were doing.
And my house was stacked heavily with people who fall into the category of PEOPLE I LOVE BEST IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.
But I just needed some space.
Bitches. I love you. Now leave.
So they left.
And what did I do? Before the white wine spritzers? Before catching up on the Real Housewives? (OMG! Tamra and Eddie are engorged! I mean engaged!)
I called one of the other people I love best. I chatted with my mummy for a while.
Then, since I was holding my phone, I ended up scrolling through close to a year’s worth of pictures. Pictures of some of the people I love best.
The people I had been waiting to get away from all morning.
Man, we had a good year.
And then I had to remind myself to back the eff up, bitch, and get over myself.
Party of one
Because sometimes I get this idea that ALONE is the total and complete best.
That people are too much work. That life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to clean up after anyone or consider anyone else’s moods or watch crime shows on TV when, obviously, reality shows are sooooo much better.
That having all these people to deal with is too darn inconvenient.
But then there’s this: Having people in your life is like traveling.
Traveling can make you crazy. Packing. Planning. Budgeting. Doing laundry/watering plants/taking care of pets and mail and a hundred miscellaneous items before you go. Herding everyone into the car. Getting stuck in traffic. Going through airport security. Baggage claim. Rental car. Too many receipts. Stuff will be wrong. You will be delayed. You’ll be overtired and dirty and hungry when you arrive.
But still. Taking the trip is nearly always worth the mess and the inconvenience and the small frustrations.
In fact, the mess and the inconvenience usually fall away entirely when you consider the beauty and joy of it all.
And if you pick good people to travel through life with you, the mess and inconvenience sometimes don’t even feel like mess and inconvenience. Sometimes they feel … fun.
Elvis, the Divine Light
As I’ve mentioned before, I used to work for Ringling Bros. During that time, I was on the road a lot.
I’d go weeks without seeing anyone I knew.
Even still, I decided to make sure that I saw whatever there was to see, wherever I went.
I was the solitary tourist.
Sometimes I felt really empowered. I liked landing in a new city and figuring everything out all by myself.
But it got lonely.
One time I went to Graceland. When you arrive, they MAKE you take a picture in front of these fake Graceland gates before you get to tour the mansion. Then they try to sell it to you at the end.
When it was my turn to be photographed I tried to opt out. “Hey, no thanks. It’s just me.”
They made me do it anyway. So I put on the biggest, fakest, most ridiculous smile I could and they snapped away.
At the end, the picture was so ridiculous that I ended up buying it.
I threw it in an envelope and sent it to my parents. (They were huge Elvis fans.)
And I think it must have been there that I realized: Most things in life are so much better if you have someone to share them with.
Otherwise, nothing sticks.
I have so many mental snapshots of things in random cities that are half-remembered. But I don’t know where I was or who I was with — probably some random work contact who was trying to get me to spend my circus bucks with their media outlet.
But without people — people who love me, that is — to share those experiences with, it was like they never happened.
So here’s my conclusion: Alone time is awesome. Today was superfun and much needed. But even though my time was solitary, it wasn’t lonely. My day was played out against the backdrop of people I love. I could feel them here even though they weren’t.
I loved having all the sleepover stuff in the living room and too many cups and glasses on my counter from the day before. I loved looking back through pictures of our little adventures over the past year.
In my house.
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