A few weeks ago, Mr.Dame in Spain was away and I had the place to myself for six whole nights. I started to have flashbacks to all those years I was a single lady in Washington DC. Those times, oh those times, they were such a mixed bag of emotions. I’d be with my girlfriends watching The Bachelor in my cozy abode or sipping champagne out of a can on the beach in Delaware and think there was nothing was more fun than being a young single gal in the city. Other times, I was convinced nothing was more depressing than being a single gal in the city. (Particularly in a city like DC – land of the inflated yet fragile egos – where when a guy approached me, he more often than not did so with a protective layer of sarcasm. Once a guy stopped me on the sidewalk, said hello, told me that my sunglasses made me look weird, but would I want to go out sometime?)
My point is, being single was a contrary time. One day I’d be relishing in my independence and the next I’d feel very strongly that everything would be more fun with someone else.
The first few days of my solo week in the apartment were awesome and made me remember some of the best things about not having someone else around all the time.
Cooking for one. When I just have myself to feed, I’m like “Hmm, don’t really feel like going to the grocery store, so what is in my freezer and pantry that I can combine in way that is not necessarily delicious but at least edible?” It wouldn’t be a bad idea for a competition show actually. “Post Apocalyptic Cooking: The world is ending. Grocery stores are a thing of the past. Watch what these ten crafty people cook with old shit from their pantries. Whoever makes the best, most creative meals, for the longest amount of time wins…like a bomb shelter or a live-in sous chef or something. I spent zero money on groceries during my solo week, and I made some pretty okay things, mostly made possible by some lentils and pesto that I discovered at the bottom of the freezer.
Sleeping Alone: No one believes me when I say my sweet spot for sleep is 10 hours a night. But it’s true. Without a certain someone insisting on being “woken up by the sunlight” (ugh, is there anything more unnatural?!) I relished pulling the blinds shut and sleeping in late.
Doing Whatever I Want All Day Long: One day I played tourist and visited the Royal Palace in Madrid and then ate two decadent balls of burrata cheese from the San Miguel market. Another day I watched a strange Easter parade which involved guys in KKK-like hoods carrying crosses while being trailed by black-clad widows.
But after about three days of solitude, I realized that the things I thought I loved about being alone are actually kind of the same things I hate about being alone. Such as:
Cooking for One: “I love cooking for my husband” is not only the tagline of many an ad in 1950s women’s magazines, but it’s also how I really feel. I also love cooking for my family, friends, friends of friends, and people I’ve just met. I enjoy all parts of the cooking process, from planning to shopping to cooking to serving to eating. And, lucky for me, my guy is always complimenting what I make, even if it’s gross. And he usually does the dishes.
Sleeping Alone: An awesome invention would be a bed that looked like one bed, but separated and turned in to two beds the moment you were done cuddling. You get that all-important cuddle time in, then zoooom, each person is suddenly in their own comfy bed a few feet away from someone else’s furnace of a body. But those moments before the bed separates, those are great moments. Even with a collective total of 30 pounds of cat on me, the bed still felt quite empty after night three.
Doing Whatever I Want All Day Long: At the sake of sounding like a total slacker: I don’t have kids. I don’t work right now. My life is not stressful. My husband and I pretty much enjoy doing the same things. So my days are generally filled with doing stuff I like to do. While I did enjoy watching the “British Period Dramas with a Strong Female Lead” category on Netflix in its entirety with just myself and a wineglass; I prefer watching shows about meth and Texas high school football with Mr. Dame and two wine glasses.
To being reunited,
The Dame in Spain