I’ve probably made living alone sound too amazing, so I thought a fair and impartial review of its not-so-pleasant aspects should be presented.
Old guys like me tend to grow hair in inappropriate places: ears that need to be pointed like a dog’s, noses that could pass for party favors, knuckles that look like they should be dragged to wear some of the foliage from the fingers and chests that can hide small rodents.
The thing is we don’t really notice until we’re in public. It’s always a little unnerving to catch someone staring at your fluttering nasal hairs while pretending to listen to what you’re babbling about.
The solution to this might be a great economic opportunity for an enterprising person with a strong stomach — weekly visits to homes of hirsute single men for the sole purpose of pointing out and trimming unappetizing body hair. I’d opt in.
Another nagging problem for the singly-situated is the relaxation of normal social protocol as it relates to bodily functions. When you’re alone and have a dog who is as rancid as you are for a roommate, you tend to let specific “climate changing gases” free with little concern for fragrance or echo potential. I’m certain this is a male issue as I’ve never known a woman to release anything noxious.
There have been increasingly frequent instances when I’ve relaxed before noticing there are innocent persons within ear- and nose-shot. It doesn’t help that I’m the only old dude in the immediate area and it’s one of the few times I don’t have my dog with me so I can blame him.
A light bulb outage this past fall revealed a really embarrassing problem: filthy bedding. I have really nice ceiling fans and the one in the bedroom had old CFLs that emitted a yellow light I can only describe as that last-second of illumination from a cheap flashlight before the batteries die. As I’m nearly blind, the jaundiced lighting hid many hygiene troubles.
After replacing both of the old bulbs, since the new bulb made the other appear ridiculous, I noticed my comforter looked like something from the last days of Caligula. I now see why letting a dog on the bed and the natural accumulation of dust I try to coexist with make for a disturbing a scene CSI could make into a career.
My first thought was that had I finally convinced a woman against her better judgment to come home with me, the night would have ended as soon as she saw the bed. Whether she’d thought it was a slaughterhouse or a breeding zone for deadly pathogens would have mattered less then when I tried to explain a screaming woman running down the street from my house to the police.
They may well have arrested for me just for the condition of the comforter.
So, there are a few drawbacks to living wild and free. It is nice to have someone to assist in one’s grooming, to remind you of the delicate sensibilities of others, and to keep you from living in a home reminiscent of a horse’s stall in need of mucking out.
Carl Sullenberger looks at the world from a skewed perspective and expresses a humorous view of life through the prism of his past and present. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.