House For One

I’ve played the game of going to a fancy restaurant and asking for a ‘table for one’. I still remember getting strange and sympathy-laden look from staff. Imagine announcing to the world how miserably lonely you are. You actually aren’t, but that’s what the rest of the ‘hooked-in-a-committed-relationship’ world thinks. That’s what it felt like. As my social life continued to be the subject of judgement, I saw a sudden burst of confidence and power in me. The power to be my own person. And to find that person.

This ‘table for one’ deal got me flirting with the idea of living alone. It didn’t seem all that bad. Having an apartment to myself and nobody else, seemed fascinating and tempting. No longer would I have to worry about who ate my cereal or who had to do the washing first. I could walk around in my towel all day and even practice naked yoga in the living room (i’ve heard it’s got its own unique benefits).

In the last ten years or so women have increasingly cherished the idea of living alone, not because they are single, divorced, widowed, or crazy, but because they want to. Television shows and movies are to be blamed as well. Carrie Bradshaw made it look stylish and Phoebe Buffay made it look playful. The girls didn’t have a man to cook for and definitely didn’t need any help in fixing false fire alarms. They glamourised the vision of living alone. The idea of ‘Friday nights in’ was no longer for weirdos, but considered as a legitimate option. A bottle of wine, Thai takeout and a sloppy rom-com sealed the deal. It still manages to calm plenty of women out there. Believe you me!

Movies like Bridget Jones’s Diary have convinced the society that single women who live alone are depressed. Period. They make them believe that single women have no life and they watch Saturday night television in their granny panties.

But this got me wondering, why are single women compelled to associate themselves with a man to be entitled for a ‘happily ever after’ ending? Why aren’t single women with successful careers tagged as ‘settled’ or ‘happy’? What did Jerry Maguire mean when he blurted out the infamous line, “you complete me”?

Today, being in a relationship is almost as important as getting a university degree. The idea of being with a significant other or a soulmate is almost a life requirement now. It’s a compulsion because those are societies’ expectations. Yes, women can have a career and rule the corporate world in the most jazzy shoes, but if they’re enjoying an expensive glass of wine all by themselves, they are instantly flagged with the sympathy card. Or even a judgemental one.

This scared me when I got the opportunity to live alone for 10 days.

Last week, my housemates were away so I had the house to myself. My 18-year old self would have thrown a party every night, drank goon from the sack and possibly wrecked the house. But four years later, the 22-year old in me just wanted another being in the house. I wanted to hear a voice in the vicinity bar my loud typing. It was a weird, hollow feeling in my chest that just wouldn’t go away. I felt alone. Really alone. Perhaps, living the life of a ‘freelance journalist’ didn’t help either. I didn’t get out bed till 2pm, endured painful bum cramps (from sitting on my bum all day – duh!) and only left the house to buy milk and newspaper.

That was the moment when I thought, maybe the living alone thing isn’t for me? Maybe I’m not ready to take life by its horns and go crazy with my single life. Even though I dared myself to stay away from cringeworthy rom-coms and greasy take-outs, my inner voice kept telling me something. It said, “this is a very risky road. Don’t go there”.

But there’s something in me that still wants to take the plunge. Dive into the carefree world and not worry about how many ‘committed’ couples surround me. I moved countries, then moved states… perhaps now it’s time to make the next crazy decision and rent an apartment. Just for me.

A house for one!


8 thoughts on “House For One

  1. I live alone and love it, adore it. Just like eating out alone, it takes some getting used to, but all in all, fab u lous.


  2. I consider myself a bit of a lone wolf, but there’s no way I could fly solo all the time. I love having someone around to talk to/annoy! It’s great to pester someone into coming out with you, or to stay in and watch a chick flick.
    Having said that, not sure if I could ever share a room with a partner. Ugh. I love being single way too much, and I love my space.

  3. I live alone in an apartment above a cafe strip, and it’s fabulous. Coming from a semi-rural area into this little circa-1970s, actually-quite-shitty building that I have decorated to make my own, I am in my element.

    Cooking is a huge issue and I’ve mastered the bulk-veg buy that makes meals for days. Sometimes I find myself watching DVD sets with red wine, but it’s a nice way to wind down from a day in the office where I talk non-stop. Freelancing on the side, I actually find myself much more productive when I’m home alone.

    Financially, living alone sucks. It also sucks when there’s a commotion out on the street and you just need someone – anyone – to tell you not to worry. But other than those two, relatively insignificant problems (both should are slowly disappearing as I learn to fend for myself and be an adult), I wouldn’t trade my single girl apartment for anyone.

    1. Oh Tammi, you make it sound so beautiful. Cafe strip, bulk food, wine, productivity. I’m currently searching for ALL of that in my life. You’ve inspired me. I really need to think about it and just do it. I must do it. Thank you.

  4. Hi!! I actually simultaneously cherish and hate being by myself. Especially since I’ve been doing the relationship thing for a long time now and have only just recently (am in Hong Kong for work at the moment for 3 months!) been forced to embrace the single life.

    Hahaha and totally did (and still am!!) what you did except my crutch has been catching up on Gossip Girl and eating soup of out of a can because I couldn’t be fucked going to the store lol. And then blogged about it 😛

    However, it’s actually been the perfect opportunity to try and find out who *I* am opposed to what the world knows of me either as part of a couple or in a friendhsip group. It’s character building stuff though and highly recommend it as well 😀

    I love it for the things you decribe, but there is sometimes a niggling voice that really just wants to be back home in Melbourne with my love and my dogs 🙂

    Love the blog as well 🙂

    1. Well, soon enough you will be back in Melbourne. Everything happens for a reason, I say. And maybe you’re in HK for a reason?!
      Thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed it. x

Comments are closed.