1. Loneliness is cleanliness. Can you believe I’ve actually done the laundry every single week this month? And the dishes? And I’ve made my own meals for dinner? You should see my house right now, it’s gorgeous. It is absolutely miraculous what you can get done when you have no excuses like, “He totally put that there and he can damn well pick it up himself.”
2. Loneliness is craftiness. I never would have scrounged up the sewing machine if the husband was around. I’m making holiday costumes and learning to face-paint and cleaning things I’ve never cleaned before and mending things that really don’t need mending. In husband-departures past, I’ve hauled out the acrylic paints or the earring-making supplies or the molding clay and gone to town. Oh, and the husband was out of town for a couple weeks when I made the Stargate, too! See? I’m only ever creative when he’s gone.
3. The house turns bulimic. With all the cleaning and all the crafting, the house pretty much waffles daily between being pristine and qualifying as a natural disaster area.
4. There’s this thing called ‘fruit’… I’ve said we don’t eat in. But as part of point one, I’ve been going to the actual grocery store and picking up actual fruits and vegetables and actually consuming them on a regular basis. And the white nectarines in season right now are delicious.
5. Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. Normally I’m not much of a drinker. No, honest. But when the husband is away and I don’t have my regular social drinking partner and wine-bottle-sharer, I go crazy. On days when it normally wouldn’t cross my mind once, I’ve found myself staring down the beer in the fridge and wondering how long I’m going to hold out before I start drinking alone. I could shank a baby right now for just one good glass of white wine. I’ve finagled my way into two glasses of wine this week and I’m still dying. I think this defines alcoholism.
6. Cereal = all-day staple. Cereal is no longer just for dinner. Breakfast, lunch, second lunch, dessert, midday snack, midnight pick-me-up… it’s so versatile! Especially when I don’t want to leave the house. Which leads me to…
7. Self-imposed exile. I’m a natural-born hermit. The husband makes me leave the house to walk around the university, or get food for dinner, or buy things, or socialize. But now, I don’t have to do any of that! I can sit in a single spot on my couch all night and no one will bother me! (Friends of mine, don’t get any smart ideas about taking me out of this in a fit of pious pity. I like it.)
8. Forget personal hygiene. I still brush my teeth twice daily. But it can be hard to get up the motivation to shower when no one with whom you interact is going to get within a few feet of you in a given day. And makeup and hair maintenance and cute clothes are all straight out the window when the bed is calling for you to sleep in just a few minutes more…
9. Cadaver nails. That’s husband’s name for my fingernails when they start growing out of control, he says they look like when people die and their nails keep growing (I’ve heard this before, but I’m not sure it’s true). But I hate cutting my nails. HATE. It takes forever and then you have to file them and I never had this problem back when I used to bite them off. So when husband’s gone, the claws come out.
10. Absolutely NOTHING in moderation. At least, with regard to media. The husband can only watch things once or twice before he gets bored with them. He hates listening to music on repeat. Me? If I don’t consume everything a song or a band or a show has to offer, if I haven’t yet worn it like a second skin, if I can’t repeat it back verbatim, then I feel I haven’t really experienced it yet. And when husband is gone, there’s no one to limit my addictions. So far I’ve watched both seasons of Modern Family straight through four times. Four. That’s forty-eight episodes, back-to-back, four times over. And each night I find a new song to fall in love with and play it on repeat for hours – last night it was Silver Sun Pickups, tonight it’s Mark Martel’s “Somebody To Love” audition tape for Queen Extravaganza (and my God, does that man ever sound like Freddie Mercury! Be still, my beating heart!), and so on. It never ends.
Anyway, I’d keep going on this list but my cereal’s getting soggy and I have to reorganize the pictures on the piano and I just reached the episode where the whole family takes a trip to Maui, and I really like that one. Peace out!