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Onely Commits Two Singlisms in One Day March 26, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Bad Onely Activities, Everyday Happenings.
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OH NO!  Onely committed singlism twice in one day!

The first time was in Trader Joe’s:

“My writing group’s coming to my house for the first time tomorrow, so I’m shopping for really great snacks,” I told one of the staff with whom I’m pretty friendly. “I’m nervous because they all have these big, clean, decorated houses and I have. . . well, not to stereotype,” (and so you know I’m going to go ahead and stereotype) “but I live in a single girl townhome.”

“Ah,” said my friend, “So you’re looking for foods to stuff their faces with to distract them.”  Yes, yes, I was. But worse, I felt I’d betrayed my beloved townhouse by implying that it wasn’t big, or clean, or decorated–none of which are true.

I have an entire finished basement I barely use, I wash my dishes every day (and vacuum every spring whether it needs it or not), and I like my decor–a hodgepodge of clocks, furniture, and rugs my parents accumulated during their travels, plus my own mamasan chair and wall-to-ceiling tiger painting, a piano, my dolls of the world shelf, an oil portrait of my sailboat done by my sister. My house is, as my friend Jon says, perfect for me.  So why did I slip into singlism for a second there?

I blame those inane babbles about single-person housing on the fact that I was anxious about not being equipped to hostess. I never have ice cubes in the freezer (sensitive teeth), and I barely have enough matching chairs for a Euchre game, because I usually eat sitting crosslegged on the floor–or in my massage chair with my feet up  (oh yeah, the single life is tough).  I was nervous because I don’t know what normal people snack on. You see, being single just feeds into (heh) my already wierd eating habits. I dip apples in hummous, make peanut-butter-and-cheese sandwiches (this does wonders for my figure), warm up cucumber sticks in the microwave, and create stirfries based on whichever vegetables are going soft fastest in my fridge. I will dip any raw vegetable or any crackery-tostitoish-mazzobready-wafer thing into any sort of saucy creamy dippy substance, as long as the sauce isn’t eggwhite-based.

But as I stood there in Trader Joe’s looking at the Flax Seed Chips and the Tasty Little Crackers, and the guacamole and salsa, I heard little voices from long-ago parties saying, “Oh my god, you’re dipping a potato chip in the salsa? Don’t you know you’re supposed to use the Tostito with the salsa?” and “Hey everyone check this out, Christina’s eating a carrot stick with peanut butter!”    

I froze in the aisle, panicked. Flipping through my mental recipe box, I couldn’t distinguish between Normal Snacks and Snacks of Christinaland.

I ended up with: A box of crackers; Cheese, because I think that’s what normal people eat with crackers; A bag of what look to me like normal-eater dipping chips; Guacamole and hummous, because I think this is what normal people put on normal chips (but separately, not in combination like I do);  Two bottles of sparkling blueberry juice; Dark chocolate covered blueberries; Raw veggies; A Baklava dessert plate. I spent way too much money, but I wanted to cover all my bases. I hid my jar of sucked nuts at the back of the cupboard.

I was still fretting about the snacks later that day, when I went to pick up my mail. I ran into my neighbor and committed my second random act of singlism in one day:

“I was just at the store buying snacks for my writing group, because they’re coming to my house for the first time tomorrow, and I’m nervous,” I said to him. “Now don’t get me wrong, I love my house.” I gestured toward my lovely little end unit with the green shutters, “But they are all married with kids and have these big, fancy, grown-up houses. . .”


First, let me defend myself by saying I didn’t mean to imply that single people living alone in townhouses are somehow less grown-up than married couples in single-family homes. In fact, I think that a lot of those homes are monstrous and oversized, and way too many chemicals go into keeping them cleaned and maintained, and way too much double-income money gets routed into our consumer economy in order to furnish those places with characterless furniture from soul-sucking chains like Ikea and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  I think I was using “grown-up” in the way that children sometimes use it, to mean conformist and unimaginative. But I didn’t mean to trash my writing group peeps that way, either, because since when are writers conformist and unimaginative?

Copious Readers, why do you think I was such a dink? And have you ever committed Random Acts of Singlism?



1. Alan - March 26, 2009

I’ve done similar things, though thankfully not too often. Usually I fail to let people know that I’m going to remain single, and instead mistakenly imply that I’m just waiting “for the right women”.

No need to apologize for where and how you live, as long as it suits you. I live in a one bedroom apartment, and probably always will. It’s because of my age and financial status, but also because of my lifestyle. I have little in the way of furniture or decorations, because it’s just not me. More important to me is to live someplace quiet, green and well-maintained.

None of which describes my present place, so I’ll be moving soon.

onely - March 26, 2009

They imply you’re looking for the right womEn? heh heh, that is very progressive of them!!! CC
Good luck moving somewhere green! That will be great.

2. Lauri - March 26, 2009

CC, I have committed both these acts as well. However, recently I more often than not scorn “grown-up houses” rather than mention them in a way that makes me less adequate because I don’t have one (no one I know ever wants to get me started about my opinions on suburban sprawl and enormous homes).

Count yourself lucky though- I too love my current home (an apartment in a two-family home) but due to financial issues I’ll soon have to move and get a roommate…and I’ve been living alone for the past 7 years!

onely - March 26, 2009

Lauri, definitely let us know what it’s like to go from solo living to roommate after 7 years–we’ll be interested to hear… CC

3. autonomous - March 26, 2009

Your home sounds more urban-hip than stereotypical single. Townhomes and apartments are the norm in San Francisco, popping up like crazy in Houston, & not least NYC. They’re also more environmentally responsible….
Seriously, how many of your group will find your place charming and cozy and long for the days when their lives were simpler, more contained? How many will secretly wish they hadn’t over-extended themselves and do we really know how happy people are in those big houses? Not to assume or disparage, but my job has taught me that often the people living with more have more to lose, and more to fear. I often hear people I know who get into “grown-up” over-sized properties complain about how much labor and money it takes to maintain. (Not only that, but their homes often have that weird diaper/desitin smell and are in a constant state of mess because of kids.) And professionally decorated homes can lack soul & warmth that a well-traveled or creative person gives to theirs.

I live in a “grown up” family home but not by today’s norm: it was built 75 years ago when standards were reasonable as to space and stuff; 2 very small bedrooms and closets, while the rest of the larger living space is filled with items not unlike CC’s. I don’t apologize for it because I prefer my 800 books to 800 toys and my heating bill is a fifth of others’. Don’t even have air-conditioning- I just sit on the porch.

And I will defend cheese puffs & green salsa; pesto nachos; and fried egg quesadillas forever!! You can’t go wrong with savory salt and fat combinations.

onely - March 26, 2009

Thanks auto-Lori! Actually, my group liked my (sub)urban hip place! And pesto nachos sound great (no comment on cheese puffs!). If your house is 75 years old, I hope it has a ghost. CC

autonomous - March 27, 2009

I do think there is a ghost, actually- a new silver ring and my great-grandmother’s serving platter have disappeared without a trace. I won’t even go into what I hear when no-one else is home……about the cheese puffs and salsa, we’re talking T.J.’s Pirate Booty not Cheetos, and well, I don’t want to incriminate myself here, but my housemate and I discovered it late one not-sober night.

4. StillOnely - April 2, 2009

what I did to stop apologizing for my little home was find terms to make it sound quaint & charming, like “cottage” or “cabin-in-the-city.” One guy I dated actually gave me a ceramic cottage as a gift. The relationship didn’t last but I still love the gift and that he validated the cottage concept. The food thing is hard, everyone is so different. My deviled eggs still disappear in a hurry–there could be someone with an egg allergy though, but you can’t go wrong with raw veggies & dip too & ooh, the baklava sounds good!

onely - April 7, 2009

StillOnely, I love the “cottage in the city” concept. And good for you for not tossing the little ceramic cabin after the relationship ended. That is always my first instinct. But then, sometimes I am not mature. = ) CC

5. Linda - July 9, 2009

It’s like you have a Nanny-cam in my refridgerator!! Eek!! I too have the same anxieties, even when it’s family from out of town coming to stay. I am so tired of hearing “Don’t you have any real food?” when I am under the impression I am fully stocked. Just because I don’t have 2 loaves of bread, a 4 litre jug of milk and a variety of luncheon meats on hand does not mean I am unprepared!
You have no idea how much comfort your post gave me – I thought I was the only one having “tapas” for breakfast, lunch and supper!!

onely - July 9, 2009

So glad you got comfort from my ventings! Tonight I ate “vegetables not fresh enough for salad but not brown enough for compost” stir fry!

6. Singles and Spare Time: Defying the Laws of Physics « Onely: Single and Happy - August 3, 2011

[…] Because he is normally so supportive, I decided not to call him out, but to remember times when even I have said thoughtless things (shocker!). I will ultimately just let it go (um, right after I […]

7. maison à vendre en Thailande - November 21, 2011

Cracking writing..

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