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Secret Lives of the Happily Single: Laundry Edition June 8, 2009

Posted by Onely in Dating, Everyday Happenings, Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single.
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images-1Welcome to the first installment in our new series, Secret Lives of the Happily Single. Singlehood is mysterious and secretive in many ways. Happy singles take on an almost shaman-like aura in our culture, as if we must know things that the rest of the world doesn’t. (Don’t we?)  In SLOTHS, we aim to talk about the more private, mysterious, and sensitive aspects of being single and satisfied. In this edition, we talk about laundry.

The secret lives of the happily single can include sex. The secret lives of the happily single can also include unhappiness (happy singles sometimes feel we have to hide unhappiness, even if it’s not related to our relationship status). And our secret lives  also include Great Onely Activities that seem almost too silly, petty, or trivial to use as a “real” excuse for why we love being single. That is what this post is about. 

When a heteronormahole asks you some version of “Why aren’t you married”, it seems almost disrespectful to the many benefits of singlehood if you say, “Because I like to be able to suck the salf off nuts then put them back in the can.” But we need to be able to flaunt the awesomeness of these “little things”, not hide them or denigrate them like consolation prizes for those of us who missed out on the “big win” of marriage or couplehood. Life is made up of “the little things” like our bodies are made up of molecules.

I have a secret trivial habit that I enjoy as a single person. I would never use it as an explanation for “Why I’m not married”, but it gives me great satisfaction.  Every time I do laundry, I put the lid of the laundry detergent back on the bottle without rinsing it off first. Yes! I know! Can you believe it?

My last boyfriend “showed” me how to rinse the top of the laundry detergent off in the faucet after using the lid to pour the requiste amount of soap into the machine. If you don’t rinse the lid, he claimed, the detergent gums up the threads of the bottleneck and may even (horrors!) run down the sides of the bottle. “Look,” he said as he waved the sloshed-out lid under my nose, “Now it won’t get all over!” He seemed so pleased with himself, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that a soap disaster such as he described had never, never, ever happened to me in all my years of using the lid to measure and pour. But from then on, whenever I did laundry at his house, I was afraid of getting soap on the outside of the bottle spout. So I poured the detergent straight from the bottle and bypassed the lid measuring altogether. This probably wasted detergent, but it saved my sanity, because I knew I would never get the lid clean enough for him (even though he’d demonstrated to me clearly how to swish-swish it under the faucet).

Nowadays each time I screw the sticky, detergent-coated cap back on the container, I think how glad I am that no one will chastise me for not rinsing it out beforehand. I always feel a little devil-may-care and lighthearted during that part of my laundry routine.

Copious Readers, what little habits are important or meaningful to you that might seem trivial to a heternormahole?



1. Alan - June 8, 2009

Going for long walks or bicycle rides alone.

I notice that most people do these things with family or friends. I, on the other hand, don’t want anyone even near me when I’m doing this.
I find it both highly stimulating for the mind and also quite relaxing, being alone with my thoughts.

I first started doing this in college, probably as a way to compensate for the close quarters of the dorms. The best time for a walk was around 7am on the weekends, when there was hardly anyone else around. Bicycling was ideal after dark, when there was less traffic and a plethora of stars.

And I’ve been doing it ever since.

2. Sixty and Single in Seattle - June 8, 2009

Alan! Are you kidding me? Your dirty little singles secret vice is taking walks alone? Aren’t you afraid somebody might read that and want to marry you?!

Anyway, Christina, that was a terrific post, and a lovely gift of laughter for a Monday morning. SLOTH! The whole concept is brilliant.

I like deciding on a second piece of toast, and looking at the already-used peanut butter knife and thinking, Can I use that again, or did I lick it off? And then thinking, “Oh well,” and sticking it back in the jar. Also, same concept, different containers: The Breyer’s Natural Vanilla ice cream spoon, the hot fudge spoon, the homemade applesauce spoon….

3. iol. - June 8, 2009

i love being master of my own bed ….. “jumping” around for 5 minutes while I get comfortable, being in charge of my own great little bedside radio and listening to whatever I want for however long I want ….. and I absolutely love a warm bed (heated with my 10-level electric blanket) ….

I was going to say that I go to bed alone etc…. but I don’t ….. I actually go to bed with Trevor ….. the absolutely lovely, kind, funny and intelligent talkback announcer 😉 😉 😉

4. trauma queen - June 8, 2009

wow..i guess I’m quite a brat – single or not – I have pretty much gotten away with whatever I wanted. Things such as:
1. NOT being introduced as a girlfriend but as me
2. the whole peanut butter example as illustrated above
3. burping/farting

I’m such a crude rude dude eh 😉 or I suppose there are some nice-ish relationships where you can continue to be yourself – heteronormative or not. What say?

5. Nicole - June 8, 2009

i guess i have had full reign on the laundry issue, b/c i’ve never been chastised for that, thank goodness!

to flip this issue on its head, even though i have lived with people for years, it’s still hard not to get annoyed at their idiosyncracies. my latest is leaving the kitchen cabinets open. how hard is it to close them when you have what you need out of them?

autonomous - June 9, 2009

I am annoyed with myself when I leave the cabinets open!

My peeve is slamming doors.

6. Singletude - June 9, 2009

Count me among the great unwashed detergent lid users! Also, I am guilty of:

–Not shaving meticulously unless there’s someone to see
–Not cleaning house meticulously unless there’s someone to see
–Leaving dirty laundry on floors
–Leaving clean laundry unfolded in baskets

I’d better go hide now. 🙂

Actually, my very “worst” habit is getting sucked into my writing and refusing to be disturbed. And it disturbs me even to have someone else within earshot.

onely - June 9, 2009

OH! It disturbs me to have someone walking in the room when I’m writing. ESPECIALLY if they walk anywhere behind me, I HATE that.

7. Lauri - June 9, 2009

Hahaha wow, I have never rinsed the detergent lid unless I had spilled or something and it really was getting all over the place. This story reminds me of when I was with my last boyfriend, and he would freak out because I didn’t wash out the tea kettle between boilings! and sometimes- horror- I would use left over water from the day before. I tried to explain to him that I have never washed out the tea kettle once in my life, and I have often used day-old boiling water, and I have never suffered from any serious infectious diseases. But he still seemed to secretly hate me every time we had tea.

Singletude- I was just going to mention shaving. I think as women, we can agree that not having a boyfriend is like having a vacation in this area. I HATE shaving practically my entire body and making sure not to miss anything. And it takes forever. Seriously, when are we supposed to have time for this? My last boyfriend once politely asked me to shave a bit more often, and I said sure, if you write my masters thesis for me.

Other than not shaving, god, what DON’T I do that most boyfriends wouldn’t find acceptable? Oh- I have this thing with heat- I hate it. I keep my apartment freezing in the winter and as soon as it hits 75 degrees I’m blasting the AC. Everyone else on earth hates this about me. I also wash my bed linens only about once a month, I rarely clean my shower because I usually shower at the gym, I almost never fold laundry and sometimes leave it in the living room. I eat ice cream out of the carton and slurp diet coke out of the bottle. I never eat at the table, and I almost always have the TV on when I’m home.

onely - June 9, 2009

Lauri I lauged out loud at your master’s thesis comment. CC

trauma queen - June 10, 2009

wow! I have heard of guy who expect women to shave..but am shocked you actually did it. wow! I think I’d have dumped such a guy immediately!

Chris Dinel - December 18, 2009

Girl….you are absolutely perfect. In fact, you are better than perfect! With the minor exception of the tv….sigh…..
OK you were ALMOST perfect. Closest I have seen yet that would give me a valid reason to pursue a girlfriend again. Any chance you’d donate the tv to a worthy cause? LOL just kidding…..I wouldn’t do that to you. If you’d ever consider moving to North Bay Ontario look me up! We get tv reception to the igloos year ’round here (the ones with electricity). Even when it’s plus 90F…yup we do! We just move into our summer igloos for a while…….(more screens ‘n stuff).
I think I love you. Call me!

8. iol - June 9, 2009

I posted something yesterday that hasn’t appeared … it’s quite literally “gotten lost in cyberspace”!!

I mentioned by deep and daily love of my warm and yummy electric blanket …. well, the BED that’s warmed up by the electric blanket!!!

And it’s a fantabulous one with 10 levels … so I can even use it in summer 🙂

And then there’s that yummy man that I “go to bed with” each night … his lovely soft, happy, intelligent, warm and lovely voice that tells jokes, talks about non-stressful things …. what a lovely way to fall asleep. Trevor is a great guy to go to bed with! Oh, did I tell you that he’s the lovely talkback announcer that’s on each monday-thursday?! And I’m actually “two-timing” since I “go to bed” with Rod on fridays-sundays…..

mmm…. I love being in charge of my lovely bedside radio, complete with preset radio stations etc to make it easier to change my mind and listen to other stations 😉 😉

onely - June 9, 2009

iol, you loose woman you! CC

onely - June 9, 2009

Though I guess you might not be a woman, I don’t know. You loose person!! = )

iol - June 10, 2009

i’m a singal 😉

9. autonomous - June 9, 2009

Love it when kitty crawls up under the covers and smashes against my stomach in the winter, as I also turn the heat off before bed no matter what the temp. is outside.

Hate vacuuming, so rarely do it: Clean the kitchen at least once/twice a day.

And then there is Sunday- my super self-day: I can easily skip the shower or chores and spend the entire day reading, watching movies and napping. Rarely make plans this day except if it’s on my terms and about hiking, horseback riding, rafting, etc.

I don’t want to always answer the phone just because it rings and I usually don’t. I recently disconnected the internet at home, have been cable free since 2004, and cel-phone free for 3 years! It drives people crazy but like Alan’s private walks (a love of which my father instilled in me), I simply enjoy being off the grid.

autonomous - June 9, 2009

p.s. Lisa
My dishwasher stores many of my glasses and dishes in case of earthquake.
I AM the dishwasher 🙂
I say let the dirt on the floor get to where I can see it without glasses!

10. onely - June 9, 2009

I LOVE these comments! I just finished washing my dishes, which reminded me of my own contribution to this discussion — I HATE washing dishes. I have no dishwasher, so I let them pile up until I literally can’t stack anymore (or until I run out of plates, whichever comes first). This is especially bad during the school semesters.

— Lisa

11. Veronica Dylan - June 9, 2009

Hi, it’s me from Costa Rica. My blog is back up and I think you will get a kick out of it. Like your postings, I write about the single life, although I was married over 20 years and reared two great sons. I have moved to New York on the Upper East Side, (truly moving on) and working in the city and writing my blog, “So Over You”
I think this link will get you there. The site is still undergoing some tweaking, so if this gets you nowhere, just go to http://www.divorcenetwork.com and you can find it.

I think you will find these especially humorous, “Sex and the Playground” “The One and Done” or “The PR Man”

Stay in touch and much continued success!!!!!!!!!! Call me if you come to NY–free place to stay!!!!!!!!

12. Veronica Dylan - June 9, 2009


I think this link will get you there. ooops

13. Singlutionary - June 11, 2009

I just pour the detergent straight into the washer. I have done so for years. It works perfectly! I would be super pissed if someone tried to get me to do it otherwise.

Going to bed when I want
Waking up naturally on my own without being woken or worrying about waking another
Eating tiny simple meals
Keeping a pile of clothes on the closet floor which have been worn once but could be worn once again but most likely won’t need to be worn for at least another week.

14. Trudy Peterson - October 2, 2009

Yay, after a couple of disastrous relationships, I am looking forward to just being me…I am 40, professional and have adult children and a grandchild on the way. Recently I decided to just get on a plane and go to somewhere in Australia that I had never been and where I knew no one – amazing – it made me realise that I just love not answering to anyone. It is also wonderful not having to worry about walking on egg shells or upsetting a temperamental beast. I was chatting with a friend on Chat and she suggested a trip to Darwin and, yep committed to it on the spot. Why not! After years of being the breadwinner, the bill payer and having to do so much around the house because he couldn’t, it’s nice just having to pay for me. There was nothing more frustrating to come home from a long day at work and have him asleep on the lounge, watching a DVD or TV or playing computer games. The gravy train has terminated and for that I am pleased.

Onely - October 2, 2009

Congratulations, Trudy! That trip sounds like a much-deserved relief. You inspire me to work harder at creating some kind of trip for myself, by myself. . .


15. Secret Lives of the Happily Single: Parents’ Edition « Onely: Single and Happy - October 17, 2009

[…] instances in our daily lives when we are grateful to be single. Often a banal moment such as not having to rinse out the laundry detergent lid will trigger a flood of endorphins. I get almost weepy with happiness at night when it’s […]

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