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Coming Home to An Empty (Of Humans) House June 27, 2018

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.

IMG_4874Copious Readers, do you have the privilege of living alone? If so, what’s the very first thing you do when you Come Home To Your Empty House?

Some years ago, my long-distance boyfriend broke up with me because he was “tired of coming home to an empty house.”  Technically, coming from him that phrase meant, “I have a local woman scoped out to ease my loneliness, but if she doesn’t work out, I’ll come crawling back to you.” But whether you’re looking for an excuse to dump someone or not, “coming home to an empty house” is almost always portrayed as a negative experience. Why is that, when so many people across the world live in too-cramped quarters? The rich/western world’s disdain for “coming home to an empty house” is rooted in privilege. It’s also rooted in our obsession with couples and the nuclear family.

So. Let’s expand how we think about “empty.” Maybe I don’t feel an emptiness when I walk in the foyer because I have plants that need watering. Maybe I have messages waiting for me on my answering machine (for the purposes of this metaphor, travel with me for a moment back to the days of landlines). Maybe I have a friendly ghost. Maybe I’m sick of real people and look forward to sitting down with my Amazon Prime friends of One Mississippi. But mostly, maybe I love coming home to an “empty” house because. . . and here we get to the real reason I’m writing this post:


As soon as my door swings inward I start to yodel in that way that all cat people do when they are out of human hearing (and sometimes, when they aren’t). I always start out with, “Hi guize!” This is a gender-neutral form of “guys”, which is necessary because I have two man cats and one woman cat. Then my vocabulary and sentence structure just go downhill from there:

How’s my special treasure trovey muppets? Are you purrs? Hewwo Theo, hewwo Murpity. Yes, kisses! Kiiiiiissssses!! I love you so so much. You are my most special moggie buppets yes indeed. You are like angels in my life forever! Where’s your brother? Where’s Big Al? Is he sleeps? I missed you alls so much. You are so very very specialest to me!

The other day  in the midst of these linguistic acrobatics I realized that I have never, ever greeted any one of my significant other with this much effusiveness. According to Disney and rom-coms, when I meet my boyfriend/husband/partner after a long day, shouldn’t I stop dead in my tracks, gasp, light up my eyes, and say, “Oh you’re so special to me, I’m so happy to see you!” In real (my) life I did of course say that kind of thing to a partner now and then, but not every time I came home. Not every time I was just passing through a room they were in.

Perhaps I’m so effusive with my cats because they don’t judge. I have a chronic illness that indirectly affects my word recall abilities (among other things). The right words don’t always come out. For some reason, my latest lovey word when I encounter one of the cats is, “Awww! Gubernatorial!” I’ve been saying, “Hewwo, Gubernatorial!” when I walk past Alvin sleeping in his laundry basket or when Marble curls up by my pillow to wash her butt (yeah, I know…).  Perhaps this choice of vocabulary derives from the root word “Goober,” which is certainly appropriate for a loved one who washes their butt right next to your face. I don’t know.

So, Copious Readers, tell us about your experiences “coming home to a empty house”!

Oh, and by the way, that boyfriend from the first paragraph did come crawling back. But by then, I was very much enjoying coming home to my empty house.


(And Theo and Marble and Alvin)


1. clofa - June 28, 2018

First, I’m so happy to read a new post from you 🙂

OK, don’t judge me but I don’t like having pets. I hate dogs, I love cats but I don’t like having them in my house. I’m OK with other people’s pets as long as they’re not mine (that’s kinda my attitude toward children btw, lol).

I’ve been living alone for 8 years now and since then, the feeling I have when I open the door to get in is honestly a sigh of relief. I usually close the door, fall on the couch and sit quietly for a couple of minutes. Either because I’m an introvert or because I’ve gotten used to living alone (or both), no matter how much fun I had or how much time I spent outside, the minute I get home, I feel relieved and content. It’s that moment I appreciate what I have 🙂

2. Spinster - July 6, 2018

I enjoy coming home to an empty house. Being an introvert makes that a needed bonus in my life.

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