Table for One, Please

I’ve had a lot of emails this past week about my recent posts. I think people are worried that I’m alone or sad or actually, going public with feeling alone or sad, but everyone it’s okay. That’s my job. That’s what I do. I live and then well, write about it. You could say, I lived to tell about it. (very clever, yes, Jane)

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I kept thinking about everyone I know who is going through hard patches, a friend in Australia whose been divorced a year, a friend in Canada that’s facing it, a friend in Seattle who just recently, unexpectedly lost her husband, and all the others who write me and tell me about life as a single.

I think I’m going to write a book, a collection of essays about being alive which includes being loved and unloved, and coupled and uncoupled and I’m just going to be honest because sometimes its all so great and sometimes it sucks and maybe you in the real world have to have a stiff upper lip but I don’t. I hear voices in my head. I have imaginary friends. And I get paid to sound off, and God knows I need/want/love to sound off.

My sister, Kathy, called me today and we chatted for awhile. She’s single right now, too, and she’s been alone this week while her daughter is with her dad. Kathy asked me about my workouts, if they’re still happening, if I’m watching what I eat, and spend, etc.

And you know—maybe I don’t need a partner as much as a parent. Someone to come and say, ‘hey, go run right now.’ Or ‘stop talking about working out, and do it. Immediately.’ Or when I start to eat too much junk food, someone snatches it from my hand and throws it in the garbage. Maybe that’s not even a parent. Maybe that’s a drill sergeant. Maybe I need a Marine to make me do all the things that I don’t do if no one’s looking.

Like eat my vegetables.


Comb my hair.

Leave my house.

See sunlight.

It’s true. Living alone, and getting things accomplished when alone–and Kathy attested to this–requires discipline. Otherwise I put on the running shoes and wow, sit back down on the couch and there goes the workout. Alone I head up to my desk to write and then spend an hour on email and another on the net. Alone I eat popcorn and cereal for all my meals, for all seven days a week. Healthy? No. Mature? No. But whoever said I’d grown up?

So maybe that’s the real issue here. Living alone requires me to act like a grown up. And I don’t know about you, but for me that’s hard. It means budgeting, dieting, exercising, mingling with people that don’t live in my head…all without someone telling me to do it.

Relationships aren’t always smooth sailing, but I’ve got to be honest–a table for one requires a lot of confidence and tons of discipline. For all the singles, you’ve got my respect.

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