Sunday, June 17, 2007

home alone

when i was younger, i once heard about a lady who choked to death on a piece of fishbone while having dinner alone in the house. the fact that she died struck me as sad but the very fact that she gone through the trouble of cooking himself dinner to eat all by herself, instead of, popping frozen dinner into the microwave was positively heartbreaking... back then, i thought spending time alone was pathetic. it was a bad hand god dealt you because you couldn't get anyone to hang out with.

all through college, living in a dorm was my ticket to round-the-clock social social calendar was completely filled down to the hour with different friends & family with different exciting activities. empty spots filled with dutiful boyfriends... i had daily 3am supper meeting with the gals. in a nutshell, i would be the last person left alone at home.

fast forward half a decade later, im sitting at home on a saturday evening steaming edamame peas at 8pm for dinner and unlike many people i know, when im home, i don't flip on the radio or tv as background noise. i stumble around in the 'drop-a-pin' quiet home doing my thing. with no curfews, i found myself being in bed earlier than i ever have. with no parental nagging, i found myself stocking my fridge with "dad will approve" yogurts, fruits and healthy snack. the rebellious me that used to buy bags of 12-pack chips from marks & spencer chips stashed under my bed for in-between meals snacking has not surface thus far.

i never loved room-mates. too much compromising. when you live alone, you never wait to take the shower, never bicker over thermostat. this may not enhance my people skill but it sure is an enormous luxury.without people shaping your life in many small ways - influencing how you decorate, what time you go to bed, which tv show to watch, you suddenly start to figure out, in a much bigger way, exactly who you are. when you live alone, there is no hiding from yourself.

and hey! I learnt to cook. and when my green-bean soup took the consistency of a rock, no one knew. i sneakily only posted pictures and bragged about the successful ones.

but im not claiming that it never gets lonely. getting sick particularly is quite the bitch. no one to stroke your head and bring you fruits or water. you cough and pat your own back. you sneeze and say 'bless you. thank you" in one germy breath. and being back from out of town was particularly unsettling. after two weeks of social hoopla, immediately had an impulse to get on the phone and called friends so they could tell me how glad they were i was home, so i could feel validated.

which brings me to why im writing this. as im boxing up my winter clothes wondering if i should donate to good will or ship home to round-the-year-summer singapore, my moving back home has brought me much thought.

our cohabitation has definately had its bumps. all spoilt in our own ways, me and my brothers have had countless door-slamming "i hate your guts" disagreements but it undeniably has had its pleasures. for instance, its unbelievably satisfying to jump into the shower first on sunday morning, coming home to a whole bunch of 18-yr olds you have never seen in your life calling you "jiejie" all at once and the instant dinner buddy when home-made dinner turn awry. Its also nice not to worry about cable bills/internet woes and to have some 4 people to listen with interest (feign or otherwise) to your stories.

such perks are among the many reasons im not sorry that years on my own is coming to an end. But im pretty sure i'm a more interesting and independant person from having had them in the first place.


leave me a little love note. xx