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How To Be Alone

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How To Be Alone

By Melanie Bates

I’m about to get real folks. Really real.

I like to be alone. I’m not simply saying, “I like my alone time.” Nothing puny like that. I’m saying, “I utterly love being alone.” I take a lot of flack for this — from society, from those whom I love, from therapists around the world spouting “connection” and “human interaction”. I have frequent conversations with myself wherein I ask, “Am I normal? Is there something wrong with me?” When I allow myself to buy into society’s spigot of “norms”, I’m pretty certain that I’m whack. Except then I feel that rush of joyful bliss that makes me giggle out loud when I’m all by myself and all of those theories flush right down the drain.

The How

Make Thanksgiving dinner the night before Thanksgiving because you simply cannot wait and you’re not expecting company anyway. Prepare only the foods you love, mainly those with a sauce of some sort. Prep your $1100 mattress for a canvas o’ culinary goodness and feast on roasted turkey with sage, whipped mashed potatoes drizzled with real butter and smooth, creamy gravy, baked yams with bubbling brown sugar sauce, and Waldorf salad swimming in sugar syrup, minus the gross bananas. Watch Disney movies while you eat and spill blobs of said gravy onto said mattress. Lay there after your gorge, feeling like a sixteen year old boy who just lost his coveted virginity in 3.2 minutes. Sleep in the wet spot.

Let me say up front that I love my friends and my family and I realize that, at their hearts, they really just want to spend time with me. I should feel honored and I want this too. In theory. I love the idea of gathering with friends, catching up, breaking loaves, laughing at memories. However, when it comes down to the actual leaving of my apartment, that joy deflates like a broken condom. I want to read. I want to work at the jobs I love. I want to plot my future on my vision board. I want to write. I want to lie in bed and snuggle with the most glorious pup in the land – my lil So-kr8z. I want to eat directly from the fridge with the door propped open. As you can imagine, this does not go over well for the folks I disappoint.

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9:57PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

i like being alone with my BFF and cats, so not quite alone .... I do love this idea and want to be selfish like this but can't at the moment. I do love your toilet comment! I do the same thing...I think I just don't want to go places that aren't my own space. I have gotten better about this but there is something about being home and making Thanksgiving dinner and eating it in bed that is so .... mine.

12:52PM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

I like being alone sometimes

11:27PM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

Being alone can also be a panaecea, making time to assess, weigh decisions by ones' self, to avoid distractions

2:58AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

This is my best wish.I want to be alone(with my 7 cats) (= Thanks

12:10PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

I love being alone.

8:33AM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

Alone time cannot be over-rated. Have a love affair with yourself. Indulge yourself. Be the person YOU want to be. get to know who she is :))

8:33PM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

I can totally relate to this article, also to Wendy's comment!
Never had trouble being on my own, love it!

4:22PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

From another Bates: right on sister, and been so for most of my 67 years! One man's treasure, etc...

1:14PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

It made me so happy to read this!! For the last couple of years I have noticed an increased craving and desire for alone time. I am married and have 2 sons that are technically adults at 19 and 21. The older son is getting ready to move out on his own and the younger son is contemplating a stint in the military. That will leave me and the hubby. Now don't get me wrong, I love my husband, but he is a very needy individual who craves (to the point of being demanding of) constant attention.

Quite frankly, I am tired. I want to know what it's like to only have to worry about me for a change. Not to have to jump and wait on everyone around me. To sit and eat a hot meal from start to finish. To make what I want to eat not what everyone else wants. To sit and listen to the quiet. No music, no TV, no phone, no internet. Just quiet. Just me.

7:39AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Happy to hear another put down how I feel. It is just perfect with my husband and I in our alone paradise

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Very useful info, thank you.

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