Friday, 18 November 2005

The pleasures of alone-time

I am home alone.

J has jetted off to continental Europe for the weekend, and my flatmate is out all evening.

It is a sign that I am feeling better about my life that I actually relish this opportunity to sit on my arse, eat lots of unhealthy food (I think I'm getting fat but can't bring myself to worry) and watch DVDs. Or maybe play Playstation.

Alonetime is so lovely. Reading in bed when you're alone is better, because you always get to finish your chapter and don't need to worry about keeping someone else awake.

You can empty the hot water tank into the bath tub, stay there for hours without getting disturbed and crank the heating up to full because noone will know that you're disregarding their energy-saving schemes. And it's only for one evening.

In addition to this you can make a complete mess in the living room and kitchen, and leave the dishes till the next morning (I am assuming that Flatmate will be sufficiently inebriated on her return late at night to not notice so I can do them tomorrow morning).

It's not that I mind flat-sharing, it's just that I like having a tidy flat and a considerate flatmate, and one can't demand that without making a personal effort as payback.

Being alone, though, is only nice if you feel like it's self-enforced.

It is such a sinking feeling when you realise that you're alone in your house and there is absolutely nobody in the world who would be happy to spend time with you if you called them there and then.

It is only comfortable when you sort of know that there is stuff you could be out doing, you just choose not to.

Personally I have a list of emergency friends with whom I have a tacit agreement that we only call each other very occasionally when we have nothing better to do. With most of them it's not the case that I don't like them, but you can only have so many very close friends. And for me that number is quite low.

It's kind of like having fuckfriends that you only use for booty-calls when you're single.

Being an emergency friend to someone however means that you can't be too proud about it; you have to be sufficiently secure in yourself to not wonder why they only call you every three months (i.e. realising that this is not because you're not worthy, but because they only need you every three months).

I think this is where my flatmate fails. She will only contact people when they contact her back on a very regular basis. I think she is too insecure to realise this might not be a reflection on how much they like her, but that you simply can't be best friends with everyone.

It takes me a long time to get attached to people; because I've moved around so much I have a core of very close friends and keep most other people at a distance.

It's an energy-saving measure; getting to know someone properly from scratch takes a lot of effort and is rarely worth it unless you really click or are going to stay somewhere for a while.

I also get bored easily but have problems saying no to people, which means that if someone really likes me and I don't really like them, I'm a bit screwed.

So I've lined up lots of nice and sociable things for myself for the rest of the evening (not with emergency friends but with people I just see way too rarely), and tonight I will just go home and enjoy spending a whole glorious Friday evening in the middle of my very soft and welcoming sofa. Have a good weekend everyone!

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