Tuesday, December 06, 2005
When I turned thirty, I officially accepted the fact that I might never find a special someone to marry and maybe even share in the joys of picking up after children and shedless dogs. It wasn’t a bitter conclusion. Life was good. I enjoyed spending time with friends. But more importantly, I really started to enjoy the selfish existence of singleness.
The middle of the bed is ideal for a restful sleep and you can’t be in the middle of the bed when you've invited someone to lie down next to you. I also prefer my boring ivory but soft as butter sheets tucked in bounce-that-quarter-high tight. There is a method to my bed linen madness, right up to the length of flat sheet left untucked on the right side for ease of entry and exit. It works perfectly for me, party of one.
There's something liberating about never closing the bathroom door, an act that is always acceptable when solo. You don’t suffer from a sense of confinement when you can easily peer out into the hallway. You also don't suffer from steamy shower induced head rushes. I prefer the open door policy when it comes to the bathroom.
Every morning, I get out of the shower, slip into intimates, toss my hair up in a towel turban, crawl onto the sofa with freshly lotioned limbs and flip between Soledad, Diane and Katie. My moisturizer gets absorbed and the clutter in my mind momentarily subsides. Some people start the day with coffee. I start mine with a turban and remote control.
Then I met Todd. It wasn’t supposed to be a relationship of note. The first thought that crossed my mind as he appeared from around a corner flailing an arm hello was that I could easily bench press him. I prefer to date men who wear jeans I can fit into, something that isn't all that challenging to meet. That date turned out to be my longest one ever. It lasted just under twelve hours in a lackluster city (Baltimore) on a cold and snowy Saturday. Unexpectedly having a boyfriend meant making some changes.
I immediately and begrudgingly forfeited not only the middle of the bed but almost 80% of the mattress surface area. Todd was a snuggler. I spent the better part of the nighttime hanging out on the farthest edge of the bed escaping his clutches. It took a few months to adjust to bumping up against someone else in the middle of the night and, more importantly, not being pissed off about it. Eventually, curling to the edge of the bed felt more normal than odd. Sometimes I even lingered in his arms.
Though bodily functions are merely human nature, I’ve never been comfortable with the men in my life fully aware of them. I quickly adjusted the bathroom door habit. I also made Todd turn on the TV really loudly and prayed the imaginary force field around the doorway would keep him out. Either it worked or he let me believe it did. My actions soon became habit and I started closing the door even when no one else was around.
As for my morning turban ritual, some habits die hard. Todd never understood why I needed to rest after taking a shower, an act that should in and of itself be relaxing to begin with. I tried to explain it a few times but gave up. Every so often, he’d do an exaggerated impersonation of me resulting in an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
Getting back to single life was an adjustment. I’ve finally migrated back to the center of the bed and I once again pee with the bathroom door open. And while I’ve enjoyed returning to old, selfish behaviors, I now know better than I did before. I’d rather tweak them a little for the sake of being able to stretch my leg out in the morning and brush it up against the warm skin of a man next to me. I’m still comfortable with the idea of being solo. The difference is that now I understand better that it’s more fun to be part of a team, edge of the untucked bed and all.