River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Notes from a newcomer

July 2006

Marion takes a critical look at those involved in one-person households...

Aren't folk contrary? At a time when there are more one-person households than ever before, everyone yearns to be part of a couple. How else can you explain the popularity of Blind Date (surely not the charms of Cilla Black?) or the proliferation of lonely hearts columns in even the most strait-laced publications? With the rapid growth of computer chat rooms and speed dating agencies, finding a partner is a veritable industry. Everyone, it seems, is desperately searching for their significant other. Time, I feel, to put forward the case for the single life.

Here are some of the joys, in no particular order, of living alone.

In hot weather, you can roll over to the cool side of a double bed.

No bickering about whose turn it is to cook supper / put the rubbish out / go to the bottle bank; it's always your turn.

You can do anything you want in any order that you want to do it whether it is ironing at 2 am or watching a DVD in the middle of the day.

You can spend a whole day doing nothing at all.

Nobody else sees what you look like first thing in the morning.

You don't have to tidy up.

If you do tidy up, everything will stay exactly where you left it (which means you can't blame anyone else when you lose your glasses for the third time in one day).

Tranquillity - no highs, but no lows, either.

Loads of time to spend on your particular passion, whether it is painting, gardening or t'ai chi.

You can talk on the phone for as long as you like without anyone moaning about the phone bill.

No need to justify spending more money than you meant to on a shopping trip.

Sole charge of the TV remote. World Cup? What World Cup?

Singing along with your favourite Fats Domino CD even though you are tone deaf and hopelessly out of tune.

There's nobody to groan if you dent the car.

You are both driver and navigator therefore no arguments about whose fault it is when you are lost.

You can eat weird meals thrown together out of whatever happens to be in the fridge.

An opened bottle of wine stretches over two evenings instead of just one.

If you think all this sounds like a very selfish lifestyle, I can't argue with that.

To put it in the current jargon, it's Me Time. Me Time is all about learning to like yourself and enjoy your own company. It can be surprisingly rewarding.

So what would I do if George Clooney called tomorrow and invited me to spend a weekend in Paris with a view to 'friendship, possibly more' (as they say in those lonely hearts ads)? Well, all I can say is I'd have to think very hard about it before I said, 'Oh, okay, if you insist'.

Marion Clarke

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