Monday, March 10, 2014

Home Alone...

Where I spend my days (and some nights) when I'm home alone

When I lived in an apartment in Manhattan, I never thought too much about being home alone. Occasionally David would go away for work and I would just carry on like everything was normal. I would miss him of course, but I went about my regular routine, ate the same way, slept the same way, and lived in my apartment just like I do every day.

Now that we live in a house, being home alone is an entirely different experience.

Luckily David doesn't have a job that requires much traveling, but for one week every March he goes to Austin, Texas to run a booth for his company at the South by Southwest trade show. It is a massively important week for his business - both for the exposure and the contacts that he makes where he is down there, and requires him to go down a day or two early to set up, and stay a day after to break down the booth and pack everything away for the trip home.

This week is South by Southwest week.

Friday morning he boarded a plane bound for Austin and Friday afternoon I got home and got down to the business of being home alone.

It occurred to me as I locked the front door - both bolt lock and handle thank you very much - just how damn big my house felt. Normally the perfect size for the two of us, the prospect of being alone in it for six days made the house feel like Buckingham Palace. Suddenly there were far more dark corners and doorways where ax murderers could be hiding and the walk up the stairs and down the hall to my bedroom felt as long as a marathon.

And the noises. Don't get me started on the noises. Do you know how often a one hundred year old house settles? Neither did I, until I was the only one in said house without a single person to talk to to drown out the creaking. Between the creaking, the incessant running of my sump pump due to melting snow, and a boiler that cycles on an off every time I so much as turn on a hot water tap, by late Friday night I was two minutes away from abandoning my lovely and quiet suburban neighborhood and heading straight back to the never-ending cacophony that is Manhattan at night.

So I thought I would give myself and break and just go to sleep, figuring that if I was sleeping I wouldn't be worrying about whether that bang was just the ice machine or - far more likely - someone trying to break in through the back door. The thing is, I can still hear all the noises from my bedroom. It's just that instead of being in the living room with the lights on, I was in my bedroom in the dark.

Needless to say, it was a long night.

I spent most of the weekend in the living room on the couch, eating snacks instead of meals and venturing to the second floor just to sleep. Don't think I didn't almost cave to the pressure and sleep right there on the living room couch. But I'm a grown woman, so I forced myself upstairs and to my regular bed and then gave myself a hearty pat on the back for being so mature about the whole thing.

Seriously, how do you people with houses do it?

It's three more days that I'll be home alone, and I'm hoping that it'll get a little easier every day. And just in case it doesn't, my good friends Ben and Jerry and some of their brand new cores flavors are waiting in my freezer to keep me company.

I think I'll probably just have them for dinner.


  1. Hang in there! I lived on my own (no roommate) for four years before I met/married my husband, so I was prepared when he left town. DO you have a security system? That might help you relax...

  2. Yes! The first time Jeff went away from our house I set off the alarm before the sun went down but thought there was an intruder. It sucked. I didn't know how to turn it off. I still get scared but there's something about those first few times.

  3. My hubs travels all the time, and we have a big house. At night, when the kids are sound asleep upstairs and it's just me in the big living room, and I'm turning off lights and locking every thing up, it can be quite eery. But I guess I've pretty much gotten used to it. Hang in there for the next couple days!