Thursday, September 08, 2005

17. Living Alone

Most of the time I like living alone; I can pick what I want to watch on TV without argument, if I don’t feel like doing the dishes I don’t have to, there’s no fighting over who gets the most comfortable chair (except for recently, while I’ve been cat-sitting. I think I’ve won the fight though).  This does not negate the fact that I would like to be married, or at least know that there is the potential for that… but I figure, if I have to be single (I’m still undecided) I might as well enjoy as much of it as I can.

But then something like today comes along and I realize how nice it would be to have another person around.  I took my dining room table in to a hardware store to get it fixed yesterday – actually, I only meant to take the legs in, but when I got there the guy asked me all these questions (about bolts, and fasteners, and L-bracket…uh…stuff) and I had no idea what he was talking about, so he asked me to just bring the table in so he could see for himself.  I spent about half an hour getting the table into my car, even though the legs were not attached… it was just heavy, and I kept thinking that if I had had just one more pair of hands it would have probably only taken about 5 minutes.  But… well, I was able to do it by myself.  But then today, when I went to pick it up again… that was another story.  The guy at the store helped me put the table back into my car, so that wasn’t a problem, but when I got back home all hell broke loose.  I don’t know if I can describe exactly what happened, but I’ll give you the highlights… I dropped the table on my foot – twice.  I swore in front of an old lady – at least twice.   I blocked the hallway in the basement of my building for several minutes, which would have been fine if it wasn’t for the fact that people were trying to get by – they were not mean, but they were also not happy.  Oh, and then there was the fact that everything just fell into pieces in the elevator, and the aforementioned old lady was stuck trying to hold the elevator open while stretching over my body as I tried to get all the pieces (legs, table top, screws, etc…) out so she could go on about her day.  She was actually really sweet, but I still felt really bad.

I know I could call a friend for help, but it seem so frustrating that I have to do that any time I need an extra pair of hands.  I feel like I’d be using them… or that they might feel that I’m using them.  I do it when I have to – I borrowed a friend’s husband to go car shopping with me, and I originally asked some friends to help me fix my table (it turned out I needed something from the hardware store which is why I ended up going there instead), but today was different.  I didn’t need skill, I just needed hands.  

I suppose a roommate would have helped me with the table… but, well, I don’t want a roommate.  I loved having roommates while I had them; but now that I’ve lived alone I don’t want to be living with, and compromising with, and making decisions with a person who is probably not a permanent part of my life… and who, let’s face it, is just a roommate.  If I’m going to go through all of the things that come with living with another human being, I want it be something more significant than that.  The frustrating thing is, that ‘something more significant’ is something that I want… it’s not a ‘take it or leave it’ thing.  It’s not a case of “well, if I can’t have marriage then I guess I’ll just travel a lot”… it’s a case of  “I’ll travel a lot to try and distract myself from the fact that knowing that I’ll never be able to get married makes me miserable.”  

I wish I could just find some hope somewhere, some hope for more than a distraction, more than “sublimating” my desires with other things… That’s been suggested a few times, and to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what it means... instead of getting married I help the poor?  Is it really an either/or thing?  Are married people not supposed to help the poor?  I mean, that’s ridiculous… so how come they get to help the poor and have a loving spouse at home?  I don’t get it.  

Anyway, those are my thoughts today… all inspired by dropping a table on my foot and saying ‘fuck!’ in front of an old lady.   In my defense, it really hurt!          


Eric said...


i'd probably inadvertantly blurt something out too (or at least yelp extremely loud).

so i do love living alone in my new apartment. but that has alot to do with the fact that i had been renting a room in a house with other people for three years and have been looking foward to my own place for a long long time.

but i get it. i would gladly share my living space with someone if it meant also sharing my life with a companion. someone to love. someone to come home to. someone to hold one side of the table or someone to hold my wounded foot in his hands.

sigh. yeah, i get it.

yesterday, i went to the store to buy two patio chairs and they just would not fit in my car! I spent 45 minutes in the parking lot trying to figure out how to get these things home. another person would have been helpful!

JJ said...

I wonder if when God said "It is not good for man to be alone" if He was thinking about moving furniture! :D

Brandon Scott said...

Stumbled on your blog today. Interesting thoughts. So many are wrestling with this. Wish I had some answers. Just wanted to say hi and keep writing.

clint said...

JJ: "The frustrating thing is, that ‘something more significant’ is something that I want…"

It's okay to feel that way.
It's natural to feel that way.
You are supposed to want that.

That's what God meant in Genesis 2:18.

"...knowing that I’ll never be able to get married makes me miserable."

And this is where you have to search your own heart. If this feels like a superficial "I wish I could have a second slice of cake" kind of miserable, then you should move on. But if this feels like an empty place in your soul, you have to realize where denying yourself, especially if you do it for God, leads -- at the end of that path is a deep unhappiness, and worse you'll probably blame God for it (*), driving you even farther from Him. That's the very essence of sin -- what separates us from God.

It's about the difference between what gives us pleasure and what makes us happy. At the end of the day, God loves you and wants you to be happy -- not superficially pretending everything's alright, not enjoying a momentary pleasure that you'll feel bad about tomorrow, but deeply fulfilled. So much of what Jesus taught is just about that -- loving God and making a place for him in your heart and your life; loving yourself and your neighbors; letting go of grudges (which only fester and poison your own heart); learning not to be overly judgemental (which always makes you come down on yourself the hardest); finding through faith in God's love the hope that there is always a way forward.

(*) Famous anecdote, sloppily told -- There's a very religious man who lives in the path of a flood. An evacuation is ordered, but he stays, saying "I'm a religious man. I pray. I have faith that God will save me." The story continues through rescue workers on a bus, then a boat, then a helicopter, all receiving the same response from the man. Finally, he drowns and gets to Heaven, where he demands of God -- "Why didn't you save me?" to which the LORD responds in exasperation, "I sent you a warning, a bus, a boat, and a helicopter. What are you doing here?"

Jessica said...

LOL I told my husband that I decided to marry him after he moved a fridge for me. lol Otherwise, i probably would've said no when he asked, because being single is the bomb! lol Now, I tell him I stay married to him, because they screw the lids on so tight to my Propel, that I can't get it open without him. So, I guess I'll keep him, but, yeah, I think you've got the right idea. Do ALL your living now, while you're single, because once you're married (and hopefully that will soon be possible, although I hear it already is possible in Canada, I'm in the US, oy!), you'll be living someone else's idea of life. Seriously, though, it's not horrible, but you definately can't just pick up and go off on an impulse somewhere. Everything has to be planned once you're married and then, when there's kids, too. oy! It gets' complicated. lol If I had it all to do over again, I would've waited to get married until I was about 37-40. After I'd accomplished all the big goals I had, but still young enough to have a child or two. So, hang in there. It's worth it. Then, when you are ready, just pray that god brings her to you. That's always how he does it. He brought Ruth to Boaz, for example. There are alot of other examples. (Not sure how that works in Gaydom, but He seems to be able to think of everything, doesn't He? lol). God bless. You're such a doll. :) I haven't read enough of your blog to know what your mom feels toward you, but I'm a mom, and I can say that I'd be so proud of my daughter if she ended up like you. I tell her all the time, all I want is for her to love the Lord and follow his plan for her life. If she does those two things, then I am proud of her and that's all I'd need to die happy, just knowing that she puts God first in her life.

just me - titration said...

Not sure if you get emails re: new blog comments since this is so far back. Hope so. I was re-looking for the tony campolo link you mentioned and this post made me laugh. Too funny.

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