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make it a single
the perks and drawbacks 
of living solo
by Ashlin Salisbury
1 2

Every morning I follow the same routine.  I get up and walk through the house to make sure no one has invaded my place during the night.  I leave the bathroom door open when I take a shower.  I close my eyes as I rinse my hair, until the shower scene from Psycho flies through my head.  Then I take a quick peek to make sure no knife-wielding mama’s boy is there to end my existence.  I dry off and walk naked leisurely around my house, taking another once through, again to make sure I am safe.

The naked strut is one of the things you can do when you live by yourself.  Everyone seems to believe that’s all you do, that you just spend all day buck-naked.  “Oh, you can walk around naked!”  Like it is some great honor.

I get dressed and occasionally put on makeup.  I do not have to wait for anyone to get out of the bathroom so I can use it.  When I clean the bathroom, I know I am cleaning up after myself.  After I get ready for classes, I leave for school.

When I get home I check my closet to see if any bogymen have invaded my domicile.  As usual, there is never anyone there who shouldn’t be. But, that doesn’t stop me from checking it again, right before bed.  This paranoia of serial killers probably stems from too many thriller movies, but then again, maybe it’s just the fear of not having anybody else there to protect me.

In my previous life shared with roommates, there was always somebody around.  I wasn’t as preoccupied with my own safety as I am now. Perhaps this comes from the thought that even if my roommates could not protect me, at least they would die with me.  Not a comforting thought, but a thought all the same.

Aside from my all-encompassing fear of slaughter in my own home, however, I tend to have a great time living alone.  Often when I decide to get up from reclining on the floor, I jump up and do an impression of Mary Catherine Gallagher.  “Sometimes, when I get nervous, I stick my hands under my arms and then smell them, like this!”  When you live alone, you can do impressions of characters from “Saturday Night Live” without fear of being ridiculed.  My animals just look at me and go back to their business.

There are many different reasons why I choose to live alone.  The main motivation: Personal space.  It is the most amazing feeling when I get to decide what I am going to do and when I am going to do it.  I can leave the dishes in the sink and not wash them for weeks, without any fear of roommates hassling me to wash them.

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