It is a little alarming how quickly some of the grungy quiet habits of bachelorhood can sneak back into your life. I was left to my own devices just a few days ago, and already I am reveling in the simple joys of single life. None of that tawdry stuff that could get me in trouble later - it always ends up costing money or time or both somewhere down the line.
The things I'm talking about are the ones that maintain the solitary existence. Eating TV dinners in front of the TV is a good example. It should be noted that there are plenty of occasions when our whole family will drag their microwave-safe trays out to the living room for an evening of video. It should be further noted that the TV dinners in question were purchased for me by my wife before she handed the place over to me. Are you ready for the big difference? I eat when I'm ready. I don't wait for everyone else. I don't check to see if everybody has a napkin. If there's anything else I need, I can waddle on into the kitchen and fetch it myself.
You can tell how low impact this existence is by how empty the dishwasher is. Before I moved to California and started living with the woman who became my wife, I lived in an apartment where the dishwasher never got used. I used a bowl and spoon each morning for my granola. The cup I used for juice was the same one I used at dinner for water and the one fork I used got washed with its partners at the end of a week. In the last month that I lived in my bachelor pad I had some friends over for ice cream sundaes and we dirtied a great number of dishes. We loaded the dishwasher and the next morning before I went to work I turned it on. When I came home that evening, the floor was soaked and the whole place smelled like a wet dog. Apparently the rubber seal on the dishwasher had ceased to be useful because it had dried and cracked from so many months of disuse. The carpet and the machine had to be replaced. They might have raised my rent if I wasn't moving out in two weeks.
So there is my point: Isolation is cheaper than fraternization. That being said, I miss my family.