Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles

Singletude is a positive, supportive singles blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

No Sleep For Singles: Singles Are Twice as Busy

Singles are twice as busy as their married counterparts if you think about it.

Tonight I'm beat. Totally, completely wiped out. So exhausted I fell asleep for three hours before bedtime. I feel like a creature that should be hibernating right now. And this is by no means unusual. It happens with some frequency.

It occurs to me that part of the reason I'm so tired all the time is because I'm single.

Wait, wait. Before you write this off as a "poor Elsie" rant, let me explain. It's not that I'm under the impression that couples do nothing but enjoy the glow of each other's presence all day. I know all people are busy, coupled or not. But couples get to "share the busy" by dividing the labor much as they do the rent.

Consider this list of tasks I had to accomplish alone this weekend, most of which I made time for, a few of which I didn't:

1. Go grocery shopping.
2. Go to the post office for stamps.
3. Go to the bank.
4. Go to Staples to get packaging for a return item.
5. Go to Home Depot to pick up a birthday gift for a party.
6. Go to the pharmacy to pick up a birthday card.
7. Go to the stylist to get my hair cut.
8. Go to the department store to replace a shirt which literally fell apart on me.
9. Attend a birthday party.
10. Go shopping with my friend for her bridal gown.
11. Sort through mail and pay bills.
12. Buy a new computer monitor.
13. Research the current value of my car, which I'm selling, prepare paperwork for the sale, and write a description to post.
14. Send reply emails to friends who wrote to me.
15. Write a business plan for a new web site so that I can discuss it more coherently with a potential contact.
16. Write my blog posts.
17. Work on my site.
18. Water the plants.
19. Do the laundry.
20. Make myself three meals a day.

Obviously, some of the above stops on my itinerary were fun. I enjoyed the birthday party. I'm glad I got to help my friend pick out her wedding dress. Shopping for a new top and getting my hair done were not unpleasant errands. But I spent so much of the weekend running around that I'm actually relieved it's over and the work week about to begin.

When I was growing up, weekends were an oasis of inactivity at the end of a busy week. My mom and I woke up late and shared biscuits with honey while I watched Saturday morning cartoons. My dad usually went out to breakfast with his friends and ran errands to the post office, the bank, and the pharmacy, etc. Before he left, he'd generally ask my mom what she needed him to pick up while he was out. In the afternoon, Mom went to the A&P to "do groceries" if she hadn't during the week, and Dad probably brought home lunch from the deli. Perhaps he'd "do the bills" after lunch while Mom continued on to the mall with me to try on some clothes, or maybe we'd go have some ice cream or--gasp--just come back home and not do much of anything. My parents might call some friends to say hi; chances were I'd be in the play room for most of the day. The evening would find us gathered around the TV or reading to each other, and Sunday, with the exception of church, would be more of the same bumming around the house punctuated by the occasional trip to the movies or a family restaurant.

Okay, so I should probably check my contacts and make sure I'm not wearing the rose-tinted ones. ;) But the idyllic description of my childhood notwithstanding, my parents' marriage had a clear division of labor which allowed for those relaxing weekends. By splitting the chores, they doubled their free time.

Singles don't have this option. If you're without a spouse or live-in lover, you must take care of everything that's screaming for your attention, all day, every day. No exceptions. It doesn't matter if it would be more convenient for a girlfriend to pick up lunch while you call the phone company about your long-distance plan. Too bad if it would save you time if you had a husband to take the car for gas while you're writing out the checks of the week. If you get sick, deal with it. If there's an emergency, that's yours to handle, too. All by yourself.

Now, since this is a singles-friendly blog, you must be wondering when I'm going to get to the positive part. Your wait is over. Here it is:

Short of renting a robot, you won't be able to replace the helping hands of a marital partner. But the good news is there are some shortcuts you can take to minimize some tasks and double up on others so that your life will be only half as busy. Which is exactly how it should be.

Tune in tomorrow for Singletude's tips and tricks for busy singles.

Fun Link of the Day


bobbyboy said...

So true, so true!

Sorry, but for some odd reason I keep hearing that commercial tune, it's so stuck in my head now. You know the one:

I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never ever let you forget you're a man cause I'm a woman.

Ironically enough, I just fell asleep last night on the love seat earlier than usual do to a major house cleaning yesterday.

I feel your pain ;)


Anonymous said...

Hey lady. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. And as you know, I'm with you on the busy stuff. And in fact, I'm so busy I want to read all your stuff but can't! I've vacation coming next week though and I think I will be catching up.
Thanks again and I will be in touch...