Also, she said, while getting sick always sucks, getting sick when you live alone is a special kind of miserable because there is no one to take care of you (or even just offer you sympathy). That I know well. I had the flu while I was home with the Parentals over Christmas, and man alive. It was brilliant. My mom made me toast and tea and chicken soup from scratch. My dad built me fires. They both gave me hugs even though I was Germy. So much TLC was heaped upon me that it started leaking out my ears. I kept thinking back to the previous February, when I had a horrible flu the week I was supposed to be packing up shop to move from Sydney to Vienna, and I started wondering whether I should pick my next city based on where some sort of rent-a-mother service might be offered.
Another downside to living alone, I think, is that birthdays are a bit sad. This is especially true if you live in a different time zone from most of your friends and family - the day might be half over before they start waking up and you get your first birthday greeting.
It would be nice to have someone around when you're in the midst of making dinner and discover that you've forgotten to buy of a vital ingredient. When you live alone, you have two choices: 1) turn off the heat and put all the pans and bowls out of the cat's reach, then go to the store (if it's open, which, since this is Austria, it probably isn't), or 2) put everything away and have toast and honey instead. Without butter, because you're out of that too.
When you live alone, your cat can decree that her nails shall not be clipped so long as the sun rises and falls upon the earth, and she can get away with it. Also, when you live alone, and you stay up late watching The Exorcist, there is nobody to check the closet and behind the shower curtain for you.
It is also the case that when you live alone, you can drink straight from the milk carton without anyone complaining. You can lick the jam spoon and stick it back into the jar. You can eat the last cookie and all of the leftover pizza and you don't have to share.
You can go ahead and use up all the toilet paper. There's no need to leave three squares so that when someone shouts, "Hey, who used up all the TP?", you can truthfully say, "There was still some the last time I was in there."
You can put your books, DVDs, and spices into a logical order, and nobody will mess it up.
The only person you have to fight for your spot on the couch is the cat. And she's not the one with a squirt bottle.
Hello, all the hot water in the entire tank...
By washing religiously and systematically avoiding public transport and all open-access mugs and cutlery at work, you can do a pretty good job of avoiding most forms of illness. There is no waking up in the morning to discover that you've just spent eight hours sharing air with someone who is now clearly in the latter stages of Ebola.
Also, you don't really have to wear pants.
So you see, there are ups and downs. In my opinion, at least. The cat reminds me that if another human lived here, then she would have to share. "Ha!" I tell her. "You don't know how to share."
"My point exactly," she replies.