Jess linked a Huffington Post article yesterday about how more and more people are choosing to live alone. I kind of always thought this was called “being a grownup,” but HuffPo loves to tell the world things everyone already knows, so I read on. It’s a book spotlight by some dude who was apparently surprised that more young Americans are choosing to exert “control over one’s own time and space,” because apparently, our country is way behind Europe, with its stronger currency and welfare states. People over there can afford to live alone. People here choose to remain in a sort of delayed adolescence with parents and roommates, and the newly rising number of people who are now choosing to live alone reflects an “incredible social change.”
Um, I guess? I mean, someone paid this guy to write his book, so a) good for him and b) why in the balls is no one paying me to write something that makes more sense. I didn’t know that living alone was such a weird thing, and I’m not trying to be hipster by saying that I was a recluse before being a recluse was cool. I’ve just always lived alone. I knew that I preferred it and could live alone within my means, so that’s what I did. While some of my friends had roommates (or lived with their parents, which is a whole other blog) during the time I was living alone, I always saw this as a social choice of theirs, but I also thought that eventually, they were going to have to get a place of their own because that’s what adults do.
And now I live with Graham, which is almost the same as living alone. I sometimes complain about our schedules, but it’s nice to be able to spend more time by myself than if we were in a more traditionally scheduled relationship. This has nothing to do with Graham, it’s just the way I’m wired. I think that if you spend a lot of time by yourself when you’re younger, you grow to be more comfortable with your own company. If my parents had any idea of how to punish me when I was a kid, they would have banned me from my room and told me to socialize with other kids. Instead, they grounded me to my room, where there were books and things to write and draw. Those fools. They didn’t teach me to stop talking back, they taught me to be okay with being by myself and not needing constant attention from others. Maybe I’m thinking too much into this, but I like to think that this taught me about self-sufficiency and responsibility, as well, which has turned me into the reasonably well-adjusted if somewhat anti-social person I am today.
While alone yesterday, I watched a couple of episodes of My Cat From Hell. What the what is this? I understand having an unruly dog and calling in Cesar Millan to fix the situation, but these people are getting their asses handed to them by cats. Cats. I know that if they are to read this, Brennan, Fiala, and about eleven other people I know will respond with “no one likes cats,” but clearly some people do even though their cats are pretty obvious about their hate towards them. Are these the same people who consider an abusive relationship better than none at all? Is that why they keep these cats instead of letting them go, sure to terrorize neighborhood after neighborhood until an urban legend is born? I don’t believe in making animals into strays and some anti-social behavior is to be expected (Chauncey passive-aggressively pooping in the shower, for instance, or Mr. Spaghetti’s tolerance of maybe three pets before he takes a warning swipe at your hand), but vicious animals are another story. Dogs can maul people and should be dealt with by authorities, but cats can go feral and that’s their own business. And I will kick a cat. Don’t judge me. I’ve been attacked by a vicious cat before. It lived in a house but learned to jimmy the window open and would come flying out from the bushes to ambush the mailman, passers-by, and neighborhood kids. I still think about that cat when I drive past that house.
I just can’t imagine how you’d live with a vicious cat. Like, I know that cats are supposed to be kind of assholes and just do whatever they want, but I’ve never had a mean cat. The only mean animal I ever had was a bunny rabbit, who was fucking psychotic and had to be taken to the Humane Society. He was either euthanized or staged a bloody coup, I have no idea. I was watching My Cat From Hell and thinking about how bizarre it was, because The Cat was brrowwing (neither of my cats meows like a regular animal) closer and closer until I let him casually lean against my leg. And this morning, he stood on his hind legs making weird throat noises until I pet him, even though I was busy writing and it’s not time for them to be fed yet.
How on earth do you get from an animal like mine to an animal that attacks your legs as you walk through your kitchen? How do you not just smack that fucker over the head until it gets the point that you are bigger and not to be messed with? How do you get to the point where you call some ponytailed weirdo from the TV to come over and solve your cat problems?
My dad has a cat. She was a stray who started hanging around the neighbor’s house, I guess because some part of the house was safe and she kept having kittens. After her last litter, my dad lured her into the house, took her to the vet, and got her fixed. It took awhile for her to trust people, but now she mostly hangs out in the basement and comes up for pets sometimes. Her name is Mommers (because she’s a Mom, but you should know that my dad once wanted to name a cat Pokemon). Now, if Mommers was an old slut who lived on the streets for years and can still act civilly, I don’t see why another cat can’t.
Not that I’ll see Mommers today. Today is Super Bowl, which means it’s the one day of the year when my dad’s whole family gets together to drink, play cards, and scream and the television and one another. Mommers will hide out in the basement. I don’t blame her.