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Home Alone

9 Oct

I am 27 years old. By this point in my life, I should be able to spend the night alone, but I can’t, and it’s really a problem.

I grew up with three sisters, two parents, and a dog. Since college, I’ve always had roommates, first friends, and now my life-roommate, Pete. (Half the time I don’t even want to talk to Pete, but just knowing that he’s there and that I COULD talk to him if I wanted to makes me feel less lonely.)

Well, the point of this story is that I have never spent more than a night or two in a home alone in my entire life. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s something I never had to get used to, or just because I’m a huge scaredy cat, but something terrible happens every single time I’m left home alone.

My parent’s house is particularly scary. It dates back to 1910, when there was this huge estate on our street. Our house was where the gardener lived. It fell into disrepair around the mid-century and a lot of work has been done to it since. (It’s amazing what my mom can dig up at the local historical society.) But it’s still really frickin’ scary and creaky.

A few years ago, I spent the night at my parents with my old dog, Mousse, to keep me company. He was 14 at the time, which would make him about a bijillion in dog years. In the middle of the night, we heard a huge “BANG!” coming from downstairs – it sounded like a broom fell over or something. Mousse and I both shot straight up and just stared at each other. “Can you go see what that was?!” I asked Mousse. He looked at me as if to say, “I’m 100 years old, you selfish, lazy piece of poo. YOU go see what that was.” And then he went back to sleep.

Well, the same thing happened this week, minus the trustworthy old dog (may he rest in peace). I was already bracing myself for a scary night when my parents asked me to sleepover while they were out of town. So that’s why I decided it would be a good idea to watch the new show, “American Horror Story” alone. It’s about an old haunted house. Fabulous!

In reality, that was a terrible idea. At 10:45 p.m., I prepared for bed like this:

At 11 p.m., I tried to wash my face with my eyes open in case someone tried to sneak up on me. At 11:30 p.m., I called Pete to say goodnight.

“I’M SLEEPING,” is how he answered the phone. “I CALLED YOU 50 MINUTES AGO.”

“Sorry I didn’t see that you called. I just wanted to say goodnight.”


“I’m so scared. I was watching this show…”


At 12:45 a.m., I was laying in my sister’s bed with all the lights on trying to focus on my book until I fell asleep. Except my book was also about a haunted house (it’s called “The Thirteenth Tale” and I recommend it) so that wasn’t working out too well.

I don’t know how I eventually fell asleep , but I did and was THRILLED when I woke up and saw that the sun had some up. I was also exhausted at work that day.


It starts with an “F” and ends in an “ootball”

8 Sep

Last week, I was sitting in my fleece robe on the couch in a little ball, watching “True Life: I’m in the Marijuana Business.”

Then Pete came home. And the worst thing in the world happened.

I believe it’s called “pre-season football”.

Without so much of a “hello”, Pete walked over to the TV, switched off my trashy show, and turned on the pre-season Bears game. Then he started chanting “Football! Football!” I wanted to puke.

I immediately threw a tantrum – balled up fists, arched back, flailing limbs and all. Even that didn’t catch Pete’s attention, so after about five minutes, I got up and sulked into the bedroom to watch Netflix.

It’s not even that I hate football so much – I love watching Iowa games and the fall weather is so crisp, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of the season! But what I do hate is being ignored for FIVE AND  A HALF MONTHS. Has someone ever given you the cold shoulder for that long? Because it’s pretty miserable.

Pete cannot be reasoned with when football’s on. Speaking in grunts and shoulder shrugs can only last so long before the conversation tapers off. I’ve even tried to talk to him in the same voice I used to talk to my old dog Mousse in, but I guess Pete isn’t a dog, because it doesn’t seem to work.

But on the plus side, at least I get a lot of reading done in the fall.