About 98% of the time, I love being single. I'm extrememly independent and do well without having to answer to anyone. I'm outgoing and friendly and appreciate that I can be this way without it being threatening to anyone. I truly like myself and enjoy spending time alone as much as I enjoy spending it with friends. But very occasionally, something annoying happens...
A few nights ago around 11 PM I was laying in bed reading American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld (which is un-put-down-able, by the way--go buy it: http://www.amazon.com/American-Wife-Novel-Curtis-Sittenfeld/dp/1400064759), when the light on the ceiling of my room went out. The bulb had been shifty for a while and I knew that this time it was dead. This was particularly annoying because, even with a chair, I am not even close to tall enough to reach the fixture to change the bulb. Worse still, the two tall people in my neighborhood whom I would normally call on were both out of town--David was in Irvine and Chris was in Seattle. I was screwed.
I'm practical and not a total baby, so I lit a few candles, turned on my bedside lamp and dealt. But as I lay in bed, too irritated to read anymore that night, I considered my options:
-Spend $50 on a stepladder.
-Potentially kill myself by trying to stand on the back of a chair to reach the light.
-Wait in the dark for a few more days until Chris or David returns and ply one of them with food or beer in exchange for their help.
None of these options seemed particularly great to me, and most annoyingly, I couldn't help but notice that this situation highlighted the fact that, until a few months ago, I was in a relationship with someone who was tall and helpful and had changed the very same bulb for me every time it had gone out in the past.
Don't get me wrong--I'm glad we broke up. He is a wonderful guy, but we couldn't have been more wrong for each other. As difficult as it was, I haven't once regretted the decision. Still, sitting in the relative dark and thinking about being alone does not a happy evening make. One of the hardest things about re-entering the dating world after breaking up with someone with whom you simply don't belong, is that all of a sudden, you have a whole new set of expectations now that you know more about what does and doesn't work for you. Ultimately, this is good because ideally it will lead you to a relationship that you should be in, but put into practice, it feels daunting. The other thing this brings up of course, is the independence issue. Why am I depending on anyone to fix my light? I'm twenty-six years old, the owner of a successful business and a confident, competent young woman. Why do I need anyone for anything, much less a light fixture?
And all this because my damn lightbulb burned out.
OK, so here's what happened. I calmed down and eventually fell asleep. The next day, Chris returned to San Francisco. I met him for dinner (I know you were wondering where food gets mentioned in this blog, so I'll tell you--we went to La Taqueria at Mission and 25th street and I had the simplest and most delicious burrito: pinto beans, mexican cheese, salsa and avocado. Go.) and asked sweetly if he would come over and help me out. He's such an awesome guy that he drove me to my house and replaced my dead, doubt-provoking lightbulb.
And as I fell asleep that night (my room being electively dark at that point), I decided that I'm not dependent or lonely--I'm just too short to reach the lamp in the middle of my room. And also that being single is never anything to worry about because I already have great friends who are more than willing to replace my lightbulb should it burn out again.