When my nephew came to visit me recently, he pointed out that my bathroom door doesn’t close all the way. This was news to me. Naturally he found this surprising, but the fact is, I live alone. I haven’t felt the need to close the bathroom door in months.
I’ve also been known to eat my dinner over the stove, straight out of the frying pan, while listening to NPR on the kitchen radio. I never bother folding the fitted sheets in my linen closet. I wait to put away my clean clothes until I’ve accumulated a nice big pile. I can probably count the number of times I’ve made my own bed on one hand.
There’s nothing quite like having a home place where you can be utterly and entirely yourself with absolutely no fear of judgment. If I wake up at 3 in the morning craving scrambled eggs, I can have them without worrying about waking anyone else up. If I have a couple days off and I don’t want to get out of my jammies the whole time, it’s nobody’s business but my own.
I can also belch with impunity, curse like a sailor, or not make a sound for hours on end. I get to have my dogs all to myself, and they keep all my secrets. I can let the answering machine screen my calls.
After a long, hard day, it’s great to have a place where you can kick off your shoes, unhook your bra, and not feel the need to live up to anyone’s expectations. What a gift. It may not be much, but my home is my castle, and I am well aware that many people in the world don’t have this luxury. I hope I never forget how fortunate I am.