Single and Sick

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Not long ago, a friend confided that the only time she wishes she weren't single is when she's sick.

I don't share her sentiment entirely—as evidenced by my ongoing attempts at dating (see here and here for proof). However, single is a pretty good state:

  • We own our schedules. Singles don't attend functions or partake in activities unless they have an interest in doing so.

  • We eat what we want when we want—and can choose not eat at all. Scrambled eggs for dinner? Sounds good to me.

  • We make financial decisions independent of any other person. "I want this. I will buy it."

  • We keep our households to our preferences. I have a painting of a skull in my kitchen. I stack mail on the counter. No one has the right to care.

  • Our habits and modes of dress can't possibly annoy anyone we love. Sometimes, I lounge around the house in pajamas on Sunday afternoon. I allow the dog to sleep in the bed. So?

Singlehood, in many ways, rocks.

Except when you're sick.

When ill, you want to immobilize under piles of blankets. You do not want to get dressed and

  • walk and tend to the dog,

  • run to the pharmacy to buy medicines and tissues,

  • fetch liquids (tea, water) from the kitchen,

  • get soup, crackers, or other food, and

  • pick up the house (food, paper products, dishes and cups).

Many of these tasks are especially awful when it's blustery outside—as it often is when you're sick.

In this case, it sucks to be single.

Friends and family have their own lives to attend—often with children and spouses and jobs—and they aren't able or willing to drop everything to play nursemaid to an adult who may live at a distance and whose needs don’t fit their schedules. Likely, they don't love the role when they're required to play it in their own households (and I can't blame them).

Maybe there's a business in there somewhere: As an increasing number of households become occupancies of one, perhaps someone should offer a service to caretake for all the sick singles.

Any takers?