Anne Palumbo: Home alone triggers naughtiness at every age
I was home alone for a week. No husband, no kids, no rules, no raised eyebrows.
With my penchant for piling and my litigious way with light bulbs, I’m surprised I was granted custody of myself. But, alas, the court ruled in my favor and I was given full rein.
I went wild.
The first thing I did was ask Google the $64,000 Question: How much does it cost to run an ordinary lamp for one hour? The answer: Less than a penny. Ha! So I turned on all the lights and then did the unthinkable: I walked out of rooms without turning them off.
I know! Am I headed for hard time or what?
After the thrill of wanton wattage wore off, I called my sister and asked her over.
The promise of putting our feet up on everything and eating food straight from cartons had her chomping at the bit.
“Don’t start without me,” she pleaded.
While waiting, I opened the refrigerator and just stood there, staring at its contents. With the door wide open, I answered the phone, fed the cat, and finished the crossword puzzle.
I felt so naughty I was tempted to make a prank phone call.
is brought over the contraband: wine, chips, ice cream, and enough four-hankie DVDs to dehydrate our systems for days.
“We are bad,” she said, tracking in mud that we blithely ignored. “Red or white?”
After she left, I refused to take out the trash.
The next morning, I ate toast in bed and then, weirdly, began talking out loud to myself. Strange things happen when no one’s around. I asked myself if I was going to make the bed (no), comb my hair (no), and wear the clothes I had left crumpled on the floor (yes).
I wondered if other married people left to their own devices exhibited such reckless behavior.
Things were going pretty well until I started to lose stuff: my cell phone, wallet, eyeglasses, scrambled eggs. I figured they were somewhere under the pile on the kitchen counter, which had steadily grown to the size of Rhode Island. Or maybe on the couch under all the papers I had left scattered there from the day before. Perhaps with the laundry. I quit looking after a while.
Oddly, I had no desire to venture into the outside world those first few days. Since I am never completely by myself, I wanted to suck the juice out of every delicious moment alone.
Not a good idea. By the third day of House Arrest, I became a royal nag, scolding myself for being self-centered, sloppy, unsociable, and downright disobedient. I may have even threatened a trial separation.
So I pulled it together and cleaned up my act: made the bed, changed my clothes, combed my hair, snapped off lights, straightened up the couch, swept the floor, did some wash, eliminated the piles, and found everything I had lost. Phew!
One question: Do you think it was OK that I ate the scrambled eggs after four days under a wet towel?
Anne Palumbo writes this weekly column for Messenger Post Newspapers. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.