Before I give anybody the wrong impression, I should point out that the past few months have been just great for me. Being under-employed suits me just fine, and for the first time in a very long time I feel like I’m on top of everything and just plain content.
Still, it’s getting really hard to be single these days.
Not for the obvious reasons — I’m really digging having so much time to myself and keeping completely to my own schedule with little-to-no obligations to anyone; so much so that I’d even go so far as to call it awesome. And when I go to the store, right there bang as soon as I walk in there’s a long aisle of Valentine’s Day decorations and candy and cards and all that, and I actually get a little spring in my step, knowing that I don’t have to fool with any of that nonsense.
No, the problem comes after I get past the Valentine’s aisle and just try to buy food to keep me alive and blogging. They make it really hard to buy just enough food for one person.
You might think those frozen microwavable dinners are the key, but I swore those off not long after I graduated college. There’s just something inherently depressing about buying them. Plus, they’re generally bad for you. It’s a vicious cycle, no doubt perpetuated by a grocers’ conspiracy — single-serving food makes you fat and unsuitable as a life partner.
“But what about those Healthy Choice deals?” you may be asking. Well, I can’t bring myself to get those, because I have a penis. Don’t blame me, blame the marketing department. I buy a Healthy Choice dinner, and the next thing you know I’m at a cafe table in the city chatting with my girlfriends about shoes while pouring myself a big bowl of Special K.
I’ve lived alone for about 15 years now, and not to toot my own horn (something else you do a lot of when you live alone), but I can make a mean cheeseburger. I’m talking about something so perfect it’ll make you weep and unless you’ve steeled yourself or have superhuman self-control, maybe even pee a little. But making hamburgers means committing yourself to at least a pound of ground beef and eight buns. And then the race is on: you’d better be ready to get your Wimpy on, because you’re going to have to eat a pound of hamburgers in less than a week before it all goes bad.
Tonight I went with my old college standby: English peas, corn, and a couple of those Pillsbury crescent rolls. Simple, easy to make, relatively healthy, and a perfect alternative if you’re tired of meat (or too poor to get meat, which is how the ritual started). At least, it used to be. When I was in college, they had single-serving cans of peas, corn, and the rolls in a 4-member pressurized canister. I could stock up on dozens of them, perfect for the eventuality that I have to lock myself in a bunker and finally have enough time to read, but then ironically break my glasses and just have to sit there eating peas.
Apparently Corporate America didn’t cotton to my corn-eating ways, because now they only sell it all in Jumbo Why Haven’t You Started A Family Yet, Loser? sizes. Huge cans, big beefy American cans, enough to feed a pre-casino Indian tribe. And good luck finding any kind of pressurized pre-formed bread dough product in sizes smaller than eight-per-can.
I started making dinner with the best of intentions, but of course ended up eating it all, the caloric equivalent of a whole bag of cookies. On corn and peas. What a cruel world this is.
It all reminds me of a joke that everybody’s heard but I’ll type it here anyway: when I was checking out at the grocery store, the clerk said, “You must live alone.” I said, “Oh, because of all the single-serving stuff I’ve bought.” She said, “No, because you’re fucking ugly.”