The guardians are out of town, the siblings are being studious at summer term or have just plain grown up, and you are home alone. Delicious. Strands of seconds and hours on end for you to burn up in whichever way you please. Whether you’re a firm recluse on principle or social butterfly looking for a little staycation, an empty house can mean a lot of things.
In the beginning, everything is paradise. The dress code is tank tops only, you eat whatever you want (pb&j and popsicles), and you can break out your intentionally undiscovered talent of opera singing in the shower. Dishes? Who cares, let it stack. Put it in dirty; let it run again if that didn’t scrape off the chocolate. Clothes? Finally the floor gets a little decoration. All about pops of color. And of course, the tech.
You can watch episodes for hours on end without experiencing acid reflux because someone tried to have a real conversation with you during the middle of the show. You can send the ugly Snapchats without securing the area, lie on the couch and scroll through Twitter for hours, go seven layers deep on Insta. The possibilities are endless, Pinterest and otherwise.
At some point though, maybe four seasons later, maybe after you’ve choreographed dances to all the commercials you’ve seen, after you’ve head nodded to 45 hours of Pandora’s angry rappers playlist, the lifestyle will get old. I know. I was shocked when I hit this point. My whole life I feel like I’ve been looking for the Exit door in every building I’ve ever stepped foot in, yet there it was- the glamor faded.
Something changes in this moment, when you close the laptop and look around at all the plastic bags on the floor. What do adults do with all those plastic bags? Where do they go? Am I supposed to ever transcend a non-cooked meal?
You will try and go outside. Sit on the deck chair, look at the sun and smile. Look at the trees and three minutes later run for your life having attained a beautiful duet of sunburn and mosquito bites. You will go on very unnecessary drives. To the gas station and back, to Wal-Mart to buy bobby pins, to the actual post office to mail a letter. It gets quiet. You will miss your family. You will miss your roommate.
When it all ends you will be glad to have people around you again, people that you didn’t invite over. Someone to use the oven for something other than a sock holder, someone to answer your seven o’clock musings like “Do you think the guy who cooks prisoners their last meal has job satisfaction?” and to acknowledge comments like “My horoscope was spot-on today.” At the end of Operation Isolation you’ll appreciate the garage door going up, or the key turning in the lock. You might know all the movies Bill Murray blessed his presence with; you might love your family a little bit better.