Two weeks ago, I dropped my son off to college somewhere in Virginia. It wasn’t a tear-filled dropoff. You know the ones you see on television with parents sobbing as they walk away from their child’s college dorm? Yeah, that’s not how we roll.
An hour before I dropped my son off, I asked him, for the 20th time, if he remembered to pack his flip-flops, because no one wants foot fungus. Days before, I placed two pairs of flip-flops on top of his luggage to make sure he would remember to pack them.
So imagine my dismay as I saw his emptied luggage on the dorm-room floor, and not one sign of flip-flops. Basically, I flipped. And then had to make a third trip to Walmart to buy yet another pair of flip-flops. Needless to say, by the time I was ready to leave, I was exhausted and didn’t look forward to spending two-and-a-half hours in traffic. We said our goodbyes. I told him not to fuck up and waste my money. We hugged, and I hopped back into my Jeep and hit the road.
And now, two weeks later, I am kid- and dog-free. Yes, I got rid of the dog, also. It was a tough decision, but with my travel schedule and trying to reclaim my life, I felt bad about leaving my dog in boarding for days.
Luckily, with one simple email on Facebook to an old flame, just to say “Hi,” one reply later, he informed me that he’d moved to a bigger place and was looking for a dog. I swear things happen for a reason. A week later, my dog is now his and his live-in-girlfriend’s dog.
So now I live in a big ol’ house alone. And it turns out, empty-nesting is boring as fuck. Since I live in the woods, literally at the bottom of a mountain on a lake, the isolation started to seep in probably a week into being dog- and childless. Sure, I’ve interviewed Idris Elba in Miami. Gotten a tan on the beach. Been able to hang out with my friend of 10 years, Panama Jackson, in New York City. But once I got home, and didn’t hear the sound of trap music rising through my house, it dawned on me how much it sucks living alone. And at night, every little weird sound I hear throughout my house has made me realize how much I miss having my dog around.
What I’ve realized over the last couple of weeks is that now I need to make a concerted effort to actually have a social life. Because if I don’t, I can easily wind up becoming a recluse. So the first thing on my list of things to do is to move. No more bears as neighbors. No more albino deer running through my yard. No more days of sitting on my lake in my hammock. Although I’m not moving back into a city, I’m moving close enough so that when I look through Tinder, I won’t see a bunch of single-toothed, Confederate-flag-waving men as potential dating options. I’m only halfway joking about that.
Hopefully, by the end of my move next month, this whole empty-nesting thing won’t be so hard.
But one thing I am enjoying is the fact that my ketchup is no longer being placed in the fridge, there are raisins still in my Raisin Bran and I no longer have to worry about secondhand farts.