It’s fun to live alone: no one to complain about the dishes, no one who will (justifiably) guilt you for waiting too long to take out the trash.
You always know exactly how many people will be in your apartment and when they will be there. No one throws impromptu parties when you’re feeling introverted, and no one complains when you throw an impromptu party yourself.
Living alone is also lonely. Oh, my gosh, it’s so lonely. Especially mid-2020. That was sort of a terrifying time to be living alone, cooped up with your own thoughts all of the time.
There’s no one just there to bounce your thoughts off of. There’s no one to help you reel in lazier tendencies or hold you accountable for being a slack-about. There’s no friendly face to greet you after work, and no one to make spur-of-the-moment late-night grocery runs.
A good roommate quickly becomes a close friend. A bad roommate is, of course, a hair-pulling-out situation.
I’ve been roommate-less for a while now, a solitude that was interrupted for a few years by a pair of sweet guinea pigs. Guinea pigs make great buddies and have a great deal of personality; it’s also not too difficult to convince landlords that guinea pigs should be allowed in a pet-free apartment.
There is a deep joy in having a space that is always quiet, private and calm. But sometimes, it’s lonely, so I got a new roommate the other week — the canine kind.
There has been much written on the loyalty of dogs, their perennial role as man’s best friend, their joyful guileless existence. Dogs have long had a role in popular consciousness as traveling companions, troublemakers and heroes — from Toto to Beethoven to Lassie.
The internet is perhaps as obsessed with dogs as with outrage, bizarre and deeply unhelpful craft videos and video game play-throughs. The best part of Twitter is the We Rate Dogs account, known for giving most dogs at least a 10/10 for their cuteness and skills at watching magnificent sunsets or licking pupsicles.
Of course, beyond an extremely online existence, dogs are wildly popular in real life, with an estimated 47 percent of U.S. households having a pet dog. According to an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimate, nearly 1 in 5 households adopted a pet during the pandemic.
All that said, it turns out despite the many good, great, excellent dogs of the world, mine is the best. She’s extremely cute, thrilled to make new friends, scared of doorways and leashes, and at last count, has destroyed two dog toys and one pair of sandals.
She loves hugs and the couch, and seems deeply curious about everything, if sometimes afraid.
My small yard got a small facelift when the dog moved in. It’s been thoroughly weeded. A tennis ball has been added. We also got a tiny plastic pool for the dog to chill in.
Now we spend time there every morning and every evening. She runs laps, chases beetles and chews stray grass. I sit in a chair and drink my coffee.
Don’t tell any of my former roommates, but she is the best roommate I’ve ever had.