I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a single male friend of mine, which was an illuminating experience. My current life has been filled with so many couples that I had forgotten what it was like to live in the wild. I realized quickly that, like a domestic cat that ventured outside for the first time, I lack the necessary survival skills.
After about 20 minutes I felt like Charlton Heston waking up on monkey Earth.
Honestly, it was like talking with someone from a mysterious world. He had these strange customs, like picking out clothes to wear without fear they were mismatched and having the Shame Police criticize until he changed. Baffling behavior.
"But who, without warning, puts their frozen feet on you at night?" I asked, confused.
"What? Nobody, dude," he replied.
"Nobody dude," I repeated, trying to comprehend. "But, like, not NOBODY, right? Obviously somebody."
I pressed on.
"Who tells you when you're folding clean clothes incorrectly? Or when it's time to do laundry? Or how disgusting and 'unprofessional' it is to wear the same pants three days in a row?"
"What? Nobody, man. And you can wear the same pants for more than three days. They're pants!"
I didn't understand.
"I see you have your shoes on and you're in the living room. How is that authorized?"
"It's my decision."
"YOU MAKE DECISIONS?" My gast was officially flabbered.
Slowly but surely I began waking up from my married guy coma.
"Cancancan I just put my dirty socks in the hamper without unrolling them?" I asked, cautiously.
"What hamper?" he said with a knowing grin.
I shuddered, remembering.
My hand extended outward slowly toward his face.
"Telltelltell me more."
It was like I was beginning to remember a previous life.
I took a nap with the TV volume above the third little tic mark.
I wiped my hands on whatever towel I wanted.
I ate things with gluten in it.
I KEPT MY SHOES ON INSIDE EVEN IN THE BATHROOM.
"Ohhhh yeaahhhhhh!" I sighed loudly, before realizing that moaning that while in the bathroom might be a weird thing to do.
"Don't worry!" I shouted. "I'm not doing anything inappropriate! I'm just super satisfied right now!"
That took care of that.
Once I came down off my high, I realized I was beginning to miss things little, stupid things like a bar of soap when showering. Oh, sure, sometimes you can scrape the remnants of a bar that has morphed into more shower than soap but who thinks to carry around a putty knife in the event one is naked? Aside from Bob Villa, of course (you're welcome for that visual).
Maybe I've gotten soft, but is a washcloth too much to ask? It's been quite a while since I've used the same item as a washcloth, hand towel and post-shower towel. Thankfully because of the order in which I used it, it performed none of the jobs with any sort of proficiency.
Needless to say, hand soap and a wet palm doesn't leave one with the waterfall cleanliness you see in advertisements.
Another feature I no longer miss about being a bachelor is what I'm going to assume is the shedding of a presently unknown, yet incredibly elusive, species of curly-haired spider that makes its home on the bathroom and shower floors.
Here's fun little nugget: did you know if you're in the guest bathroom of a bachelor and there's not enough toilet paper to "fulfill mission requirements", you're going to be improvising, soldier, because the spare normally strategically placed by a woman within arms reach has gone AWOL. Improvisation is required.
Other things to look forward to: fitted sheets with the elasticity of warm taffy and a thread count of four. Prisons have better linens.
An outdoor fridge that's packed to capacity with liquor and an indoor fridge that's as barren as the Mojave. I opened it late at night for a snack and a tumbleweed blew by. It was not delicious.
However what's lacking in food is made up by the 60-inch TV! So while you can't exactly EAT food, you can watch the Food Network and salivate over pineapples as big as a toddler. I had to apologize to my buddy for all of the tongue marks on the screen the next day.
"I swear, man, it was the Food Network," I assured him, so he didn't think I was weird.
I accidentally cut myself and, thanks to Man Code, there was nary a first aid kit to be found. An entire box of Kleenex followed by half a roll of Bounty super absorbent quilted paper towels and I was more-or-less fine.
Apart from the starving, difficulty maintaining hygiene and nearly bleeding to death it wasn't such a bad return to the wilderness. I'm fairly certain I could survive. Provided my wife was there.
Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via message written on a Fruit Roll-Up dropped out of a hot air balloon. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny to ensure he doesn't swerve a lot.