Through lack of planning and the joys of being single, I wound up with a platonic roommate for the duration of isolation.
Don’t get me wrong. All of you who are sheltering in place, in complete isolation, have every right to envy me. Or even hate me. At the end, and the beginning, of every day, I do have a real live person to chat and have dinner with. Not breakfast, though. I’m not a morning person even when there isn’t a world-wide pandemic on the loose.
At the most, he comes out of his room while I’m making coffee, says good morning, retrieves a cup of Joe, and goes back in. He knows what’s good for him.
At night, though, after a hard day of doing virtual counseling, and then a couple more hours on the computer writing, it’s nice to have a friendly human to cook and eat dinner with. As I write, he is making dinner. And he is nice and easy on the eyes, so there are benefits to this friendship. Just not THOSE benefits.
So, you ask, how did I wind up in this situation? All the benefits of a relationship, but without sex. My main answer is…PANDEMIC! Who knew?
Well, some people in China knew. And some actual scientists and epidemiologists, who have predicted just such a pandemic for a long time. Except nobody listened.
Especially those of us who both enjoy being single, and thought we would live forever. We didn’t factor in quarantine or isolation, and certainly not, “shelter in place.” If we had, we would have taken the hunt for a mate a little more seriously.
Having a friend with benefits, a playmate, or a boi toi (or gurl toi) during a lockdown is particularly difficult. You never know where they’ve been, or with whom. And forget about a hook up.
At the very least, the conversation has to happen, and be much like the one about STDs. Where have you been lately? Who and what did you touch? Did you conscientiously maintain social distance? Have you entertained anyone in your home, much less your bed? Awkward but necessary discussion.
With a live-in lover, the only questions are where are you going? Can I go with you? We’ll both wear our masks and gloves, and not the fun kind. If I can’t go with you, you’re not going. Otherwise, I won’t know where you’ve been and what you’ve touched.
Wait. That doesn’t sound a whole lot different or easier. Plus, according to my sister, who adores her husband, quarantine with any partner 24/7 for days on end is no picnic. She may have even mentioned potential homocide.
Nevertheless, I won’t be heading into another pandemic without a regular sex partner, or better yet, a live-in lover. Live and learn.
Previously Published on Medium