When Broccoli Rabe = Freedom!

This has been a fantastic week.  It’s my annual pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Every year I rent a house with 4-5 Spinsterlicious girlfriends and we beach, eat lobster rolls, drink cocktails at breakfast, and hang out at the club like we’re still young and carefree.

While here, I had the good fortune to do two readings and signings for my book,  The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree, one at the private home of a dear and generous friend, the other at the Oak Bluffs Public Library.

Whenever I’m doing an event where I’m reading from my book, I like to engage the audience by having them share their stories. A very popular topic of discussion is what the single women in attendance enjoy about being single. Regardless of whether they’re single by choice or happenstance, there’s usually something good about it.

One of my favorite new stories was told just the other day. A woman, let’s called her Alice, spoke about how she used to hate coming home to an empty house when she first got divorced. It was too quiet. There was no one to ask her about her day or “what’s for dinner.”   Soon enough she realized that she didn’t mind that there was no one to ask her about dinner because she also realized that sometimes she didn’t feel like cooking dinner. Or cooking a dinner that her husband would eat because there were some foods that he just wouldn’t touch.

The day Alice realized that being single was going to work out just fine was the day she came home from the farmer’s market with a bagful of broccoli rabe. You see, broccoli rabe is her very favorite vegetable…but her husband wouldn’t eat it. Throughout their 13-year marriage, Alice tried to keep things uncomplicated by only cooking foods they both enjoyed, so she never cooked broccoli rabe.

But now he’s gone. And she cooks her favorite vegetable whenever she wants…which is pretty often. And that’s one of the things she has come to love about being single. The freedom to cook whatever the @&$# she wants for dinner!

It’s the little things that matter, right?  What about you?  What little thing can you think of that makes being single a good thing for you?

This entry was posted in being single, Divorce, divorced, living alone, Martha's Vineyard, proud divorcee, single women, The Spinsterlicious Life, The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to When Broccoli Rabe = Freedom!

  1. Pingback: Janine rabe | Innovbois

  2. CLV says:

    Love, love, love this! I am so glad I found this site – it’s so inspiring! I have never been any good at compromise. I admit I’m selfish and very much an introvert, and at 34, I’ve accepted those things about myself (even if my mother is still hoping I’ll change someday!). I’ve always liked the idea of a relationship, but struggle mightily any time I try to exist in one because of the high value I place on doing what I want, when I want. The food thing mentioned in the post is so huge for me (ugh – had it with men who won’t eat veggies or who think carbs are the devil!) , as well as having the bed to myself, watching whatever I want on TV, and coming home to a wonderfully quiet apartment after a long day at work. Friends and occasional dates are there when I feel the need for company, but there is such a massive peace of mind for me in knowing that I can make my own major and minor decisions, and don’t have to include a partner in them.

  3. Carolyn B says:

    My favorite things about being single are: 1) no sports on my TV, 2) Reading in bed whenever I want, 3) changing my schedule on a dime because I have nobody to check in with.

  4. Jeannette says:

    Now, although I am genuinely open to a committed relationship…there are some things that I enjoy about being single and wonder how I’d deal being in a relationship. For instance, I love having my bed all to myself. I also love having my space to myself. I can read with the light on until 2 a.m. if I wanted or decorate my home exactly to my liking. I can be on the phone and talk as loud as I want without someone asking me to be a little more quiet. I can watch any t.v. channel I want without someone hogging the remote. It’s things like this that make me enjoy my single life.

  5. Janine says:

    I think these terrific responses sum it all up – there is a massive amount of compromise involved in serious relationships, and it gets harder to make those compromises as you get older. Such an interesting comment from “Alice”. I read the same comment in an Alec Baldwin interview today – how he hated coming home to an empty house after his divorce from Kim B. I always think: REALLY? I love coming home to an empty flat. But then I got the impression old Alec can’t last 5 seconds without an appreciative audience. Even as a natural-born attention seeker myself, I still prefer not to burden someone with my issues, or listen to theirs, every night. I met a CF single guy a few weeks ago and he told me he used to hate how his ex would constantly talk about people from her work who he’d never met and wasn’t interested in. I then realised I was starting to do that myself after a few hours with him. It’s best to get all that griping out of your system AT work. My workmates and I have great verbal stoushes on a daily basis – we don’t need to whinge about each other once we’re home – we do it to each other’s faces. So therefore, no need let it all out to your bored spouse. I just come home and do whatever the hell I want. And when I see those screaming kids in the supermarket, like I just did, I count my blessings!

  6. Traci says:

    Your vacation sounds fabulous btw.

  7. Traci says:

    I adore my husband but I do wonder if I would stay single if anything were to happen to him because I am so miserable in the beginning of any relationship. Would I want to go through the first 5 years again? No! I’ve also been thinking about whether or not I want to stay childless, I’m on the fence. My young cousin is in Paris this week and it’s so something I eventually want to do, this late in life, if I want children, I can’t envision being able to have Paris as well. I think most women think about these things (especially later in life.) Great subject and post btw.

  8. Cheri says:

    Oh where do I begin!? lol The thermostat, as someone mentioned, taking a nice long shower without worrying about someone else running out of hot water and griping/whining/yelling about it. My favorite though, might seem silly, but I have a very large yard and am outside as much as possible when the weather is nice, tending the garden, flower beds, playing with my dogs, walking around my pond, etc., etc. so I like to mow the grass at 3″. My ex would never let me mow less than 3 1/2″ which left the grass pretty tall and much more bug friendly, resulting in my always having bug bites. He didn’t care, his mommy mowed HER yard (she also did/owned many other things that somehow resulted in a must for us also) at 3 1/2″, so that was what the best height was and by golly that’s what the yard was going to be mowed at no matter what. So no selfish/cold/uncaring ex and mother-in-law to deal with in person or otherwise is definitely a super duper great plus and chips and salsa or cereal for dinner makes me smile for being single also!!

  9. Kim says:

    I think you only scratched the surface here as the benefits are endless… my home can be as hot or cold as I like, I can drink/eat directly out of the refrigerator containers, no consulting anyone on financial decisions, changing jobs, decorating decisions and the like, no need to worry about waking someone in the middle of the night with my insomnia. I always eat the foods I want when I want, watch the movies that I want, and essentially do whatever the heck that I want. No need to have to handle someone else’s friends and family, no need to compromise, protect someone’s fragile ego worry about being broken up with or cheated on, no need to call and “check-in” if I decide to come home late–if at all. While I never would rule out meeting that special someone to spend my life with, he will always know that I have it quite good being the Spinsterlicious lady that I am. In the meantime, a handyman, good mechanic, sturdy step stool to reach the high shelf…and batteries have done me well for the past 15 years of living (blissfully) alone.

  10. Tricia says:

    I hear you on that freedom to eat whatever the
    $@$&$ you want. I am not a cook; have never
    Claimed to be- and yes, I eat a lot of
    Microwaveable meals. Exs have criticized
    Me for it.. Well- with no SO: I don’t have to
    Worry about it! Microwave to my hearts

  11. Caroline says:

    Eleanor, I’m sooo grateful I’ve found your website and book! At 46, once divorced and wishing I could find Mr. Right (but VERY happily childfree), it is such a blessing to be able to read your blog and receive inspiration and support. I keep reminding myself about the things I love in my singlehood, such as: a great night’s sleep ’cause I’m not with a snorer; watching whatever I want on TV and not having to share the remote; the blissful FREEDOM of this lifestyle. Glad you’re having a wonderful vacation – please keep writing for us, sistah! And I’ve got to buy one of those cute t-shirts, great idea! Maybe get a coffee mug while I’m at it. 🙂 C

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