Paranoid Precautions I Take As A Single Woman

“I am not afraid, I can hardly wait.” - Spin The Bottle, Juliana Hatfield, 1994
I’ll start by saying that I’m a lunatic. I don’t want you under the impression that you’re speaking with someone of sound mind right now. I wake up at 4:30 a.m. without an alarm on the average weekday morning and there are certain pieces of Halloween decor that stay up all year. That being said... reader, I’m worried. As a single person who chooses to live alone (but doesn’t necessarily choose to be single, hi fellas), there are certain concerns and paranoia-driven precautions that take up perhaps an inordinate amount of my headspace. When there’s no one around to judge me, shit can get weird. Or, is shit just getting safe and secure? Let’s explore. 


What do I mean by paranoid? I feel it might be helpful to offer simple and clear proof of how my solo existence contributes to my anxiety impending sense of doom. Let me give you an example: My kitchen cabinets are six feet high; they go all the way up to the ceiling. I can barely reach the first shelf, much less the second, third, or fourth. The average person might make a B&Q run for a stepladder and call it a day. But your girl has an unfortunate, but very vivid vision of herself falling from it, getting a severe concussion, and meeting her untimely demise. So I only own a 12-inch footstool, and most of my shelves are empty. That my friend is paranoid. 
Seriously, WHO THE HELL WOULD KNOW IF I DIE? I mean really think about this: I work from home, for a variety of clients, on my own schedule, and I don’t technically need to leave the house until Thursday this week. If I dropped dead at my laptop right now, how long do you think it would take for someone to notice? Too long, people. TOO LONG. 
And it’s not like I’d care, I’m dead. But I have a 13-year-old cat in my home who only eats dry food and is prone to kidney failure when dehydrated. What’s going to happen to my cat? The topic of pet care in the event of single girl death isn’t as funny as my humorous defence mechanisms are trying to depict it here. Recently, in my Facebook group for singles, a woman was involved in a significant accident. (She’s fine.) The event made her extremely concerned for the safety of her pets in the event that she was seriously injured or worse. She took to the group for advice, and being the absolute vikings that we are, suggestions came through for all kinds of precautions that make me proud of our resourcefulness and grateful for the craftspeople of Etsy. But the questions remain regardless, and thinking of the answers makes me sad. 
Who will know if I die? Who will take care of my pet? How would my mom even find out? (Mum, if you’re reading this, I’m fine, love you, talk to you tomorrow.) These are the thoughts permeating my single brain. And if I was partnered, and someone came home to me every evening, I could own a stepladder as high as I’d want and be pretty confident that Kyle (his name will not be Kyle), would find me fairly quickly and know where we keep the cat food. 
Death is one thing, but what about death-adjacent scenarios? Like, stuff that won’t kill me, but might make me wildly uncomfortable, afraid, and one step away from donning a dystopian jumpsuit wardrobe and Hunger Gamesing it from here on out. Things such as fire, flood, locusts, or basically anything from the list of plagues my family reads from the Haggadah at Passover. Natural disaster scares the Chandler Bing Bejesus out of me. If you’re curious, blizzards are my favourite act of God, and tornadoes are my least favourite. Snow is possible to walk on with the right footwear, but tornadoes come out of nowhere, have extremely unpredictable emotions, and could literally pick up your house and deposit it in another zip code. If that’s not enough to scare you into being a prepper I don’t know what will. I also have an irrational fear of tsunamis. Anyway…  
Whenever possible, I’ve committed to a shelter-in-place strategy that involves me keeping emergency water, nonperishable food items, and toilet paper in high supply. (I know the toilet paper is a weird one, but imagine running out.) The plan is to stay put until conditions improve. Where that is not possible, I also have a permanently packed and seasonally updated go-bag full of important documents, a change of clothing and a pair of shoes, emergency items like my hand-crank radio/flashlight/cell phone charger (I got it on Amazon, look into it), and cat food, because where I go, she goes. 

Do I feel that I need someone else around to feel safe, and in the absence of that person, have I overcompensated by trying to be prepared for everything?

I am not revealing my madness to gain approval or to prompt one of you to have me committed, but instead to explore a question for myself. Would I be this crazy-scared if I wasn’t alone? Would the presence of another human being in my life calm me down, make me feel more able to weather (lol) disaster, or just offer up a calming voice of reason telling me not to purchase the £200 emergency kit I’ve had my eye on for a year? 
Do I feel that I need someone else around to feel safe, and in the absence of that person, have I overcompensated by trying to be prepared for everything? I think it’s an obvious yes, and maybe saying it aloud will help me connect with a sense of physical security, or at least start myself on a path to finding it. I’m pretty emotionally, financially, and socially independent, but physically, I tend to freak the fuck out. 
I don’t find it sad that these thoughts and worries exist for me in the first place. The uniqueness of single life is, for me at least, nothing new and nothing wrong. I’ve managed to block out so much societal pressure to partner, but I still feel compelled to have someone around to know whether or not I’ve fallen in the shower. I’ve had to ask myself why I feel... not less prone to danger, but less afraid of it, when there’s someone else with me. I think maybe it’s just because I’m human, and that single, partnered, or otherwise, it’s totally okay to need to and be comforted by the presence of others. 

And until there is an “other” present, I guess it’s on me to figure out what exactly is making me scared, and either identify the root cause of my fears — or solve for them via Amazon Prime. There is still some level-headedness left in me, and it doesn’t feel guilty for seeing safety in someday having a partner. Because that part of me also knows that even without one, I’ll probably be just fine. 
Seriously though, if anything ever happens to me, feed my cat.

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