Being a bachelor is tougher than it looks

Published 12:31 pm Monday, September 29, 2008

By the time you read this, I will have been a bachelor for two weeks.

Well, actually, by the time you read this, I won’t be a bachelor anymore. But I was for the two weeks or so ending Friday afternoon.

That bachelor business is kind of fun at first, but it gets old pretty quick.

(And if I want Sherry to know I said that “fun at first” thing, I’ll tell her.)

When you’re a bachelor, you can eat and drink anything you want to eat or drink (assuming you’re willing to go to the effort of fixing it) anytime you want to eat it or drink it, you can watch anything you want to watch on TV, you can even let the dog sleep on the bed without either of you getting into trouble. (And if I want Sherry to know I even mentioned the dog sleeping on the bed, I’ll tell her.)

If you want to stay up all hours of the night and read a book about apocalyptic literature or about Excel 2007 or even just a trashy detective novel, that’s OK.

You don’t even have to clean up the kitchen unless you want to.

All of that is really nifty… for about three days. Then, even if the dog is sleeping with you (and I didn’t say she was; I just said if she was), the house starts to get kind of lonesome. You kind of wish you could talk to somebody who would talk back. You wish you had some real food you didn’t cook yourself. Staying up all night isn’t so much fun anymore, no matter what you watch or read while you’re staying up.

On the more positive side, I’ve gotten a lot smarter over those two weeks.

I can make the Microsoft spreadsheet program Excel go find a number on a completely different worksheet and plug it into a hole on the one I’m working on. I’ve learned that I don’t have to actually type in formula elements; I can just drag the cursor over whatever I want included. I’ve learned I can just double click at the top of a column and the column will expand all its cells to include whatever’s in the longest one. I’ve learned you can put a note in a cell and the note won’t show up until you drag your cursor over that particular cell, and then it pops out like the bubbles that hold the words of comic strip characters. I’ve learned you can write a formula that will calculate the number of hours (or minutes or seconds or whatever) between two times entered in two different cells. That last may not seem like a big deal, but it is, especially if the times you enter are on opposite sides of midnight, because to accomplish it, the spreadsheet has to deal with a lot more than just straight addition or subtraction.

I’m not sure my reading about apocalyptic literature has been nearly so fruitful. That became an interest because on Wednesday nights at my church, we’re talking about Revelation (which is apocalyptic literature), and after about the second Wednesday night, I found myself pretty intrigued. So I logged onto and bought a book. The problem is that the author of the book is a lot smarter than I am. And he has a much larger vocabulary. As I read, about every five or 10 minutes, I had to go online and look up the definition of another word I’d never run across before.

“Hermeneutics” was one. Go look it up. I had to.

As I write this, it is just about three and a half days before I drive to Greenville and retrieve Sherry.

That’s about three and a half days too long.

(And I just made up all that stuff about the dog sleeping on the bed.)

David Sullens is president of Roanoke-Chowan Publications LLC, and publisher of the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald and the Gates County Index.