The Problem with Living Alone


I can’t imagine what it would be like to live alone. I’m sure it has its advantages, as well as disadvantages. I’ve decided one of the downsides would be not having anyone to blame for things.

When I was a teenager, my mother was wearing my slippers when she tripped and almost fell. Her immediate response was, “Plague take it.” That was her mode of letting off steam. Unlike the curse words of today, I didn’t know what it meant then and I still don’t.

So, folks, if you’re going to explecate (my word) in front of your kids, design your own phrasing. Otherwise, if you let a bad word slip, I know firsthand they won’t let you forget it. Our daughter, Lisa and her friend Amy coined a phrase to express surprise, unbelief or frustration. It’s become a natural response for them to say, “Oh, dear Barbara.” Sorry if your name is Barbara. No one knows why they chose that name, including them.

If they’re in a hurry or don’t want to write it out in a text, they use ODB and everyone knows what they mean. ODB soon caught hold in our family. And now it’s traveled far and wide through the social media. So if you hear or read it, you’ll know where it came from. Feel free to add it to your vocabulary. As long as you apologize to all the Barbaras you know. I think it’ll be okay; at least, you’re not taking God’s name in vain.


But, I digress. When my mother tripped, she said to me, “Plague take it. It’s these slippers of yours.” I remember what I thought but knew better than to say to her. Why is it my fault that you almost fell wearing my slippers?

But then, I became a wife and mother and I know why she blamed me. Because she could. One advantage for having a husband and children is having someone to blame for losing your keys or misplacing your phone. Living alone, there’s no one to blame for forgetting to replace the toilet paper or for not taking out the trash.

You wouldn’t believe how often I blame my husband for things. Recently, we had our bathroom painted. When we removed everything, my husband took down my magnified mirror from where it was suctioned to the bathroom mirror.

The good news is he replaced the mirror, at least in the same room. The bad news is this morning I had to practically bend over to see how to apply my makeup. Don’t laugh; you’ll need one of those mirrors someday.

By the time I struggled with the suction cups to move the mirror I was perspiring so much my makeup ran as fast as I could put it on. Did I treat this incident with the grain of salt it deserved? No, I was frustrated, irritable and even angry. After all, it was my husband’s fault! Wasn’t it?

Why is it we’re so quick to blame someone else for anything we don’t like? We do it because we can and it gives us an excuse to vent our feelings and our actions without taking responsibility for them.

I used to blame our girls for the unexplained.  Now, I blame my husband. Since my mother-in-law lived to be 102, I’m thinking I may never live alone. But if I do, who will I blame for the things that frustrate and irritate me?

ODB!! I guess I’ll just blame Barbara.


On a more serious note, I’ll leave this with you. It makes a lot more sense than I do.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29 & 32

How about you? How do you avoid the blame game? Or, I’d love for you to share what you see as the pros and cons of living alone.

woman on computer

2 Responses to “The Problem with Living Alone”
  1. Barbara Plachta says:

    Liz, I have to take offense to “Oh Dear Barbara” being that my name is Barbara….lol

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