When it comes to my home life, I don’t have many… what should I call them… corrective influences.

Aside from one 18-month period, I have spent the last twenty years living alone. And if not strictly alone, then in a shared house where I saw the other folk infrequently – usually a cheerful but brief exchange once a week in the kitchen, while I pretend I know their name.

I don’t have to take anyone else into consideration. I don’t have to think outside my own needs, my own preferences, my own whims.

Food is a really good example. If I don’t organise dinner in some way, shape, or form, I don’t eat. I’m not trying to paint this as a unique or unbearable burden, but it has led me down a strange path.

Basically, I never, ever leave my gastronomic comfort zone.

Sure, I *could* buy a jar of olives. I know I don’t like them – in fact they are historically one of the worst things I have ever put in my mouth – but I could *try*.

I do not. Because, from my perspective, the cost (weeks and maybe months of forcing myself to eat something that tastes like it died in a welly) does not warrant the benefit (I guess I can order that pizza with the olives on it now).

The result is that I do whatever I please, each evening. I’m sitting here at 19:09 in pyjama trousers, eating a stir fry that only includes ingredients I definitely like, including scrambled egg (fantastic) and KP honey roast peanuts (amazing).

That’s right, KP. Like the ones you get at a pub. I’m aware those probably aren’t the kind of peanuts I should be using, but who is going to complain? Not me. I ate some snacks before dinner, because… who’s going to stop me?

After dinner I’ll probably eat some chocolate and play computer games all night. That’s my life.

No corrective measures.

I have seen friends of mine, in the past, talking to their girlfriends. There’s quite often a little edge to the exchange. Nothing unpleasant at all, nothing hostile, but little tuts and misunderstandings and disapprovals. Microscopic, really. “Oh honestly. Did you use the ladle?” “What ladle?” “The one I bought? I did tell you about the ladle, I know I did.” “I honestly don’t think you- we have a ladle now? When did this happen?” etc.

Minor though it is, it sets my teeth on edge, because I never live in that world. Co-operation, compromise, it’s alien to me. Domestically, at least.

I wonder how much of a difference it makes.

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