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Cracked up to be a bachelor? - Michael Davis

Being a single guy is great, right?

You don't have to worry about calling anyone when you're coming home late from work. You don't have to explain why you didn't make it home in time for dinner. Heck, no one's going to notice whether you come home or not or even if you had dinner.

It's total personal freedom - the good-life, right?

I've been a single guy all my life. Never married - not even close.

I've lived out on my own for some six years now and most of that time, save for the last year, I've had at least one roommate.

But now that I've had my own place for more than a year, I've learned a thing or two about "real" bachelor life and its nutritional challenges.

1. It's almost impossible to cook fresh meals for one person.

Everything you buy at the store makes either four or six servings. And even when you have the necessary time and motivation to cook a meal, you wind up making enough to last four days as leftovers, by which time you're sick of reheated spaghetti.

For a time, I combated this problem by eating out. At night, bars and restaurants provide varied fare and a pleasing atmosphere. But eventually the price begins to be a factor in deciding the level of dining experience you wish to enjoy. And that's where frozen dinners begin to play a role in every single man's life. That brings me to a second point.

2. Never go to sleep with the oven on.

It would seem an obvious and mundane recommendation, but I'm here to tell you, it's just as important as changing your oil or washing your shirt. One would think that if you set a timer, either on the oven or somewhere else, you would wake up in time to pull that frozen pizza out before it causes damage. But once again, I'm here to tell you, it ain't so. And I'm no stranger to the oven. At various times in my limited culinary experience, I've made my fair share of corn bread, baked beans and lemon pepper-drenched chicken breasts. But it's only ever worked when I stayed awake.

3. Stick to what's easy.

There's no sense in making something as complicated as coq au vin when you're going to eat it by yourself at 11:30 on a Tuesday. It's also not a bad idea to have a cookbook laying around, but you want it to have recipes that make sense. There may be times when you're entertaining and need to whip out something impressive, but by and large, it's not necessary. At the end of the day, all that's required of the modern bachelor is that you just make sure to eat enough so as you don't dry up and blow away.

Michael Davis covers government for the Daily Herald. His column appears on Fridays. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at mdavis@henryherald.com .