Instead, this is a post to legitimately confess the deeply strange habits that one acquires when living alone. Society keeps us sane, people, and without it we become quirkier than we were before. When I lived alone in France, this quirkiness masked itself as culture. In my wifi-less state, I would load episodes of This American Life when I had wifi, and then play them in my little room above the city while I prepared well balanced meals. I listened to classical music, sketched flowers, and read a ridiculous amount of good literature.
Now I have the Internet, and it has robbed me of the chance to become a dignified and sophisticated woman of mystery, retreating to her quiet home to brood and stuff. So here they are, the strange habits I have adopted without the civilizing presence of The Gaze of The Other, as we say in graduate school, and with the added handicap of time-wasting Internet.
I eat really strange combinations of food, usually selected because they happen to be in the proximity where I am hungry. One night this meant a pile of tomatoes and a pile of green beans. Followed by ice-cream. Another night it meant 2 slices of lemon tart and small bowl of pistachios. But most often, it means a giant pile of leaves (spinach, kale, things pulled from the tree on the sidewalk as I walked into my building…jk… that hasn’t happened… yet), wilted down with some goat cheese and topped with runny eggs. Because if I had a restaurant, it would most likely be called “Just Put an Egg on it” as that is my food motto. That and, “Eat Nutella directly from the jar because you cut out the calories of whatever you were going to waste time spreading it on.”
I listen to music with the express purpose of crying to it. Y’all, the occasional weepy post aside, I am not actually a sad person. But I sincerely love crying, a convenient affinity as everything makes me cry. Sometimes I cry along to this one, because cellos sound like human voices weeping and it elevates my soul. Other times I crank up this one and cry as if I too survived a Freshman year of college replete with lost faith and soul-crushing anguish. I didn’t, for the record. Mine was full of baked goods, dutiful Bible study attendance, assignments completed on time, and appropriate levels of sleep. Don’t ever let you tell you that being the good kid can’t be fun. It is so fun, and even if it isn’t always, at least you are well rested.
I quickly eschew my actual clothes whenever possible, donning instead these fine pants and whatever t-shirt is nearby. And by pants, yes, those are leggings. With a magical 6 inch elastic waistband that never judges, only affirms. Haters gonna hate, but I prefer affirmative pants. I mean, I haven’t worn them to work or anything (yet) because I know that leggings aren’t actually pants and SHOULD NOT be treated at such, but talk to me again when James has been gone a couple more months. He already lamented my “deplorable” shower situation (although, let’s be real: DRY SHAMPOO FTW).
I just don’t go to bed. People, this is a problem. I love sleep and I am a total terror who inspires fear and pity in the hearts of ALL when I don’t get it. But when I am home alone, without others going to bed and inspiring me to prudence… I just end up doing mindless things. Like watching this ballet documentary and then trying out some moves in my living room. Or deciding that 1am is the time to develop abdominal muscles hitherto believed extinct. Or rearranging my closet. Or watching one video after another of babies responding poorly to their fathers’ newly shaved faces (Thanks, Sharon). I fall into pits made by Pinterest, end up scrolling through Facebook albums of people I barely know, and will read whole blog archives of blogs I don’t even care about.
But I know I’m not alone. C’mon people, give me your weird. What are some of the quirky things you do when you are living alone?