So, I promise this isn’t as emotional as that title made you think. Seriously y’all, can’t have too many sappy posts in a row.
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?
Image via here, and I mostly just put it there because I love it and it makes me think of my favorite Andrew Wyeth painting.
I tease Faith, because when she’s home alone she eats a combination of the strangest things as well. One example: a handful of Fruit Loops, 10 grapes, and a Popsicle. I tend to fall into sports talk radio podcasts, and I can’t multitask.
First of all, I;m just really pleased that your name shoes up as Andy Friend. : )
Also that meal sounds totally legit and perfectly balanced.
I eat quinoa, kale, and two fried eggs on top. For every meal. I also sing songs to the dog (made up ones about how cute he is), and watch bad netflix in bed.
Oooooohhhh yum. I will need to start throwing some quinoa under my leaves.
“Eat Nutella directly from the jar because you cut out the calories of whatever you were going to waste time spreading it on.” –you too, eh? I’ve definitely found myself logically thinking through that as I go fetch a spoon.
Left alone, I’m in the same lack of sleep boat. It’s so much better to procrastinate w/ random stuff than to try to figure out what to do with the empty space in the bed (though getting a body pillow before my husband’s last business trip helped!). And, yes, organized food prep goes out the window. If I don’t already have left overs on hand, very little gets actually cooked. Amazing how marriage has wrecked my ability to be responsible when alone 😉
Random internet stuff is just so good, you know? Obviously not as good as Nutella spoons, but the two can be combined.
Hannah, I think all of your posts are pretty great and this one is no exception! It resounds with all of us (or at least it does with me) and I definitely identify with eating weird things when alone! I’ve known myself to eat mustard off of a spoon and put yogurt on some rather odd foods. I also crank up the music, dance till my hair is a mess, and then go and eat something to reward myself for the workout. 🙂
That is an EXCELLENT workout plan. I think I too will start letting messy hair be my standard by which I judge it it is time for a treat.
Affirmative pants! You are hilarious. I eat eggs, toast, and smoothies. Love dry shampoo, yoga pants, and somehow his side of the bed gets piled with stuff.
I LOVE toast. So much so that I don’t even keep bread on hand because I would literally consume an entire loaf of toast a day. But then I could just slip on my affirmation pants and all would be forgiven!
I talk out loud, to myself, a lot. I also, often, tend to wake up pajama-less with the tops thrown to one side of the room and the bottoms thrown to the other. I think I might be a sleep stripper.
Further proof that we are besties: I too lose (or gain) clothing throughout the night. It’s a daily mystery and scavenger hunt.
OK, so, I HAD to comment when you put “my favorite Andrew Wyeth painting”. !!! That is definitely one of my favorite paintings, and I am very happy that you know about it and like it as well. Also, living alone usually involves me living in my warm fuzzy bathrobe and pretending that I can hip-hop dance to songs like “Watcha Say”. You’ll want to get your dance on too.
I love it SO MUCH. Sometimes I just visit it in the National Gallery and stare. And then one day last spring I saw that they were going to do an entire Wyeth show centered on that painting and I promptly burst into tears. The show is amazing!
AAaahhh so cool! I’m jealous that you have seen it in person! I got to see John Singer Sargent’s “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit” in person in Boston. That’s another one of my favorites!
#1 Those pants. Are they thick enough to avoid the “I’m bending over to pick something up (or really loving this downward dog during yoga class) and so here is a lovely view of what lies under the pants!!” issue? Because I’m in desperate need.
#2 I found my self engrossed… ENGROSSED in the makeup/hair/lifestyle youtube videos of Bethany Mota the other night. She’s 12 and tricky. It’s fine.
#1. YES. In fact, they are so thick you don’t even really get edge-of-unmentionable LINES. MAGIC.
#2. There goes my productivity. Thanks.
My fiancee (husband this December!) is starting Navy training this Fall. He’s going to be gone for the 5 weeks before our wedding and then, after holiday/wedding festivities, gone for 2.5 more months. I know our new lives together will involve him being gone for periods of time and it’s reassuring to hear that weird is okay and that we all adjust eventually. He’s been gone for the past week visiting his family and, although I thought I’d use to time to organize the apartment and….bake?….it’s been all frozen meals, staying up late to listen to ALL the covers of my favorite songs on youtube, and taking baths every night (because I can). Your post made me feel very not alone in my weirdness this week:)
I always imagine gobs of productivity too…. but then INTERNET. : )
I definitely eat weird foods… like Junior Mints for dinner and a side of broccoli later. I also talk to myself in a motherly tone.
And I’m done feeling builty about wearing leggings even though the world judges me. That elastic waistband is just the bomb.
Totally the bomb. Especially if dinner was Junior Mints and broccoli, which sounds pretty legit to me.
I go to bed at 7:30 pm and take all of the junk food out of their hiding places. I also talk to myself and badly serenade the cat, and never ever (well, hardly ever) do the dishes.
Ah yes…. the hidden junk food. Delish.