The 5 Habits of Highly Lonely People

So, since Valentine’s Day is looming like a root canal, and just what everyone needs is another reason to be depressed, I thought it only fitting to write a post devoted to the true meaning of the season:

Loneliness. Complete and Utter Loneliness.

Just Kidding. I think it’s actually about love or some sh*t. But today, we are going to talk about loneliness. More specifically, the fine art of living alone.

I go back and forth on whether humans were ever actually meant to live alone. Sure, there’s something to be said for walking around naked, and not having anyone tell you to turn down the “Wayback Playback” Mixtape you just finished compiling (don’t act like you don’t do this),  but it can also be isolating at times, and a little bit lonely.

I’ve lived alone for about a year now, and I’ve noticed that in this time, besides my  loneliness having become immediately palpable to everyone around me (and the  fact that at times, my life parallels The Shining), I’ve also developed a number of  pesky bad habits. My other solitary-dwelling friends tell me I’m not alone on these… but I’ll let you guys be the judge.

Here, without further adieu, are The Top 5 Bad Habits I’ve Developed from Living Alone:

1. Allowing standards for Cleanliness (and, let’s be honest- personal hygeine) to fall by the wayside

I’ve never been what you would call a “domestic diva”. I’m not sure why, given that my mother is basically the reigning queen of clean.

This is not my mother... but I guarantee she could out-hoover this b*tch

Maybe it’s one of those recessive genes. Like having twins. Or being a ginge. Anyway, now that I’ve escaped her clutches, and have no roommates to hold me accountable,  it’s much easier to let things slide. Don’t feel like cleaning your bathroom  or making your bed for a week? NBD.  Just so long as you never plan on having any houseguests.. ever. Same goes for weekend bathing and wearing things other than pajamas. I consider these behaviours both to be highly overrated. Plus, there’s just something less threatening- tolerable even- about your own dirt. (And If you think this theory might lead me to being featured on an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive… you might not be wrong).

2. Balanced diet? Schmalanced diet!

These aren't tears of sadness... I've just been cutting onions- I'm making a lasagna...... for one

Cooking for one can be expensive, time consuming, and even a little bit sad. Not to mention hella wasteful. I’ll often buy fresh produce, only to have it go bad a week later. Bananas are the worst for this. I struggle every week with what I call the “banana sweet spot”. How many bananas I will realistically consume in a week is anyone’s guess.. but get it wrong, and prepare to pay the price. Buy too few, and you’ve got banana FOMO. But Buy too many, and the telltale brown spots serve as a haunting reminder of your incompetence.

Needless to say, dinner most nights consists of a big-ass bowl of cereal and way too many peanut M&M’s  It’s possible that I have scurvy. In fact, it’s highly likely, given that no one’s around to remind me to make a doctor’s appointment.

3. Conversational Lingering

You know those people who always try to stretch out a conversation past it’s natural conclusion by asking just one more question, or giving a too-long response? Well I’ve got news for you Linda/Larry Lives Alone- this might just be you.

Sometimes I find myself attempting to make conversation or establish connections with complete strangers.  It doesn’t really matter who- the  grocery store cashier…the person behind me in line.. I once even struck up a conversation with a friendly-looking bichon frise  outside of a Whole Foods. (his eyes held a profound sense of longing. I was inexplicably drawn to it). We all crave human interaction- it’s just a spectrum of how much. The problem is, you never really know where the person you’re interacting with falls on that spectrum. It’s highly likely that Miguel, the Shoppers Drug Mart clerk, just wants you to shut the hell up about alternatives to pricey body scrubs; but then again, he too may live alone, and may be enjoying this conversation as much as you are. He may even suggest brown sugar. Perhaps that Starbucks barista who cradles your hand when giving you your change is not only ensuring no rogue nickels cascade onto the counter-  he’s also reaching out,  attempting to form a bridge between two lone souls, barreling through the universe. You’ll never know.

4. Emo Funks/ Prolonged Bouts of Infinite Indie Sadness

Sure, we all fall into our little emo funks sometimes- but it’s hard to wallow too much when there are other people around. There’s just something about openly sobbing in public that seems to make people uncomfortable.  But when there’s no one around to snap you out of your devastating, yet poignant bout of introspection,  you end up stuck in a rut for days; culminating in a Friday night spent watching Say Yes to the Dress and sobbing into your Haagen Daz.

Cry on, tortured soul… cry on.

5. Overindulgence of  embarrasing  guilty pleasures.

Admit it… when left to our own devices, we all get up to some pretty lame shit. I know I do. I’ve spent many a Saturday engaging in such past-times as reading my childhood diary; sifting through my shoebox full of memories ( my “Museum of Innocence” as I like to call it); and watching every movie John Hughes ever made.  I think it’s safe to say that we’d all be better off  having a filter for this kind of thing. And that’s where roomates come in. They may not be able to save you from yourself entirely- but at they very least, they serve as good WTF barometer,  keeping your shit in check  when they see you gearing up for episode #6 of Teen Mom in a row.

So where does that leave us? Initially I had hoped to cushion the blow of informing you that you’re probably a hoarding, malnourished, depressed , stage-5 clinger by offering you some tips to overcome these problems. But sadly, I’ve got no answers for you.  The most I can do is offer to let you borrow my imaginary friend Jenna, and promise to keep writing posts that are guaranteed to make you feel better about your own life.  Rest assured- your misery will always find company here at The Camel Life.  (<—- New Slogan?)

Question of the Day: What is the best/worst part about living alone?

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34 thoughts on “The 5 Habits of Highly Lonely People

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  1. I lived alone for 2 and a half years and though I miss it dreadfully, there were moments when I experience some of your stages. I definitely didn’t eat well. Vegemite (a spread in australia) sandwiches were my nightly meal. If I had guests then I would grab various clothes from the floor, bottles from the kitchen counter, etc and throw them in a cupboard to hide them. My biggest thing was that I got to talking to myself, which was fine if I was at home watching tv alone but turned a little creepy when I’d be walking down the street talking to myself. Thankfully once I started doing that I managed to quash the public schizo mumbling and keep that kind of behaviour for home.

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    1. Go to bed wherever I want. Now there’s an interesting thought. Up until now, I hadn’t thought of sleeping on anything in my apartment other than my bed. What shall I try first? The couch? nah, that’s too conventional. The washer/dryer? It’s a stacked one, so it might be difficult… but I think I’m up for the challenge.
      Happy vday to you too!

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    1. Thank you! I somehow think you’re probably better off. Minus the Whitney Houston tribute dance party you won’t get to have in your apartment, sans embarassment. Not that I did that.

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  2. hahaha as a fellow Linda lives Aloner I can totally relate to everything about this post. It was not until I had a couple of friends come over to spend the weekend with me that I realised how much I secretly loved living alone. I still have a bad case of cleaning falling (way WAY) wayside and unbalanced diets, but I now see overindulgence in guilty pleasures as an upside to alone living lol.

    All that being said, V-day is definitely one of those days when none of the positive attributes of living alone surface and I will probably be spending the rest of it with half a bottle of pinot, a badly baked chocolate cake and some semi-serious thoughts of becoming a cat owner.

    Happy v-day, friend! 😀
    xo

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    1. it’s true- nothing makes you appreciate living alone like a nice bout of houseguests haha…
      And about that cake- when you sad “badly baked” do you mean as in gross- or just not fully cooked. Because if it’s the latter, I’ll gladly take that of your hands
      mmmmm raw cake batter

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      1. This is the first time in my life that I`ve baked any dessert item. It wasnt gross, just over cooked. It was supposed to be a chocolate lava cake. But its more like a dry brownie now, which I suppose is better than burnt carcinogenic brownie. It goes well with icecream when hot.

        Whenever you feel in an emo funk bout of prolonged indie sadness, call me. I`ll be there as fast as I can with dry brownies (I`ll cut off the burnt carcinogenic parts of course)/ icecream, some pinot and a shoulder for those endless tears. Let`s face it, I have some emo thoughts and sadness too so this will work out just as well for me. :/

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  3. Best part: eating peanut butter directly out of the jar. bliss. Absolute decadent bliss.

    Worst part: no one to fetch me another drink. Because for some reason my ability to get up off the couch for another white russian decreases as the units of alcohol consumed increases.

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  4. I have a house guest’s arrival pending within 45 minutes of my arrival home from work today. In that time, I need to de-hair the bathroom floor, find a way to conceal my drool stained pillows, and frantically sneak my trash past my landlord because I never put it in the right bags. I’m freaking out.

    That, and one time, I actually had the lack of judgement to put on an episode of Teen Mom for SAME referenced house guest (she was unfamiliar) and within about 2 minutes was entirely embarrassed at the impression I had just made for myself. I had already committed, and 30 minutes later I wrapped up the session with “Well, hey, at least somebody has it a little bit worse than we do, eh?? ”

    I feel ya, girl.

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      1. haha I love it!! I had the same experience last week when my sister and her friend came for a visit- I woke up at 5 am before work to vaccuum and do my dishes! haha 🙂

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  5. It is so nice to know that I am not alone in my living alone habits. My are compounded by the fact that I also work alone for 6 hrs a day. There are clients out there who know way too much about my life. LOL (the conversation clinger I am the Queen)
    The best way to avoid some of these habits is to have things to do outside of the home, but it is hard when I hate doing things alone,
    There may never be a cure for the living alone persona, but at least we know we are not alone in our weirdness!
    Thanks for sharing and highlighting these habits!!!

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  6. I’ve lived on my own for many years so I completely get this list. I think #3 (conversational lingering) happens for me online, like on the blogs I’ve had, trying to reach out to anyone who will listen to me haha. But I think after you get used to be being on your own for so long, you do enjoy being able to have that space where you can be by alone.. Until you start getting emo again =P

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  7. A mutual friend (of ours!) told me about your blog last night. This post is hilarious. I was laughing out loud about the bananas and the crazy shit I can get up to because I live alone with no one to hide it from. Love it!

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