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.
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!
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?