February 18, 2013

Secret Single Behavior

When I first heard the term Secret Single Behavior (SSB) on Sex and the City, it made me feel a little more normal in relishing in the habits that I enjoy participating in when I’m all by myself.

While my SSB changes from time to time, recent SSBs for me include coming home after work to an empty house, keeping my winter jacket on until it’s the last thing I have to take off before I slip into my PJs; going to the store for deodorant and shaving cream, then realizing how famished I am, and buying (just to be precise) five pieces of popcorn chicken and two potato wedges at the deli counter and eating them with a spork in the dark parking lot; and listening to embarrassing songs that I love on repeat, such as Level 42’s “Something About You” and Atlantic Starr's "Masterpiece." And, of course there are others that I’ll just keep to myself.

Generally, I love the pockets of time when I have the house to myself to partake in my SSB – to blast music without disrupting my husband, to make weird food concoctions for dinner, or to workout with no pants on (this last one I might actually be guilty of doing even when my husband’s around, but he doesn't seem to mind.)

But however fun and freeing it may be to have time to participate in a little SSB, there is, as with everything in life, a balance. For example, too much SSB time is actually possible I’ve learned, such as when you’re a tax-season widow. For the most part, I live tax-season (the span from January through April 15 when my husband works 65-70-hour weeks) to the fullest: I plan fun weekends with friends, I spend time working on my hobbies, I relish in “me time.” In essence, I have lots of single-girl fun during this time span, and that's not a bad thing.

But last week, to my surprise, I was caught in an unexpected I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-myself feeling, when the excitement of a dark and empty house suddenly no longer felt very exciting and when the possibilities of so many wide-open single-girl weekends began to feel a little meh. While the good of this is that loneliness makes the heart grow fonder, the bad of it is that there’s no quick fix, since April 15 is but months away.

But, as with everything, it’s awareness and acknowledgement of feelings (whether they are loneliness or sadness or mere discontent) that’s the key to addressing them, even if it means that the feeling doesn't immediately go away. And really, so what if my pie is currently a little overwhelmed by the opportunity for SSB? I think I’ll manage . . . as soon as I find my bucket list.

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