Got SSB?

21 10 2006

The best thing about living alone is that I can do anything I damn well please. No one to judge my mess (yes, that is a dress on the floor, and yes those are dishes in the sink, and yes they have been there for more than a day, so shut up), no one to judge my eating habits (so what if I eat only avocadoes and popcorn for dinner?), and especially, no one to witness my SSB.

What’s SSB, you ask? If you ever watched “Sex and the City,” you know that SSB stands for “Secret Single Behavior.” It is what women do when no one else is around and they’re in the privacy of their own homes. On “Sex and the City,” SSB ranged from examining pores for an hour to eating an entire bag of oreos. These are rituals in which a woman could never, never participate in front of her partner or anyone else for that matter. And she would never confess it, unless she were to confess it to her closest friends.

I am convinced that no matter how put-together a woman appears to be on the outside, her SSB reveals way more about who she is than any resume or photograph ever could.

While I will not confess all of my SSBs, I will give light to two SSBs in particular, in which I participated just this quiet Friday evening.

The first of my SSBs began when I was in high school. I usually came home to an empty house because my mom still worked. So for at least two hours after school, I could do what I wanted. One of those things was to watch Oprah. I had two favorite kinds of episodes: the victim episodes and the reunion episodes. They were my favorite because I could get easily wrapped up in the guests’ stories. And once I reached a point where I was so wrapped up in their stories, sometimes even brought to tears (’cause you know it happens, ladies) I would mute the TV and pretend to be on Oprah in place of the guest. I would invent the rest of her story, pretend that I was on stage and being interviewed. I would set up the piano bench facing away from the TV screen so I wouldn’t be distracted by commercials, and carry on out loud alone in my living room. And then, if I got myself really worked up, I would run to the bathroom and carry on in front of the mirror so I could see my facial expressions, often repeating phrases over and over for more accuracy.

This early SSB developed into intense mirror-talking. To this day, I practice in advance the things I want to say to people, say the things I wished I’d said, or create new dramas with my reflection. Here in Brazil, I use mirrors to help me with my Portuguese. Maybe that sounds weird, but I want to know what I look like when I’m speaking a new language. So I invent encounters that force me to use a range of emotions, so I can see (literally) how quickly I can think of words and how fluently I can say the phrases.

SSB. Some may call it some kind of self-absorbed sociopathic behavior…but for the time being, let’s just stick with SSB, ok?

And SSB #2, in full force right now: reliving childhood. Yes, folks, I have pushed together my two pink couches, and filled them with pillows and blankets so it appears I am in a couch boat. I am 27 years old, people. And my SS behavior tonight is to indulge in making myself feel like I am small again. And I have got to tell you, it feels fantastic.

I think you know you’ve got an SSB if you would be absolutley mortified if someone caught you in the middle of it. Like right now, if one of my friends walked in and saw me sitting in this pink couch pillow boat, I might turn pink myself. And certainly if anyone saw me talk to myself in the mirror, I would crawl into a hole. But I don’t care if anyone sees my messy apartment or watches me when I eat dinner. That’s the difference between Lifestyle (regardless of how quirky) and SSB.

It’s delicious being able to indulge in my SSB anytime I want, but on the other hand, what if I ever have to live with someone again? Will I feel stifled? suppressed? Will I grow out of my SSB?

Ah, well, enough for tonight. It’s late and I can’t decide if I want to sleep in my boat or my bed. I’ll see what myself says in the mirror and get back to you.

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7 responses

21 10 2006
marissa

This could possibly be the funniest thing I’ve ever read. This is for 2 reasons. The first, (As Karen from ” Will and Grace” would say, “It’s funny ’cause it’s true”, and the second is the couch-pillow-boat…I wish I had the right set-up to replicate that.
Anyway, I am definately victim to my own SSB’s but, I do not EVER have the opportunity to engage in them now because I have a husband, two kids and two dogs (One of the dogs thinks he’s human and would certainly pass judgement on my SSB’s were he to witness them…you know, that disapproving dog stare.) So, I guess this would be the part where I divulge my own SSB’s, right? Well, here it goes. This one is the one I still have a few minutes to enjoy, ONLY in the car and ONLY when my said family members are not with me. I am an REM, Coldplay, Tori Amos, Police, ( you get the drift) kind of girl. I have even been witnessed to listen to NPR on occasion. I will however, dust off my funky white girl persona and bust out my Beastie Boys, Missy Elliot or Kanye West lovin self. This is when I need to be alone. Because I like to rap along. Yes, it is the saddest, most pathetic, prep-school girl tryin to “drop-it-like-it’s-hot” sight you have ever seen, but it is MY SSB. I fancy myself ( In my head, mind you) the voluptuous ( I do have that part covered)woman in the dance club ( never actually been to one, well this one time, but that is a story all it’s own)to slink in and have all the sexy moves and know all the words to every song. Want to know the reality??? I am a 5’3 28 yr old, drive a subaru, and have Ned Lamont and Amnesty International stickes on my car. I will most often be seen in my fleece and hiking shoes going to a local artisans fair or farmer’s market. Hot, right?
See, some SSB’s are a little glimpse into what we know we can’t be but want to experience for a split second ( i.e. a child again or a seductive rap phenom.)
PS I hope that you are laughing, and not secretly changing your blog site so I can’t find it anymore.

21 10 2006
ginacoggio

Marissa–Grace is right…funny ’cause it’s true! I LOVE it! SO hilarious! Farmer’s market reality vs. Dance club fantasty. That would be a great starting point for a movie. 🙂 But I’m glad you’ve found a place where you can privately celebrate your “drop-it-like-it’s-hot” self. But I’m picturing people watching you as you drive by and gawking….do you actually break it down with moves and all while sitting in the bucket seat of your Subaru?!

21 10 2006
marissa

Well, that is kind of tricky. I usually don’t get to really dance in the Outback, BUT I get to look at myself in the mirror and watch how fabulous( aka ridiculous)I would look if I were to really be a white Lil’ Kim while I mouth the words to ” Lighters Up”. Holla.

21 10 2006
ginacoggio

I had a game I used to play where I would see how fast I could move my hips while driving without letting other drivers know I was doing anything other than driving. So I had to keep a straight face and straight upper body, but meanwhile, I was shaking my hips in time to the music. Good times.

21 10 2006
marissa

LOL!!!
I’m totally trying that.

25 10 2006
Nate

This is a great post!
I have never heard of the SSB concept. I’ll have to think of some of my own and I’ll post ’em (of course with proper recognition and linkage).

29 10 2006
Rob

I can’t think of any SSB you might engage in without cracking up. I guess I’m not easily mortified.
Me? Its not secret that I car dance and the only reason I don’t sing with other people in the car is for their own aural safety. When I sing in the car I go for it. I mean, from the diaphragm.
When I’m alone in my apartment I do sometimes like to put on my Charlie Daniels Band CD and do an interpretive dance to When the Devil Went Down to Georgia.
But who doesn’t?!!

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