Monday, April 13, 2009


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about SSB (secret single behavior), coined, I believe, by Sex and the City, episode 13, season four. When Aidan moves in with Carrie, she complains to her friends that she can no longer engage in SSB—which for her, is standing in her kitchen and eating a stack of saltines and jelly while reading fashion magazines. Charlotte empathizes and reveals that her SSB, before Trey, was studying her pores for an hour every night. Miranda’s is conditioning her hands in Vaseline while watching infomercials. Samantha of course has no SSB because she has no shame, which isn’t such a bad thing.

So I’ve been thinking about my SSB (unfortunately more disturbing than the SATC girls’) because after living alone for two years, I’ll soon be cohabitating in a new apartment with my guy. (Yay!) Some of my SSBs, like eating an entire tub of Merkts sharp cheddar while watching episode upon episode of The Hills, I’m sort of looking forward to having a reason to kick. But others... I’m afraid I won’t be able to suppress.

Which got me wondering: What if bringing our SSB out of the closet is just the next step in the relationship spectrum, phase two of the big reveal? Phase one, I believe, is unleashing the crazy. In the beginning it’s relatively easy to act out near-perfection—but as lunch becomes brunch and dates turn into weekends, it becomes virtually impossible to keep unruly emotions in check, especially when alcohol is involved. But if the other is in fact significant, they actually find your “quirkiness” rather adorable—and any insanity that ensues after a fifth glass of wine mostly bearable, at least forgivable.

So then after the crazy comes the weird, phase two—which is where SSB comes in. While the former reveals your emotional issues, the latter brings your habitual oddities to light. That would mean you don’t have to give up your SSB completely—only in the sense that it can’t really be a secret anymore. That’s probably the symbolism of the end of the episode, when Carrie opens the curtains she had closed between her and Aidan, after he agrees to be quiet and let her be weird by herself on the other side. But then again, Carrie completely freaks out and breaks up with Aidan before the season’s even over, much to this dismay and tears of viewers across America.

I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see how well my theory pans out in real life... Because, as people keep reminding me, Carrie is a fictional character, and SATC is just a show. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing either.


The Singlutionary said...

My SSBs are so customary to me that I don't think I could hide them for one second since I might not even remember anymore that they ought to be secret! I do have roommates though and they seem to tolerate them or maybe they just don't notice because we all have separate rooms.

Abby said...

I'm not giving mine up. I'm moving to the South for him; he can deal with it. Then again, he already knows that I like to fall asleep reading or watching TV, lights still on. Anyway, SSBs are not limited to females. I'm sure we'll be in for some real surprises when we find out their SSBs, and I'm sure their habits are way more disgusting and weird than ours.

Anonymous said...

I like to put on my clay face mask and then talk on the phone and not bother wiping up the clay from between the keypads afterward.

I think even if you get comfortable enough with your sig other to share your SSBs, don't they become less fun when they're not secret, when they become SBs instead of SSBs?
--Christina at onely

Caroline said...

I was sitting here reading your blog trying to figure out what my SSBs were, when I realized I was probably never single long enough to acquire any.... How pathetic!!! But then I realized what might be even worse than revealing your SSBs.... When you are a serial monogamist and start dating your new guy very soon after breaking up with your last guy and you jump right to the comfortable stage and don't even try to hide the gross stuff.... How did I ever end up getting married???

ZIP said...

I still eat the sugariest cereal I can find about 10 times a day. Luckily, my man is at school half the time I'm home so I can still watch Ray J or drool over some stupid idiot on The Real World. The dog is always watching me, but he does much weirder things, such as licking his feet for about 20 minutes straight.

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