Living alone always sounds so good, doesn't it? You'd have complete control over the remote control. You could always finish the last of the cereal without feeling guilty about it. You could walk around naked every morning. The possibilities are endless.

But that's just the thing: It can be really nice to have roommates around because their very presence sets some kind of limitations on behavior. Living alone might be liberating in theory, but it can also make you behave like an insane person.

At least, that's what we gleaned from today's New York Times trend piece, which picked up on the rising percentages of Americans living on their own. "1 in every 4 American households is occupied by someone living alone;" writes Steven Kurutz, "in Manhattan, mythic land of the singleton, the number is nearly 1 in 2."

So what are these lucky individuals up to, aside from walking around naked all the time? Here's what people reportedly do when they are living, as one solo dweller phrased it, without "social checks and balances":

  • Running in place during TV commercials
  • Talking in conversational French to themselves
  • Talking to their cats
  • Using their dryers as dressers
  • Leaving their bras on the kitchen counter
  • Wearing special "home alone" outfits, such as "white flax bloomers that go down to my knee"
  • Subsisting "largely on cereal"
  • "Grazing" on "nuts and seeds"
  • Making dinner with "discrete objects"
  • Drinking champagne in the shower "at 8 a.m."
  • Leaving the house without wearing a skirt ("'I realized it when I got halfway to work - damn it, I forgot my skirt,' she said. And it's not the first time that's happened.'")
  • "Never, ever" closing the bathroom door
  • Making "huge mental efforts" to remember to close the bathroom door when guests are over
  • Considering putting "a Post-it note by the bathroom door" to warn guests that they may have forgotten to shut said bathroom door
  • Probably sometimes peeing with the door open while guests are over

Sounds weird, right? It's a difficult thing to adjust from: "If I go on vacation with a group of friends, I feel a little overwhelmed," Amy Kennedy, a schoolteacher from North Carolina, told the Times. "I've got to share this room with other people? We have to organize showers?"

That's really just the beginning, Amy. Sometimes, you even have to wear pants.

[NYT, Image via Shutterstock]