I Know You’re Out There…
The title of a book I recently read by Michael Beaumier. Hilarious, sad, deeply thought-provoking and zany. Not easy to accomplish in a non-fiction book, but he did it all! Based on the author’s time at the Chicago Reader (alternate newspaper) as the “Personals Editor” this is a great read! And has so many insights into the longing, the desperation, the angst and the sorrow of those “searching for love” by placing personal ads. Though it deals with a print publication, most of the material could also apply to those placing online personals ads today.
Here’s a few of my favorite quotes:
WHAT WOMEN SAY = WHAT MEN HEAR
Contagious smile Drug Addict
Emotionally secure Heavily Medicated
Free spirit Junkie
Outgoing Loud and obnoxious
Rubenesque Grossly Fat
Voluptuous Hugely Fat
Young at heart Old
WHAT MEN SAY = WHAT WOMEN HEAR
Athletic Watches Football on TV
Average-looking Hair on ears, nose, back
Friendship first Sex required
Likes to cuddle Mama’s boy
Poet Writes bathroom graffiti
Very sensitive Very gay
Stable Charged, but acquitted
….love is more difficult than sex–less sticky, but, oddly, more messy. People who get all squeamish about sex should consider how much worse love really is–there’s no process, no money shot; you can have safe sex, but love will always be a dangerous and risky thing. Sex is basic–even incredibly stupid people can figure out how to do it eventually–but love takes skill, and when you screw up love it hurts. There’s no preventive, no magic pill, no vaccine to inoculate you from the dangers of love.
If it weren’t for drugs and alcohol, no one would have anything to read because no one could bear to write.
Knowing what I do for a living, people will oftentimes offer me the chance to pontificate on the mysteriies of love and desire, but I am hardly equipped to do so. It would seem to be a matter best left to poets, playwrights, and heavy drinkers–they try, but even they must inevitably throw up their hands in sputtering, wordless furstration.
One lady told me she wanted to meet a man of depth and thought, a man who contemplated the state of the world and his place in it. So I gave her what she asked for–a poet, a professor of literature at a college downtown. Sadly, she got him at a low point. Life, he told her, was meaningless, love was a delusion, and the best any of us could ever hope for was to die and be forgotten.
And the last words of the book: “Love….real love, is when you realize that you’re in a race to see which of you is going to die first. And the worst thing in the world is when you lose.”
SO TRUE! AND SO VERY RARE TODAY.
My knees are improving, and I’ve been able to ride my bike every other day. The city finally painted on the lines for “bike lanes” and created a bike route on city streets. I rode it one day, and it’s tough at some points, steep hills! But at least they do have a designated bike lane in some places now.
My mother seems to be doing fine at my sister’s, and I hope that continues.
I got the special insoles for my shoes today, which I’d ordered from an online store. I hope these work better, but I really don’t think I can ever walk the little dogs. They seem to have adjusted to not walking in the neighborhood, and run/play in the backyard some of the day for exercise. Still love them to death!
Horrible weather here yesterday, but nothing in our immediate area.
At last I got my income taxes done Monday, and I’m getting over $7,000.00 back. The main reason is that the retirement roll-over took out taxes, and should not have. I’m just glad I was able to recover most of that, and add it to my savings.
I also received my book, “Party of One” today, and can’t wait to read it. I’m sure I’ll have lots of quotes to post soon, regarding being a loner.
That’s it for now.
on March 3, 2007 at 5:05
About Solitude & Hermits
This is a topic that has ALWAYS interested me, and in fact, I have several books on the topic. I mean, think of what it must be like to live FREE of societal pressures, march to the beat of your own drummer, do your own thing — independent of others’ opinions, interactions, etc. Would this scare you to death, the idea of being totally alone, or would it perhaps create a sense of unlimited possibility for a life of the mind?
I have been exploring/researching the topic online, and found a couple of books out recently I haven’t read. One is titled, “Party of One - The Loners’ Manifesto” by Anneli Rufus. I read excerpts, and found an online group for discussion of this topic. And oddly enough, suddenly I realized this is truly ME; I have always been introverted, prefer being alone to being with almost ANYONE, and have suffered greatly over most of my life due to this “affliction.” But the main thing is that there seems to be a movement afoot (including some psychologist) who think loners have gotten a bad reputation. Most of us do no harm, and simply want to be left alone. It was such a feeling of relief to realize, almost in a blinding flash: “I don’t have to ever find another male companion; I don’t have to force myself to find friends; I don’t have to apologize to family for simply BEING WHO I AM.” Ah, the joy of understanding one’s self in the deepest sense.
I LIKE being alone, always have. My marriage was a good one, by most standards, but there were many times when I preferred BEING ALONE. Writing is a solitary activity, but I don’t know if wanting to be alone came first or the desire to write. Sort of like the chicken and egg thing, which came first? Not sure. But as a child, I LOVED my alone time when at my paternal grandparents’ farm, and felt most myself then. I don’t hate people, but I have always had a depth of understanding about human nature: the paradox, the conflicts, the angst and misery of our human condition.
I think I am on the verge of a new writing project, dealing with solitude and living alone, the joys and rewards (and pitfalls, such as taking care of a home, etc.). The main thing I have realized though is that frankly, I am NOT miserable alone. I think also that I will remain alone the remainder of my life — and it’s nothing to apologize for either. There are many others like myself, and we are happiest alone.
BTW, my appointment with the orthopedic doc went well. He said I had a bit of arthritis in my knees, but was in good shape for my age! Told me to not exercise/walk the dogs for a couple weeks, and I should get better. Also told me to get a special shoe insert (Stenco) that prevents the foot rolling inward (over-pronation) which I knew I’d had from the time I used to run/jog. I can use it in any shoe, and it should correct the problem with my knees after they are healed.
Here’s a few quotes about loners/solitude to end this entry:
Solitude, though it may be silent as light, is like light the mightiest of agencies; for solitude is essential to man. All men come into this world alone; all leave it alone.
– Thomas De Quincey
Society is the cave. The way out is solitude.
–Simone Weil, The Great Beast
“Solitude: a return to the self” is in fact the title of an excellent and thoughtful book by Oxford University psychiatrist Anthony Storr. He notes: “The current emphasis upon intimate interpersonal relationships as the touchstone of health and happiness is a comparatively recent phenomenon. Earlier generations would not have rated human relationships so highly; believing, perhaps that the daily round, the common task, should furnish all we need to ask…” Storr provides an interesting history of how mental health came to be equated with the quality of social relationships, and argues that a preference for solitude, self-understanding, and a more muted social presence can be also be compatible with robust mental health.
True loners have what Anneli Rufus, 44, books editor of the East Bay Express and author of the recently published “Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto,” refers to as a low tolerance for companionship. She compares being a loner to someone who’s hypoglycemic and can’t eat a lot of sugar. “That’s how I am with companionship,” she says. “I mean, I have friends. But you know, like an hour or two, and then it’s time to go home. It appalls me that people can spend so much time with each other.”
That last quote is especially TRUE for me. I can be with people, talk, enjoy them for a SHORT TIME. But to be with someone ALL the time, never AGAIN.
on February 26, 2007 at 4:07
New Day Dawns…
Today I’m moving my blog to Wordpress. Blogger had gotten so loaded down with pop-ups and ads, it was distracting. I’m hoping this site will provide a better experience — for my writing and for readers.
I’ve been have a lot of trouble with my knees for the past week or so. Probably all that walking on the hard pavement when I was taking the dogs for walks. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but it was so much fun. Now I’m suffering the consequences, can’t bike, can barely get around. I have an appointment Friday with an orthopedic doctor for an exam/evaluation. I sure hope it doesn’t result in some kind of surgery.
Believe it or not, the tree guys are here finally removing the two large trees that I wanted taken down. One was ruining my car in the driveway; the other was an old pecan tree that had worms, and made mostly a mess around the house. Lots of noise going on, but I’ll be glad to have this done — no more raking leaves in the Fall either.
Mother is being released from the nursing home rehab tomorrow, and going back to my sister’s house. Hospice has been called in to help, so I don’t know how that will all work out.
Otherwise, my critters are fine and I’m coping. That’s all I can expect right now, I suppose. Have had a bad couple weeks revisiting the loss of my husband last year, but maybe once today is over, I’ll go forward and not look back so often. I hope, anyway.