Friday, October 22, 2010

In search of companions

I feel fairly safe in suggesting that women in general need companionship more than men do.  At least that’s true in my family.  
My husband is seemingly content with his life.  He has a daily routine that keeps him busy and entertained, most often without the need of another person.  He even enjoys watching movies by himself.  His only source of occasional depression is health-related.  We do things from time to time together and with other couples, but we end up with a lot of “alone” time.
I, on the other hand, find myself wishing for company in many of the things I do.  Why the difference?  I look back at my childhood with no siblings.  I did have friends growing up, but sometimes I felt ostracized because I was studious and cared a lot about good grades.  No one ever wanted my conservative parents as chaperones for “beach week” so I wasn’t invited.  I’m wondering now if I was always so busy so I wouldn’t have time to notice that friends were not always in the picture.
In college I joined a sorority, but my social life was somewhat limited by the fact that I worked part-time during my college years.  I had one serious boyfriend, but I ended up with mostly dateless weekends my senior year.
During my adult years, I can count several people who from time to time have been good friends, but I have always felt like somewhat of a loner.  Until the last few years, I just stayed busy and didn’t really let it bother me.
So what is it exactly that I want company doing?
Studying something (languages, photography, watercolors, knitting, voice, quilting, etc.)
Playing music (I have several good music buddies)
Volunteering at the homeless shelter (I did recruit Kristin and Jamy, but we read on different nights now)
Taking slow walks
Taking slow bike rides
Eating lunch out
Going to museums
Going to the gym
Talking and talking and talking
No one person will necessarily have the same list as mine.  So I guess I’m in search of multiple people who might want to enjoy some of these activities with me.  The age and gender of these people is not important in the least.  
How does one find such people?  Is it by chance?  Most people hanging out in bars or other public places are not looking for companionship.  Nor are those advertising on Craigslist.  
Tomorrow I’m spending the afternoon with someone who is pushing 80.  I know we have several common interests.  She is intrigued with spontaneity, so it will be interesting to see how the afternoon unfolds.  


Blogger kvn299 said...

OK... that does it... as soon as I get back from Asia, we're going out to lunch or dinner! Promise!

4:31 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Come for a visit - we'll do most of those things :)

6:59 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kevin -- I'm going to hold you to it. I may even do the asking. I have a feeling we could have a lot of fun together exploring interesting things!

Pauline -- One of these days I'm going to show up on your doorstep and ask for a slow walk around your beautiful neighborhood. I may even curl up in a corner of your cottage and wait for the morning birdsong and a mug of hot tea.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

barbara - sounds like a plan to me :)

7:52 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm terrible at planning things but great at following through. I do want/need people around me, probably more so than average, and find myself throwing everything that I am into my activities, which totally wears me out but meets those needs.

I met a few people at a Meetup last night, which was slightly less strange than Craigslist, but it's hard. I know people from work and friends of friends and from airplanes and airports and just talking to strangers, but it's hard. I still feel like I'm on the outside most of the time.

Let's do something together. I always enjoy catching up with you.

1:20 PM  
Blogger e said...

Well, I understand your feelings and Kristin's, too. I was the only kid in my house and learnt to live in a very self-contained world that did not require others to entertain. I have tried to make friends at temple and find that hard. My friends at the library are working full time and working on doctorates, so I am to myself most of the time. Not sure what I'll get up to now...

12:20 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

I enjoy time to myself and like to be alone. However, my favorite thing is to be alone working on something in a house with someone else in it working on their own thing (or cooking me dinner :) This is a hold over from my youth, I suppose, when I'd be in my room studying and knowing that whenever I needed a break I could always go down and spend time with my mom. Tell her everything I was working on. She is a great listener.

I prefer to bike ride alone too so I can stop and write in my journal but there are also many, many things I enjoy doing with someone else - like eating dinner or seeing a show.

7:12 PM  

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