We went to some friends’ from work for a Thanksgiving party. The food was good and abundant.
I must say I didn’t have a great time, and I take full responsibility for it. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I had fun at a party. People do invite us, and we either go or don’t go, but whenever we go it’s always very meh. I am not sure how to make it not be meh. (Actually, I do: Magically create a circle of 8-10 super close friends to which you belong, then attend your close friends’ parties.)
When we go with kids, there is the overhead of having to chase and/or feed the young’uns. What’s interesting is that I no longer mind it. I actually savor it, for my kids are the people I like and am comfortable with, and who like and are comfortable with me, even if they need me around to fetch them food or take (only one of) them to go potty. I used to mind having to tend to the kids, because I wanted to mingle and get to know people. It seems I don’t give a damn about meeting people any more. I don’t think this has to do with people getting boring, they are probably just as boring or not boring as they have ever been. I think I might have simply become a curmudgeon. There is only so much small talk one can absorb in life, like radiation, before it starts impeding your well-being.
The other day Justine wrote about wandering whether she was uninteresting because she had temporarily put career and self-improvement on the back burner on account of her children.
I think — no, I know — that I am pretty boring at first, second, and even third glance. Heck, all the way up to glance No 72. John Mayer wouldn’t give me the time of day, I am sure. I am an aging working mom who lives in the suburbs. (Go on, yawn! No need to stifle it.) Being a mommy is hip, bouncy, with yoga pants, tank tops, and a pony tail swooshing from side to side while your smiling baby does the airplane during a “Mommy and Me” class. Being a mom is synonymous with tired and mostly lame. (The role of the patriarchy in all this is not lost on me.) The other day I was talking with Eldest, who is very similar to me in personality and we get each other really well, about how anything that he gets to do with me sounds really lame, much lamer than if he were to do it with his dad. Note the difference in coolness for the subject being a teenage boy:
“I went running/biking/kickboxing with my dad.”
“I went running/biking/kickboxing with my mom.”
“My dad is teaching me how to drive. ”
“My mom is teaching me how to drive.”
(Bonus lameness points for “My grandma is teaching me how to drive.” Nobody apparently met the speed demon that is my 63-year-old mother.)
But yeah, what is there to say? I have my work and I have my family, and I love to talk about both, they are both very important to me. I am not a doctor or a firefighter or a lawyer. I travel more than most but don’t care for it any more. I watch movies and read, just like everyone else. The life is ordinary, and ordinary makes me happy.
I would like to think I am not boring among the people who know me well and where I am relaxed. I have fun in this space, so hopefully some of you get some amusement from my excursions into doodling and drafting. Being in my head is great fun for me.
One thing I have noticed with aging is that I am going back to being how I was in childhood. I was a serious kid who spent a lot of time alone, with books, Legos, and drawing. I don’t remember craving other kids. With teenage years, other people started being more important, essential even, for the well-being and happiness. I thought for a while that was my true nature, but it doesn’t really seem so. I am not an extrovert, but I play one on TV.
These days, people are… just draining. DH and I like going to see a show or a concert. Topping it off with a dinner with another couple sounds like it would be fun, but since we don’t have really close friends, it’s always just meh. Essentially, real-life social interactions with all the people who are not family are meh. I take full responsibility for the meh-ness.
I enjoy the (positive) interactions online quite a bit; you get to know people over time, through comments, and get to discuss topics with them that might never come up in “meat space,” because everyone is so busy and so guarded… And because the small number of people geographically close to you may not be your people. I know this is hardly a revolutionary insight, but there you have it: being online connects you to people you would otherwise never meet. Often, that’s a great thing. Occasionally, it sucks. (Not being on Twitter or Facebook helps with the sucking; those seem like downright terrifying places to me.)
Anyway, being boring is quite alright. Being with my family, with my students, and mostly in my head are really fun, though. Some of that fun, I am hoping, spills into this space.
Thanks everyone for reading and commenting!
Happy Thanksgiving to those whose bellies are stuffed with turkey, and may the gods of good digestion be with you.