Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Woman Cave

Need a dining room set? I'm selling mine since all it does is collect dust and papers. Not having many of those health-giving, life-lengthening, cortisol-dampening relationships, I haven't had company in two years. I replaced the old furniture with a papasan chair, which I've enjoyed more than I the casual acquaintances I went to some trouble to acquire, who came and sat at the table once or twice.

Of course, I've read about studies showing close relationships making us happier and live longer, and studies showing that introverts are happier when they act extroverted. But what about real life? Most relationships are friendships of convenience. Acquaintances who aren't classmates, coworkers or neighbors take time and effort to meet, and I've come by very few who were worth the effort. As for playing a gadfly, what would a study find if it had people calling in sick and getting drunk instead of going to work--that they were happier? Probably, but like someone with a hangover, introverts in the real world say they end up exhausted when they put on an act for too long. Even my meetup group--which I enjoy and don't put on an act for--leaves me feeling as if I'm about to go down the first hill of a roller coaster. Sometimes you need to put on a game face, and with the right group of people it's fun, but when people say, apropos of nothing, "Smile!" or "Are you okay?" as if there's something wrong with you, it's offensive. Sorry I'm not meeting your standards, I'll try harder next time. Please give me another chance to act like a TV personality.

It makes more sense for me to stay home, sit in my new papasan chair and pet my dog than to go out to meet random people. I was surprised how much I enjoyed buying furniture, along with some cups, pajamas and Christmas cards (I'm not a complete recluse). Maybe since I replaced some things I'd had for several years and gotten tired of, it was a special treat. Do that too often, and it would probably end up as well as continually calling in sick and getting drunk instead of going to work.

I won't be sending Christmas cards to many relatives--people I have nothing in common with, who don't call, don't email, and only invite me over via a third party instead of inviting me themselves. I was in my thirties before I realized I didn't have to go to these get-togethers. I felt like Lierre Kieth when she wrote about dumping her bread and salad in the trash at a vegan dinner and leaving: it's like feeling trapped in a dream, and then remembering you're an adult. I feel none the worse for it, despite courting disaster if you believe the studies. Sure, you can be fine the moment before you walk off a cliff, but is there any cliff there if you're avoiding boring parties and aloof people? The only person I wanted to see was one of my brothers, and he's dead now.

The studies assume that people have a choice between giddy fun with friends and family or holing up in their hovel. In reality, for some of us it's a choice between fake forced fun with people we don't care about or pursuing happiness alone. The latter doesn't bother me, it's the assumption that there's something wrong with it that does.


Lowcarb team member said...

Well Lori before I read your post I didn't know what a 'papasan' chair was - am I ignorant - not up on fashion ? No I don't think so, I'd simply never come across the word.

So onto Mr Google and Wiki who quickly informed me that "A Papasan chair (also called a bowl chair) is a large rounded bowl-shaped chair with an adjustable angle similar to that of a futon"

There now I know .... thanks

All the best Jan

Angele Style said...

Have you ever tried being an Introvert and trying to explain to an Extrovert why you are not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and all the rest of it? Anytime I ask my Extroverted daughter or other extroverts what I am missing every reason they tell me I need to be a part of it is exactly why I would run away from it. I started my own blog as you have but even that seemed to be too much effort for me to keep up with socially. Growing up I always felt sorry for my Mom who never had company and did not go to coffee with those who she bowled with etc but now I totally GET IT. As you explain in your blog we are not to be felt sorry for we just enjoy life that 75% of the population do not GET.

Lori Miller said...

Yes, it's low and shaped like a satellite dish. Next summer, I might drag it into the living room where it's cooler and sleep in it.

Lori Miller said...

I'm not on Facebook, either. I had an account briefly, and saw some of my relatives posted 5000 pictures of themselves, posted socio-political-religious rants, or ran to the computer every time they did something slightly different from the day before. A long-lost relative whined and whined about his childhood. For the love of Mike, who cares? Especially when it's from people who never call.

I can see why someone might not want to go to coffee with people they just spent a couple of hours around. If you're not a chatty Cathy, what's left to talk about?

Anonymous said...

Get online, get a couple of friends, read a good book, snack on some bacon. Oh wait, here you are. Tell the extroverted world to bugger off. :)

Lori Miller said...

Sounds good.