Thursday, September 13, 2007

I must be an alien—it would explain so much



Well, right before I left the office tonight, I got a call from an old friend (from my former job) inviting me to a Happy Hour. I thanked him for the offer, but declined.   I didn't even think about it, just gave an automatic response. 

Why did I do that?  A hundred or so people packed into a small bar, migraine noise levels, toxic breathing space...who wouldn't enjoy that?  Maybe I'm not really human.  What other explanation could there be?   It's not like I consider myself a 'social outcast', in fact I can blend in very well with people--WHEN I WANT TO.   And therein lies the problem.  What does a person do when they don't feel comfortable being involved in the things that most other adults do?   (Bars, sporting events, church…)

Yeah, you're right-- I'm a pretty boring guy!  I don't understand it myself--and it's not like I haven't tried all these things.  Sometime back, I signed up with an online dating service & was surprised at how many women asked a variation of the same question:  "What's your favorite club?  Do you like darts or pool?   You like a live deejay or band?  Do you prefer mixed drinks or beer or wine?"   I usually got stony silence or disbelief when I replied "Er...I haven't been to a bar in years--sorry, that's just not me.  But if you really want to go..."   (Too late!)

And here in Pittsburgh, not being a sports fan is a SURE SIGN YOU'RE NOT HUMAN--or at least not a Pittsburgher.  I think the women in this town are bigger Steelers fans than the men!  Don't get me wrong; I think it's great that people enjoy supporting local teams & sitting in an open arena during a blizzard or thunderstorm, screaming their heads off--good for them!   I'd rather be at home though, reading a book or watching old sci-fi movies on TCM.


Some of my all-time favorite movies; I just can’t get enough of watching aliens taking over Earth

My human friends understand this thing about me and bars though, and will often say "Doug, there's so many single women in church!  They have all kinds of social groups too, you should try it."  And I have, but that religion thing always gets in the way... I'm not saying I'm an athiest--but listening to people proclaim their faith in various saints, virgins, angels and Messiahs does nothing for me.  I'd sooner be wary of ghosts.

Well, instead of suspecting myself as being alien--maybe I should focus on the things I DO like doing.  Okay, so maybe I don't like those items I listed above...but I love going to the movies.  I'd go at LEAST once a week if I had someone to go with me.  I enjoy going out to eat, shopping in bookstores, (I used to love) amusement parks, the zoo, & I'm a big fan of Natural History museums.  (But again, if I'm WITH someone.)  I also love musical theater, some of my best 'evening memories' are going to see Phantom of the Opera, Mama Mia, Miss Saigon.  I'm just more of a 'one on one' type of person, I suppose.

(And maybe I shouldn't admit this as it confirms my 'couch potato' status, but my idea of a perfect Saturday evening is spending it at home, with a couple DVDs & a pizza or home cooked meal.   I think I prefer the term "homebody" over that couch thing though...)

All of this...just to say I don't like Happy Hours.


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Thinking Out Loud - September 01, 2007


Sometimes I get in these "quiet moods"; not so much a depressed state of mind as it is a "a bit sad, but at peace with myself" type of feeling.   I'm sure everyone experiences it, to one degree or another.  I know when I do, I go into "hiding out mode", where I just want to be an observer--not a participant. 

I know, this all sounds a bit vague.

For being a single guy (with no girlfriend or family living nearby) I can keep pretty busy.  During the workday I am literally dealing with a dozen business emails every 30 minutes.  My office phone is always ringing, it seems.  People constantly at my desk.  (Meanwhile, I'm trying to get my work done & keep up to date on the emails from my sisters.)  Even the ride home from work--the "bus regulars".  Getting home and running into assorted neighbors, messages on my answering machine, going online & catching up with a wide assortment of online friends on a message board I belong to.  Always feeling like there's someone I'm "short-changing", because I haven't got the chance to talk to him/her/them for awhile.   

It all catches up with me.  I've been waiting all week for the workweek to end.  I've had some time scheduled off, and aside from a day planned with my sister & niece (this baby is so excited about "taking me to see Hairspray"), I have nothing else on my agenda.  I even turned down two offers from friends for a Labor Day get-together.  I had no real reason. 

(Here's an email from my sister Shawn this morning:  isn't she a lovely writer?)  

Sent:  Saturday, September 01, 2007 7:39 AM                                              

Subject:  couple things

(I would) love to read the Jodie Foster interview, thanks for thinking of me.  Jim and I are ready, have eaten breakfast, dressed to go to townwide yard sale. I just tried to wake up Sophia who said, "Mooom, turn around" and I said, "good morning honeybun" and she said, "No, turn around" - which means go away. And went back to sleep!  (Jim really wants the 3 of us to spend 30 minutes together). Everytime you say she's a baby I think well, yes and no. But now in her bed, with pale blue cotton bicycle shorts pajamas and a bunny on a cloud shirt, curled up, hair all over the pillow, butt as big as the palm of Jim's hand, I think "yes, she's just a baby". But I need her to get up!!!  When I told her we were going to take you with us to see Hairspray on Tuesday she RAN at my legs and hugged me and said "you're a wonderful mom, Mom".

(I'm looking forward to this--not so much the movie, but going to see it with my 2 year old niece, who already knows most of the songs.) 

Well, I know this entry didn't really say much, but like the title says--just thinking aloud.    (An online friend of mine, Ross--he recently made the comment that if I wrote about a can of soup, he'd enjoy reading about it.  God bless him, he's such a good guy.)  So there you go. 

I wish my mom was still alive--I'd love to give her a call.