Friday, June 30, 2006

thoughts from a hermit crab

Last night I was perusing the Time magazine on the kitchen counter while waiting on supper to cook, and came across this article, titled You Gotta Have Friends - A study finds that Americans are getting lonelier. It speaks of social isolation and people having fewer friends now, not naming one particular reason for this trend, but offering:

Is it because of two-career families? Ethnic diversity? The Internet? Suburban sprawl? Everyone has a favorite culprit. Mine is TV, but the jury is still out.

I can identify with this. I work at home and often feel like a hermit, not seeing anyone, and more often not wanting to. I admit to going to Wal-Mart just to get out in the world. I admit I would rather use e-mail than the phone, or actually see someone in person.

I was recently contacted by a friend from the past that I have not seen in a long time, she is getting married and moving away and wants to get together with some old friends. One of the ideas was a girls' night out/sleepover. That sounded like way too much togetherness for this hermit crab, so we decided to just go out to eat, I am sure there will be stories about the old times, lots of laughing, good wishes for the bride, but then back to the safety of home.

On the weekends, my husband and I get out, go places, do stuff, but always just the two of us, almost never with anyone else (well, except kids and grandkids!). And that is fine with us. We admit to being antisocial, but haven't found it a problem. I just didn't realize that we were the norm, part of a national social trend.

Is this one of the reasons that blogs are so popular? Are we becoming so isolated and alone that we are reaching out to whoever is out there? Do we just want to connect?

I was reminded of one of our favorite television shows, Cheers, where folks would come in to the bar just to see familiar faces. Does this mean we need to take up drinking?

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.


Lyrics by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

~photo of Queen Anne's Lace on the side of the road - 22 June 2006


John Cowart said...

I identify with your thoughts on being a hermit. I like being alone most of the time. I also work at home while my wife works in an office downtown. Come weekends she is ready to crash at home while I am ready to get away from the house... But I really don't want to see anyone but her. Makes for a good life.

Finn said...

Hi Susan, sorry to be missing. I think I finally have this episode of compute malfunction behind me..LOL.
I had to smile at your referance to Hermit crabs. Not something we have in WI...and of course a year in Biloxi, MS brought me face to face with them. The humor is trying to get the crab to give up his shell so I could have it. I mean I didn't need it, I just WANTED it..well, so did he!! Nothing short of killing him could persuade him, so I didn't get the shell. Since then I've learned that if you offer them a different shell, they will often "move"...LOL. Older and smarter, that's me..*S* And how does that apply to what your saying....LOL, you'd have to think about that. But please know there are more of us hermit crabs out there than anyone suspects...and yes, blogging is a wonderful playing field, at least in our neighborhood. Hugs, Finn

Tammy said...

I'm right there with ya sister...only I prefer to call myself a!!
I love my home and everything about it!!!
"There's no place like home!!!"

KCQuilter said...

Once again, you've nailed it!

Jeanne said...

This describes me -- and our lifestyle -- exactly!
Jeanne :)

Glacial Wanderer said...

After college I fell into this hermit crab sort of attitude. I can say that for those few years I was pretty happy. Then I talked to one of my friends who happens to be a psychologist. She had reviewed multiple studies on this matter and found that most people (note I'm not saying everyone) who tend to isolate themselves would be happier if they spent more time with other people. Since then I've made an effort to make more friends and spend more time around them. This was no small effort for an introverted person such as myself, but for me it has paid off. I'm even happier today.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I spend all my time with my husband as we are together 24/7 and love it. When we visit or go anywhere it's with family. I guess you could call us a pair of hermit crabs also.

Why I blog. Because my brother & his wife wanted me to so we could keep in touch. Now I don't hear from them as much as I used to. So blogging is not a way for family to keep in touch.

Alice said...

I can really relate to this posting, Susan. Whilst I enjoyed being with people when I was working, I've found that since retiring, I'm quite happy at home and the longer I'm there, the less I actually want to go out. I can see that I need to make the effort to strike a better balance.

As AIP says, families still don't stay in touch even through blogs. My sisters say they read mine, but they never leave a comment.