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A few months ago my daughters talked me into creating a myspace page. I did not want to do it because I see it as a gathering place for mindless chatterers. But I finally created a plain jane page and added a couple of pix. What was more fun was creating a page for my insane cat, Temp, which I did just the other day. I haven't done a lot with that page either but I feel it has greater promise than my own does.

Today Mary said she has been trying to delete her myspace account but has been unable to do so. She is tired of being "found" by people she knew once upon a time. As she puts it, there is a reason they no longer are in contact. She doesn't want to deal with the endless stream of people who knew her when or think she's pretty and want to know her now.

I don't have that problem. People who seek me out tend to be idiots who want some sort of warm and fuzzy woman in their lives. If they only knew. No fuzziness here. People I knew once - there weren't many of those. I don't need a myspace page to find them, anyway. However, today I was working on my "living trust" and some things struck me. The trust program (Quicken Willmaker Plus) asks for backup people. People who would take over the trust if my beneficiaries are unable or unwilling to do so. And people who can decide if I have become incapacitated to the point where a trustee needs to manage my affairs. There sure aren't many of those in my life, and I could come up with only one who is not a relative.

At times I regret that I have so few friends. But I am by nature such a recluse that I have no interest in spending time on the phone to a bunch of friends. I do still have that dream of having friends come over to talk at the kitchen table from time to time, and of going to their place to sit and talk. But even that seems often like an intrusion into my life. What would make it different? I don't know.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
recluses together!
At least you are articulate! Good luck with sorting out the backup beneficiaries/trustees situation.

My own daughter and many of her friends have MySpace accounts. I don't intend to get one of my own any time soon. What I like about LJ is that I get to comment back & forth with people on my own friends page. People with whom I prefer to communicate in the present.

I'm like you--I'd love to be able to kick back & relax with friends--over tea, or beer or what have you. Sometimes I do get to do that, but I rarely find that that is possible--people are busy, I'm usually too broke to go places, even when invited, or I'm too busy just running errands and taking care of my own little existence.

It'll be nice if that ever gets worked out.

What was the word? geselleschaft (sp?) Describes the society where there are many people but not much connection or sense of community. It was either Weber or Durkheim who discussed this in the late 19th-early 20th century.
Mar. 17th, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC)
Re: recluses together!
I'm like you--I'd love to be able to kick back & relax with friends--over tea, or beer or what have you. Sometimes I do get to do that, but I rarely find that that is possible--people are busy, I'm usually too broke to go places, even when invited, or I'm too busy just running errands and taking care of my own little existence.

I'm not too busy. I really don't have the friends who would come over - just one, and she's the one who is busy. We meet at coffee places from time to time and that's good.

I have the time, yet I can find myself resentful of any intrusion. Even one that I am enjoying on some level. I think that says "recluse" all over it.

Mar. 17th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
Re: recluses together!
Well, maybe we're just ambivalent, or want to have our cake and eat it too.

I'm jealous of my free time--a real miser! I try to be there for the people I love as much as possible.

My priority is pretty basic--I want my free time to be as satisfying as possible.

While there are people I really love very much, I can't expect them to want to hang out with me only for the pleasure of our company, which I often believe is an excellent reason for people to get together, in and of itself.

But it's not realistic for me. Perhaps when I was 30 years younger, but for now it seems that there has to be some stated purpose to spend time with other people, other than just companionship.

Too much pressure for this One-Woman Enterprise!

*being reclusive*
Mar. 17th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Re: recluses together!
I think that's it, the ambivalence. I yearn for the companionship, imagine it in my mind, yet when I'm actually there I'm thinking of what else I could be doing. I do these things better when there is a time limit on them.

Of course that varies. I usually like being in the company of my daughters, no matter what we are doing, and what I seem to like best is sharing a meal or coffee with them, just enjoying each other.

And I usually enjoy being with my friend Dorothy, who is unique. What is interesting about her is that she is not plagued by the self-doubts that everyone else I know is. It's as if she just skipped that part when she was growing up. Which means that she asks questions out of curiosity and not because she has some sort of personal agenda. If I had not known her for a long time I would say a person like this could not exist.

In a way, Dorothy's MO means that she seems like she is separated in some way from others, even though she clearly cares about them. Somehow a lot of things do not touch her. IN the last few years I have seen some things start to penetrate and she has had doubts about things that she did over the years, doubts she had not thought to entertain before. Yet even with this her fundamental okayness with herself is not shaken, and that is really quite remarkable.

I mention Dorothy because I've found that most people I know have a tendency to look closely at friends and to feel some obligation to "suffer with them" or offer some sort of help when they don't seem 100%. I think most of us grow up thinking this is what friends do. Yet it is the last thing I want from a friend. I want someone on firm, equal ground, who shares experiences with me and laughs with me and may sympathize with me (Dorothy and I have found some intriguingly similar experiences in our lives) but in a way that causes more laughter than tears.

I have a couple of friends who immediately go into "sympathetic mode" if I mention something that has gone wrong in my life. I may be laughing over it and definitely be over it, yet they are still looking sad and saying "poor you". I can't take much of that.

I know what you mean about having a purpose. In my case, I dislike the telephone and tend to use it only when I have a specific purpose in mind. I was never one of those teens or adults who spent hours on the phone. Similarly, when I meet someone for coffee, even then it helps to have a reason. I will be meeting Dorothy for coffee next Monday and the general purpose is for us to catch up on matters of interest to both of us, things we've both been doing. Dorothy is a recluse also, by the way. Perhaps that's why we get along so well.

I'm certainly long-winded today, on this subject.

Mar. 18th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
Re: recluses together!
Dorothy sounds like an absolute treasure! No wonder you love her--you guys totally "get" each other. That is a very special quality.

As for the friends who lead with the "sympathy"--I've come to regard some of these as "concern trolls". They relate best to people in terms of being superior to them, and, as is the case with my former neighbor (whom I refer to as The Planet), can't just accept that we can simply wish to mention something that has happened that might be a snag or irritation, but that it has not actually led to our downfall or ruined our entire life--merely put a wrinkle in our day. Concern Trolls will seek to frame the discussion in terms of "helping" us, by pointing out things that they state should bother us more than they already do. Then the discussion gets framed around that "problem".

It's all about the drama. And control.

No wonder some of us have little use for it!
Mar. 18th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Re: recluses together!
...can't just accept that we can simply wish to mention something that has happened that might be a snag or irritation, but that it has not actually led to our downfall or ruined our entire life--merely put a wrinkle in our day

That's it exactly. The two friends I am thinking of now don't seem to do this from a feeling of superiority. Oddly, they both seem to "admire" me. That too is uncomfortable. One in particular is always saying "You're so generous", "THat's so smart", "I don't know how you do it", and it seems like she means that. It's difficult to have a straightforward, equal kind of conversation.

I had pretty much given up on this friend because she also has this weird way of not quite meeting commitments. We would agree to meet for coffee or to go hiking or whatever and when the time came she either no longer wanted to do it or simply wasn't available. As if she had erased the appointment, forgotten it. It doesn't seem deliberate, but it became really frustrating to me when I really tried to maintain our friendship. (I have to push myself to do things with friends.)

I saw her the other day when I went into a restaurant to pick up two burritos (you may recall my post about Paul and how he may not have any money; I was planning to bring home two burritos, spur-of-the-moment type thing, because I had not seen him eat anything meaningful in several days). I said no when K asked me to join her and her friend, but I sat down with them while I waited for my burritos. OUr conversation gravitated to Paul, and I mentioned that the reason I was not staying to eat was that I was bringing burritos home because it appeared that Paul had run out of money. She was all over that, about how generous I am. I had forgotten the way she reacts and again I felt she was putting me on a pedestal and I just hate it there. It's too much.
Mar. 19th, 2007 11:45 am (UTC)
Re: recluses together!
When I suggested that people behave as concern trolls as a means of taking advantage of a good person & creating drama where little or none exists, please understand that those with control issues are often behaving that way because they are themselves insecure.

There's a fine line.

Paul knew you were being generous & trying to make sure he was okay. You were not intrusive, nor were you trying to take control or create drama. Your generosity in that case was a matter between Paul & you. If your other friend comments that you were doing a generous thing, all fine & good, but the act was one that really only involved Paul & you.

*g* And I hope he liked the burrito!

Maybe I'm being too persnickity here *look of astonishment!*

But sometimes our instincts send us a clear signal when a comment or compliment seems to be out of place, even nothing was meant--just talking to be talking.

That's what you get from the communications major: Message sent does nnot always equal message received.

Entire curriculum based on that!

Give you an idea of why I have to deal with money problems & have difficulty making plans & keeping social commitments! *g*

Gotta bounce!

Mar. 19th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC)
I have been thinking about this incident and how Dorothy would have reacted if I'd mentioned Paul and my bringing him a burrito. I think she would have listened to what I said, listened for the "rest of the story", which was that I was being careful not to tell Paul that I had noticed his lack of money. And then she would have nodded, understanding. Dorothy is so straightforward that she would likely have asked Paul outright about money, which I did not do.

I am not at all sure I did the right thing, or am doing the right thing. I might do Paul more of a favor if I bring this elephant out in the open. But I'm trying to give him time to recover on his own. Eventually I know he will find his way.

Paul has been eating lately, spaghetti with canned sauce (he has changed from bottled to canned, which is cheaper), and I see no evidence of beer or cigarettes (he always smokes outside so I can't really verify that).

But that's another whole issue, obviously. It was how K took my simple act and generalized it: "You're so generous". I am thinking maybe that's it, the generalizing. I would not have had a problem if she'd said "That's nice of you".

Another aspect of my relationship with K that does not reflect to well on me: when we were being friends she was always commenting on how good I looked and admiring how I managed to keep active and not regain the great deal of weight I'd lost. That really made me uncomfortable. I knew that I could not be sure I would always be able to manage my weight well, that small slips could send me back where I was. Yet there I was dispensing advice when she asked.

Now I'm fat again and she's thinner. Another reason I didn't want to see her, just as I have not wanted to see a lot of people I only see occasionally.

As for communication. Boy, do I know what you mean - message sent, not necessarily received. Happens all the time. It seems to me that most of us respond to information with huge filters. What might be a simple statement of fact can become loaded with personal meaning to the person hearing it. I feel I am very good at actually hearing things, and when I don't quite understand the intent of the speaker I ask for clarification. And as for instincts, I have learned to trust mine. I used to override the little things that were red flags to me, telling myself that I was overreacting or didn't know enough or maybe I was behaving prejudicially. Now, though, I know I can sort out what matters and what doesn't without that much difficult.

Damn. Trouble with these posts is that I rattle on and don't edit and therefore they aren't as clear as I'd like. Yet I often feel I can't quite put it together, can't quite explain some things that I feel or believe. As if there are things in my brain that won't allow me to put it together right.

I love that you have been responding so generously to this post.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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