Monday, October 26, 2015

Too Cool For You

It happens when I, an overgrown woman, will get questioned as to my "friends," in a manner that my kinfauna would be (example: "Do you have friends?" just because I moved years ago. Hello, meet phones and internet, today's options for connection). Indubitably, if I was married, I would not be fielding inquiries as to my social life; but these are trials older singles must navigate. 

Besides for my introverted nature which finds light chit-chat incomprehensible, and for the fact that most females my age are paired up, the difficulty in acquiring new friends lies in this Modern Love piece by Emma Court
Mass media has a fascination with hookup culture among people around my age (21) meriting in-depth investigations and contentious opining about what it all means. But they often miss a simple fact: There’s nothing particularly new about trying to avoid getting hurt.
It’s just that my generation has turned this avoidance into a science, perfecting the separation of the physical from the emotional. We truncate whenever possible: texting over calling, meeting over apps rather than in person. We leave in the early morning without saying goodbye. Being casual is cooler than intimacy and vulnerability. Or so we think.
Having the last word was once a sign of one’s wit and smarts. It meant that your comment had gravitas and staying power. But today, having the last word is the ultimate in weakness: It means being the person who doesn’t merit an answer. Better to leave them hanging than risk the same happening to you. Keep it shallow so your heart isn’t on the line.
Being aware of all this does not grant immunity from its effects. . . 
This sounds awfully like when I attempt to cultivate an acquaintance into a friend. It is a delicate dance, prancing between supposed non-desperation and blatant interest. Was she laughing at my joke only to be polite? That would explain why she took a week to answer my text. Never mind, I don't have the energy for this anymore, I'll watch some TV instead.

Low self-esteem, I think, is today's dragon that requires slaying. But George needs a nap after playing message tag, overanalyzing "lol"s with a potential new pal.  


Altie said...

Love this. And totally in the same boat. Having just moved to a new city only enhances it. People will ask if I'm making new friends and I remind them that I have some friends back in new York and I'm not really in the market for new friends, thanks for asking. But this past Shabbos I ended up at a meal with 3 other single girls around my age and suddenly my mind screamed "friends! They can be your friend". So I was nervous, how much to reveal about myself so soon, would they think I'm weird, or reject me, it was high school all over again. But then I realized what we all have in common: being single. So I mentioned dating and that became our common ground. Although going home after and reading a book was a relief. I can't keep up the charm all the time.

Mr. Cohen said...

I humbly suggest that if you need more friends, you should pray to HASHEM for more friends. May G_d grant your prayer!


Princess Lea said...

Altie: OMG, were we separated at birth? Same here! A fellow introvert (contrary to popular belief, introverts are not shy hermits; they are more sensitive to stimuli and need a break from humanity at some point. I heartily recommend "Quiet" by Susan Cain. Although I'm not quiet and an introvert)!

If the table is single, dating will always manufacture conversation. Everyone has a bad date story that they love to share. My friend got married a year ago, and it turns out we had no other conversation other than bad date stories! Now we have nothing to say to each other. Ha.

Altie said...

Someone recently pointed out to me that I may not be anti social as I once thought, but that I'm an introvert and suddenly it made so much sense. Although for some reason introvert seems to have a negative connotation in that most mass shooters are quiet introverts. And extroverts are far more popular.

Oh so you don't want to hear all about your married friend's lives and kids? Cuz that seems to be the theme.

Princess Lea said...

Introverts are actually almost 50% of the population. Many people are introverts but they don't know it. It's not that we don't like to socialize, we can't do it indefinitely because we find it tiring, like dancing. I wrote a post about the book:

Yes, most mass shooters are quiet introverts, but they also suffer from something else. And plenty of extroverts are murderers, if that's any comfort. :P

It turns out that neither of us has anything interesting going on besides dinner and work. Bad date stories was our shared interest.