Ponder this:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Basically, a hermit

Every now and then somebody blogs about fun times meeting other bloggers. 
"We've known each other so long without meeting that 
it felt very natural to sit down and have lunch and catch up." 
or
"So nice to have a voice to go with the person I already knew!"
I like you all very much but I don't want to take a road trip and meet you in the middle or come to your town and meet you or have you come to mine and meet me. I don't even much enjoy getting together with people I've known forever, to whom I wouldn't be embarrassed to say, "You have a little speck of pepper on your front tooth."  If you and I could meet in a scenic pull-off on a road somewhere, or in a parking lot, get out of our cars, look at each other from ten feet away, and say, "Well! So that's how tall you are!" and get back in our vehicles and go on our way, that would be fine with me. 
I don't think I'm shy anymore the way I was in my younger years, but I am not a chatter. I can email with anybody all day long, but to have to speak, actually speak, with somebody while I'm still getting used to his or her voice . . . well, it just takes a while for me to absorb somebody's presence to the point that I could actually converse. Email allows me to, without a word of explanation, get up and refill my water glass, wander outside, visit the bathroom, move the laundry from washer to dryer, and not insult my companion. I think almost anybody would feel a little odd if I did any of that in the middle of a face-to-face conversation.
I used to be a switchboard operator. It was my first real job and I spoke with people all over the country. It was a lot of fun, and I became very friendly with some of those people. But I never wanted to get together and go shopping with them. It just isn't my style. Neither the getting together nor the shopping, alone or with anybody, either one. All the years that I waited tables . . . I developed real relationships with some of my customers, but the interaction stayed (with one disastrous exceptionwithin the restaurant, hardly even extending to the parking lot,  should we see each other entering or exiting our vehicles. I couldn't indefinitely support the waitress persona outside the diningroom.
Besides all that, you all already know more about me than any six people with whom I might interact on a daily basis. Why meet?


So if you're planning a trip to this part of the country, let me know when you'll be here. 
I'll come out and stand by the side of the road and wear a red fleece shirt, so you'll know it's me. I'll wave as you go by, and we can say we met. Maybe the next time you're in the area we could actually exchange a few words.

21 comments:

rachel said...

That made me laugh. I have met some other bloggers, but not in the scalp-hunting way that I've come across in some people, and with mixed success. I tend not to any more. Anyway, a wave across the ocean to you (I'm the one in the black fleece, with hair so far uncombed today, about to go and put the kettle on). Nice to meet you.

VioletSky said...

Very funny. And most relatable. I was actually having such a conversation with a friend last night (on the phone, another place I hate to 'chatter') about how I tend to do so many activities on my own. It sometimes gets a little dull and I wish to have someone to share the experience with, but then I think about how I would have to talk to them - in the car, during a meal, afterwards in the car again... it exhausts me just to think about that part!

threecollie said...

Bwahahaha, me too, somewhat. I keep getting invited to do speaking engagements, sometimes even for money. And I tell them, "but I am shy and don't talk."
They never believe me.
It's true though.
That being said, I have met a few bloggers and love them. As nice, no nicer even, in person than they are in print.

liZZie said...

Well now, I think you and I have a fair amount in common but don't need to meet up to exchange that bit of insight. H o w e v e r , Rachel and I met through blogging and she moved down south nearly 400miles and now lives round the corner, and we were introduced by another blogger who thought we had a lot in common who I met once. Another good friend of mine these last three years is a woman I met through blogging and lives in the area to where I moved. May be because we are a group of single women, widowed, divorced, whatever, we know we do have to have some friends with whom we can do some mutual watching out for, but like you I am not one for small talk or the amassing of lots of friends. Bet you just knew this post would get some other anti social types creeping from out the woodwork.

Mac n' Janet said...

Amen! I like most people in the abstract and don't want to be disillusioned by reality.

Olga said...

I understand completely.

DJan said...

Virtual friends are a lot less work than skin friends, I've noticed. I have met a few fellow bloggers but we haven't changed our basic relationship. I had to laugh at your description of multitasking...

Grandmother said...

This one made me laugh. Good for you for knowing your likes and dislikes and saying them. That said, I do have some blog friends that I would like to meet. I'm in Italy and have offered space for those blogosphere travelers. Sounds like fun to me although I can see it would not work for you. Different strokes for different folks. But thanks for the chuckle.

Carolynn said...

I get this. I have loner tendencies too. Oddly, enough, I tend to do the hopping up & down thing to attend to laundry, stir a pot, etc., when I have guests. So, it probably wouldn't bother me if you did it. ...But, I'm not sure I buy the whole thing....I've read your posts where you relate these wonderful stories about meeting complete strangers and having the most wonderful and interesting conversations with them. Even, going so far as to invite them into your house and drive them home later.

Don't worry, your secret's safe with me. When I plan a trip to your neck of the woods, I'll call you Jane and you can call me Karen, and we'll get along just fine.

Rubye Jack said...

This is such a great post! I'm so very much like you. I am quite happy with email and no longer even have a phone. I'm no good at chatter but do enjoy talking about ideas. You've expressed my sentiments exactly.

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

Great post, and exactly how I feel. Congratulations for having the courage to express your convictions. Dianne

Linda Myers said...

Love it! I have met two of my blogging friends. Like DJan says, it doesn't change the basic relationship, which is nice because why would I want to meet them if I didn't like them as bloggers?

Thanks for the heads up, though. When I'm traveling to your area, I'll let you know via blog and then wave generally in your direction as we drive by.

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Looks like I will just have to turn up at your door lost then, like Melinda did, ask if you can point the way back to the UK!...........its ok im ducking just choking I mean joking, you do make me laugh with your candidness (is that even a word). I waver between really wanting to meet up with people, but when it gets to be a reality I run the other way.........we are all so strange and complicated, I thought life would get less complicated as I became older and it seems to me its the exact opposite.
Glad that you have it sussed though, good to know where one stands, especially if you have a clear view all around.

#1Nana said...

I feel mostly the same way. I am socially anxious when out of my comfort zone and meeting strangers is well outside the zone. However, there's a part of me who thought ...but, she'd really like me!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

This made me laugh! Loved it! I am a bit more social and would be thrilled if a fellow blogger showed up at my door -- though that's a long shot since people don't tend to travel to these parts (rural Arizona) much.
But I understand your feelings. My husband is much more of a recluse and my parents were even more so. When I was a kid still at home, my parents would panic if they got a call that someone was coming over and they'd start yelling at us to clean the house. My brother and I used to do emergency housecleaning while quoting a line from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?": "We're having guests, god dammit! Guests!"

knutty knitter said...

I don't think there is much chance of being in the neighbourhood - New Zealand is a little off the beaten track!

Anyhow, then I will know altogether too much rather too fast - I prefer to know people a little at a time just in case I don't actually like them.

viv in nz

Morning Bray Farm said...

You made me laugh too. Don has started telling me more and more that I'm becoming a hermit these days. I'd rather talk to the donkeys, ducks and goats than to most people.

Barb said...

Pretty much a loner here - but I do love my handful of "real" friends - though I don't spend a lot of time chattering with them on the phone, and we meet only sporadically. I've also met a couple of my Blog friends, and we've had a pleasant visit, and still parted as Blog friends... I actually enjoy animals as company because they're thrilled with you whatever you do or say and you don't really have to exhibit any social skills. As usual, I like your candor, June!

Vicki Lane said...

What a terrific post! Blog friends are wonderful -- you don't have to dress up for them -- and I don't feel the need to meet either. Occasionally I do meet one - at a book signing or such -- and it's fun. Actually, my blog friends know lots more about my daily life than my long time 'real' friends (unless they read my blog too.

Retired English Teacher said...

Too funny! You expressed what a lot of others were probably feeling but afraid to admit. What shade of red shirt will you have on? ;)

June said...

RET, it will be BRIGHT RED. I will look like a Great Big McIntosh APPLE.