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sociability

I'm at Bauhaus again. I like this place for a bunch of reasons. It has a neat two-level layout that's good for people-watching. It feels comfortable for hanging out for a few hours. It's in a good location on Capitol Hill, although parking's a problem when I drive here and taking the bus isn't that convenient. The baristas are generally playing good music. They make a good hot chocolate and during the day at least usually have Top Pot doughnuts. And, as I mentioned last week, there are lots of good-looking women on the Hill, which for me is a substantial part of the people-watching enjoyment.

I'm at home a lot, especially since starting freelance work, but even before that I'd be home alone more often than not. So spending a few hours in public feels like being social to me, even if I spend that time on my computer and don't talk to the other people around me.

This is one thing I have against watching TV as an activity - it feels unsocial to me, even though you can talk during commercials or even during the show if it's not particularly involving. To me, watching TV or films is similar to reading - if it's at all worth my time, then it requires my full attention, which means I'm not interacting with other people, which means I might as well do it by myself. Going out to the movies, however, is a social activity - it's a specific event of limited duration, like going to a concert or a play, and you discuss it afterward. So along those lines, I'm sometimes okay with watching a specific TV show with friends as a social activity, but I hate sitting around the living room with a TV on just for "watching TV".

(The other thing I have against watching TV is its general inanity, particularly that of commercials. Similarly, I'm coming to really hate going to the movies simply because I hate sitting through the asinine trailers.)

This feeling of sociability is why I also tend to view bars wistfully, at least when I'm walking past by myself. They make me wish I were out with a group of my friends, just hanging out in public having a good time. I'm not just tired of being lonely, I've been tired of being lonely for years now.

I've been fortunate to have great friends all my life, even in elementary school when I was teased a lot for being different and temperamental. I still have great friends. So it seems odd and wrong that I'd still be longing for companionship so much.*

Incidentally, I'm smiling at myself, a bit ruefully, a bit mockingly, as I write this melodrama. I'm serious, but I'm not taking myself that seriously. Just to go for the full-on LJ high-school-level drama, self-absorption, and pretentiousness, let's throw a deep meaningful song quote in here: "This is no social crisis / Just another tricky day for you." Ooooh, deep...

Coming back around to the good-looking women, they make me mopey because they represent to me the companionship I feel I'm lacking. Not just romance, having a particular woman to be dating, but also the general sociability of being out on the town with friends. This is particularly true on a Friday night, when there are so many groups of women (and men) walking by, dressed up fancy (well, for Seattle), heading out to the bars and clubs. Instead of being cool, content with myself and all the things going well in my life, and enjoying the simple pleasure of seeing a pretty lady, I get all caught up in the lack, the longing, the loneliness. This isn't particularly good or healthy. As I mentioned last week, I need to work on working on other things.

Sociability's also a reason for going out to concerts regularly. Even though again I don't make an effort to talk to other people at shows, I still generally feel better just being out among people. And when a show's good, it makes me happy, it makes me not care about being by myself because that show was awesome, it was so great to see them and I have that experience to treasure. Sure it'd be great to share that experience with someone, but I don't need someone else's presence in order to enjoy it for myself. Much like reading a good book, as it happens. Or watching a good show or film, for that matter.

Since I've brought up going to concerts, I should mention that Farida came with me to see Sons and Daughters on Tuesday, and I am grateful for her company as well as glad that I could bring her out for a fun event. Also, now that I've been volunteering with KEXP, I'm starting to make new friends, and we sat with a couple of those friends at the show, which was also a good thing. I've been going to a lot more concerts lately simply because there've been a lot of good bands in town, but it's certainly crossed my mind to deliberately plan on attending more than one concert a month instead of catching more than one only when there happens to be more than one I want to see.

All right, it's approaching 1 am (the posted time is when I started), Bauhaus is closing shortly, and it's past time I get home. And hey, I still haven't started watching season 4 of Battlestar Galactica, which is available for free on SciFi's website - but the first episode of the season should be dropping off the page next week, so I'd better get started. Enough with the non-social sociability, time for some solitary Internet-based TV watching...

*Afterthought: I should've mentioned, too, that I actually spent the afternoon playtesting an RPG with some friends, and then went to dinner with the Dowlers before going to Bauhaus. So this whole melodramatic mediation on loneliness and sociability really seems out of place considering how I'd just spent hours being social. But hey, it's what I was thinking about, what I've been thinking about a lot.

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