Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Virtues Of Solitude

Maybe it was twelve years with a man who found professional wrestling fascinating entertainment and who otherwise always had to be Doing Something, Anything -- as long as it didn't involve staying home and making the house better. Maybe it's memories of the halcyon days of summers long past, when all I had to do were a few simple chores and the rest of the day could be spent with a book and a mug of tea. Maybe it's my nature.

Whatever. I like visitors; I adore my friends and it's fun to go and to do. But though I wouldn't miss that for all the world, I have a very keen appreciation of keeping my own company and weathering my own tempers.

Woke this morning in a fairly foul mood: you wake to find a cat has yakked on your quilt for the third day -- and third quilt -- in a row.[1] And yet, until I brush up against the world in the form of my alarm clock going off long after I am vertical or my grrrdammit cellphone once again tripping into "camera" mode from the lightest of touches on the ill-located shutter button,[2] I have only the slightest awareness of my own irritability. Unbothered, with my book, coffee and oatmeal ready to hand, I'm as a serene as a mandarin contemplating the jewel in the lotus.[3] I like my own company. I enjoy being able to spend the whole morning in a robe doing simple household chores, pausing to read when it suits me.

I've had way too much experience with loneliness to discount the virtues of friendship but I'm finding great comfort in having time to myself, too. I don't have to simulate a good (or at least civil) mood. I can mutter, "Howlin' ijts," or far, far worse at the toob when it goes off to wake me[4] and say bad words about the various trivial obnoxii[5] that characterize a weekend mornin' here in the shirker's paradise without being drawn into a bogus discussion of "what's wrong." Nothin's wrong; I'm unwinding.

One of the worst effects the do-gooder Left has had on civil discourse is the damfool notion that there's something wrong with being a bit of a curmudgeon from time to time; we're all expected to reflect the spaced-out bliss of a minor starlet (made up, coiffed and dressed to the nines in artificial materials and synthetic fabrics) expressing her deep love'n'respect for The Earth on an afternoon chat show and if we can't or won't, we're supposed to trot off to have our square heads hammered into the Socially Approved round hole. Well, forget that. Gruff and annoyed behavior was once the prerogative of adults and it still should be. In that tiny part of the world I run, it is. Some mornings, I am the great mother of all dogs and if poked at, I will growl.

It doesn't mean I am discontented. I rather doubt my ire will outlast the dawn but it's mine and I'm gonna enjoy it all by myself!

1. He's ill. I know what the problem is and he's being treated. It does not make dealing with the effects any nicer and neither does his choice of, "Look, Ma, I'm sick," locations.
2. I don't care how cheap or easy it is do do, I don't want a g-dd-mn camera in my telephone. Try and buy one without; all of the cheap ones have A) no way to turn the stupid thing off and B) a shutter button in an easily-bumped place. I'm about ready to open up the phone and yank the sonuva' right out.
3. Is it wrong that this sounds like a euphemism to me? Sheesh, dude, get a date!
4. I'm often stinting myself on sleep, which makes for a real battle to wake up. The television goes off first, followed ten minutes later by the cellphone, followed by the bedside alarm clock ten minutes after that, followed by the cellphone twice, one almost the same time as the clock and the next fifteen minutes later. Some mornings even that is barely enough, especially late in a week of several short nights. Clever? No.
5. I made it up but if ever there was a word that deserved to be, that's it.


Who is..... Carteach0? said...

Gregarious loner...

A phrase I've only ever used for one person besides myself.

Now, that makes two.

Very few people can be happy with themselves... cranky or not. Most need outside validation.

I erased the rest of what I just wrote... too damn mushy.

Turk Turon said...

“The Virtues of Solitude”
. .
Amen to that!
_ _
I enjoy company, but sometimes I need to “cleanse the palate” and get some ‘lonetime.
. .
And I enjoy ‘lonetime, but then I need to …
. . .
You get the idea.
. . .
And I need it when I need it. Can’t predict when. God, I wish I could!
_ . _ _
Some of the best times of my life have been spent with exhilarating company, and some of the best times have been spent camping alone. Flyfishing and smoking a cigar. Working a Cuban station on SSB from a tree stump in a national forest. Reading. Mountain biking. Turkey hunting. Running. Or watching “Brief Encounter” for like the zillionth time.
_ _ _
And I could also list the wonderful times I have spent with friends.
. . _
And in a related story, my cat “went into reverse” on the living room rug Christmas morning. Too much holiday catnip! Honest!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

that's a word or two strung together. and a good read.

Tam said...

I've previously considered color-matching the kibble to my carpet...

Will said...

I'm thinking 5 min epoxy for the camera button. Either build a fence around it, or glue it solid. Been pondering this problem too long. Why the idiots couldn't put in a software lock on the external button puzzles me. Probably too logical.

As for the cat spots, have you considered using a small shampoo extraction nozzle with a wet/dry vac?
The vacuum repair/supply stores should carry it as a replacement part. Mine is made by Bissel. I use it for the small or tight areas. Very useful for car seats and carpet. Use a spray bottle or can of carpet shampoo, and a spray bottle of water afterwards to rinse. Handy for spills or flooding, too.

Roberta X said...

Alas, Will, his idea of a clear message is hit the quilt, quietly, while I sleep. It's cleanable, just very icky.

Carpets I have not, nor will I: they're not a good mix with cats and pretty much nobody can keep them actually clean. (There's a whole essay, no, rant in there).

Roberta X said...

es btw: R, 'rio.

Will said...

Actually, I really meant AUTO carpets there. For those times when a drink hits the floor, for instance. Watch those alum cans. They are now MUCH thinner metal, and consequently more fragile. Had a can of iced tea spring a leak while rolling around the floor of my car.

phlegmfatale said...

Hear! Hear! Even the people I love most in life will drive me nuts if we have too much together time. I HAVE to have some alone time or I nearly go nuts. Dunno why that is, but it is. Maybe it's that everyone I love, sooner or later, will ruffle my feathers. Here's to smooth feathers.