We live in a very lonely society. You exercise alone in your living room to a video tape. You watch your shows at night. Your husband doesn't even sit with you anymore, he's upstairs surfing the web. Family time for dinner? Oh no, this is when everyone dashes from their part of the house, grabs a plate of food, and runs back before the commercial is over, or before the instant messenger can switch to "away", or before the screen saver comes on.
It wasn't like this when I was growing up. We lived in a small town outside of Calgary, AB called Strathmore. We knew all the neighbors on our block, and I was on first name status with the librarian and the ice cream man. We didn't have a TV or a computer, so if you were bored you broke out the Monopoly board and did your best to convince as many people as you could that Monopoly wasn't another word for monotonous.
When I graduated from High School, it was 1994. I spent the first few years of "adulthood" boarding with families and working minimum wage jobs or going to college. My main goal in life was to "get my own place" so I could relax, have my own space, and do my own thing. I accomplished that in a matter of four years and all of sudden I was incredibly lonely for the first time in my life. I was the oldest of five kids, and my mom was a screamer. I didn't know what "quiet" meant. And I MISSED the chaos, because it meant comraderie and laughter! So my younger brother moved in with me to help share the cost of living bills, and that helped a lot. His friends were fresh out of highschool and ready to party hardy. Then a year passed and they all became responsible and I was lonely again. All my friends were either married, going to college full time, or having babies. Nobody had time to be a friend any longer.
I craved companionship, so I got married too. That meant picking up and moving out of the country and across the continent. That meant starting new friendships. It was the same thing all over again, different place. Everyone is too busy to be friends. I tried inviting people over, inviting myself over, suggesting we get together, I even smiled! Nothing worked, and I was more lonely than before.
So, I had a baby. I was sure now there would be other mothers out there who would want to be friends with me and fulfill the lonely ache inside. Somebody to share jokes with, exchange recipes, go walking with, laugh over our baby's antics. It was not to be. All the other mothers work full time and don't have time to be friends. The ones that don't work outside of the home are starting home businesses or have three times more kids than me, and are pregnant with morning sickness.
So now what? I joined the La Leche League. I joined Weight Watchers. I joined Mothers of Pre-Schoolers. Do I have any friends to do things with? If I'm lonely is there anyone to call? NO. It's a very lonely age.
I'll freely admit I'm a bit narotic about some things my husband does that drive me crazy. Nose picking, not washing his hands after going to the bathroom, leaving laundry on the floor a mere inch from the laundry basket, leaving the toilet lid up, and last but not least, squeaky chairs. My husband is a rocker and by that I mean he is compelled by some inner force to rock back and forth whether or not the chair he's sitting in was ever intended to rock. It's not so much the constant movement that irritates me, and it does, but more the fact that his body's center of gravity sets the chair off kilter in a matter of minutes and a chair that has been perfectly squeakless for me for months on end suddenly develops a squeak. Not just any squeak. A high pitched, headache inducing squeak that makes my mind fry. Makes me want to come unglued and tear the chair from leg to leg. Or my husband. Either will do. Believe it or not, I'm not a violent person. I'm non-confrontational, sweet even, but squeaky chairs trigger some inner sense of insanity that make me want to become violent.