Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Antisocial

Warning: This might be a rant.

I think I am getting old or something. I kind of hate going out at night anymore. Especially when I have to drive for 45 minutes to get to where I am going. My trip home, not quite so long, since it was no longer rush hour, seemed  incredibly long enough and when I pulled into my driveway and saw my own front door I almost cried with relief. Tonight it was a meeting of an art quilt group I have belonged to forever, but somehow I always feel just a little at odds with. At one point, as one of the members was showing a very serious and well-meaning and full-of-meaning piece, she picked up a sheet of paper and started reading a long quote about people dying on doorsteps and man's inhumanity to man and the deep and powerful lessons of her quilt, I really, really wanted to stick out my tongue, pantomime being strangled by a rope and collapse out of my chair onto the floor. Of course I am far too polite to do any such thing.
I am also so polite that I apologize when someone else should have, and I bite my tongue and resent.  (Long story, too stupid to repeat.) Anyway, my own front door and my porch light was about the best thing I have seen all evening. I went inside, poured a glass of wine and visited with Ray, who I hadn't seen since the crack of dawn, about his day. He started a new consulting job today and it is good. I reported on my day with our granddaughter which was perfect. We talked about theater tickets. My mood began to dissolve away. I was reminded of a time, so many years ago, when my son was a teenager. He had a date with a very pretty, but very demanding young suburban princess. To our surprise he rolled in about 10 o'clock. I asked why he was home so early. He said, "I decided I'd rather be with people who are nice to me."  I also remembered a friend who once told me, "It doesn't matter where you go, there is someone there waiting to make you crazy."
Sometimes it so good just to come home.

30 comments:

  1. Andy Grant2:19 AM

    Mom, I remember this "suburban princess" (Roxanne). I don't remember that exact time, but I believe it happened... You told me after the fact exactly how you felt about her. As far as wanting to be home, I hear ya... Love you, Ma :)

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  3. There are times when I'm reading through quilting blogs when the authors are telling me how important their work is that I just roll my eyes (they can't see so it's not impolite, right?) Thanks for sharing all you do, without pretension.

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  4. You have made so many good points with this post.

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  5. I feel your pain. I used to feel the same way about meetings at work. Now I don't work, I'm retired, and I love staying home.

    What a nice note from your son. Lucky mom.

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  6. This post was so timely. I am teaching at a retreat ths weekend and have already identified "the person waiting to drive me crazy". I will keep my own front porch in mind. Thanks

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  7. When we can choose where to spend our time, it seems silly to invest ourselves in activities that don't make a difference either in ourselves or in someone else.
    I love the note from your son. My kids read my blog and comment sometimes. I'm thrilled that they take the time.

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  8. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Love it!!
    Beth

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  9. Couldn't agree more. Smart son too!

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  10. I was there and I was feeling your pain. I thought it was painful, too. Of course, being the extrovert, it just gets me going.

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  11. One thing I have learned doing a college textiles course is how to take any piece of art, in any medium, and expound at length on the deep meaning that the artist clearly intended to convey.
    A great many artists' statements are complete twaddle, but I think some people feel their art will be taken more seriously if they can explain the depths of soul which drive it.
    Or maybe I'm just an old cynic.

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  12. I hate all that esoteric language (and I have a Master's in an art-related field). Bottom line on any artwork, quilt or otherwise, is does it grab me visually? You can write a book about it and if it bores me visually, it will still bore me visually. Seems to me all that pretentious drivel is there to attempt to justify the existence of the piece it is being written about, whether the artwork is any good or not.

    Wendy in Louisiana, where the past 2 local guild meetings have been the guild meeting from Hell. I feel your pain!

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  13. Anonymous9:58 AM

    I think our age does have something to do with it. I find myself becoming more of a hermit. I'd much rather spend time creating at home than with some pretentious sort. I do love my time with good friends though, so I'm not a complete reprobate. Time seems to be a precious commodity and how we spend it becomes more dear.

    Jean S

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  14. I went to a sewing group meeting in which the lady next to me refused to say a single word to me and only talked about her kid to the group leader. All playgroups, snacks and what schools, favorite crayons etc. Nothing at all about the activity that brought us together. Longest freakin' 2.5 hours of my life.

    Another recent class was filled with the empty nattering of a person chatting to herself the entire time. In the third person.

    Days like that, my current disaster of a sewing room is so much nicer than being with others.

    I refuse to call it 'old' - it's being choosy about one's time.

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  15. I've attended meeting and listened to speakers droning on and on. I've often thought, "Am I the only one that thinks this is nonsense?" But I don't speak up or make faces because I am too polite.

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  16. Like you, I am almost resentful of things that take me away from home at night. I was so glad when a meeting was canceled last night, giving me several hours of unexpected free time and eliminating an hour of night-time driving.

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  17. Count me in the league of people who don't like to go out at night. It's not the driving so much as the inertia.

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  18. In the words of the immortal Dorothy Parker: If you can't say anything nice, come sit by me.

    And what I always say about art encrusted with deep meanings: If you wanna send a message, use Western Union.

    Meetings at night are more worthwhile if lots of alcohol is involved.

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  19. I am also finding that as I get older I enjoy being in the sanctuary of my home vs venturing outside. Good conversation and a glass of wine shared with loved ones is precious.

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  20. I agree! Love Melody's comment! Any meeting with good wine is worth it!

    Hugz

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  21. It's good to rant every once in a while. It's been a while since I've gotten a good earful of Art School BS, but I still feel your pain. I suspect more people see through it than let on since we are all so polite and professional. ;-) I often wonder if I'd get farther if I added more esoteric language (carefully tailored to the venue of course) but I know I'd be rolling my eyes and pantomiming barfing at myself! As for leaving teh house, I'm on teh inertia train with Revalani! Why leave such a wonderful place?

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  22. Don't mind the odd bit of art with deep meanings - but not art with long footnotes: if it needs that much excess information it's not doing its job! Not surprised you ended up grumpy. Really identified with this post.

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  23. For me, the most important part of your post was that your porch light was on and there was someone at home waiting for you (and the glass of wine, of course!) Loved your son's comment, too.

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  24. I so understand, Terry, and I'm glad you posted about your feelings. I have reflected on this lately -- how some times I have such low tolerance for inconsiderate or pretentious people, or those types who are all about THEM all of the time. It's exhausting and annoying and even downright painful at times. Sometimes --when I'm at my best, i guess, it seems funny to me, or sometimes it rolls right past me... at other times, I have no tolerance left and I want to scream. I guess it's all the more important to surround yourself with people who make you feel good and care about you, who treat you kindly and lovingly, to balance out those others.

    A few weekends ago I attended an art quilt meeting where someone got up and said that she had dyed a piece of fabric that was just SO beautiful that she had to write a poem about it. And she didn't bring the fabric to show, but instead read the poem. I had attended the meeting with two friends, one of whom I don't know all that well....and at the announcement of the poem to come, I turned to see how my new friend was reacting and she looked at me and mimicked a gag. I felt so much better.

    I hope getting this off of your chest helped a bit -- and that it helps to know that you are SO not alone.

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  25. I could just envision you gagging and sliding out of your chair onto the floor, stiff-legged and feet splayed out! LOL
    Isn't it nice that we have someones we enjoy coming home to and sharing the events of the day with. We are indeed lucky girls!
    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels as you do!

    xo

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  26. I slept on it before posting. I totally know how you feel, and all the wine in the world won't help, not even just a little. I want to surround myself with positive upbeat people. But there is always one or even two that seem to squeeze in that are just too much one way to tip the scales of complaints, negativity, and downright "I don't want to be in the same room as you." Argh. Just stay home is what I say, or I will. You go girl!

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  27. I have belonged to or attended several groups in my quilting life and I too have resented driving long distances at night and at day) for little sustenance. In fact, it was after deciding not to persevere with some associations that I received Diane's invitation for Twelve by Twelve. I've never looked back!

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  28. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for this stuff and the people who do it. It's art for pete's sake and I want it to excite me visually and a little backstory is fine, but not a essay at 9:00 at night. They need to get blogs! LOL!

    I feel your pain and your ambivalence about sharing it!

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  29. "Apologizing when someone else should have" is one of the niceties of life in England - polite people are always saying "sorry" when someone else bumps into them, to the point where the word has taken on a different meaning, in those situations at least. It becomes a reflex.
    Who said "Hell is other people" - they were right!

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