A thread for those of us who are alone this weekend
I have no family any more, last boyfriend died four years ago, and I'm pretty much alone. It doesn't bother me most of the time, but holiday weekends are weird, just because we've all been so socialized to think holidays must be spent with other people.
I'd love to hear about what some other people who are alone do to keep themselves happy and busy (or not busy, if that makes them happy). Me, I end up watching some of the cable tv shows I haven't seen. Maybe read a book. Spend more time than usual on Datalounge. What's something else I can do?
|by Bob in Boston||reply 40||11/24/2012|
I'll just be surfing the internet all Christmas, maybe do some cleaning. It's depressing hearing the Christmas music in stores now. I'd take a nice long walk, but I don't want people to see I'm alone. I'm right there with you, Bob. Luckily it will be over before we know it.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 1||11/23/2012|
I can't believe you don't have any friends to hang out with - you live in a city. I think there's more to this story OP.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 2||11/23/2012|
I think far more people are alone on holidays than most of us realize. But even if you're with someone it doesntean that you can't be really lonely. The loneliest years of my life were when I had a boyfriend who was cold and distant.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 3||11/23/2012|
R2 many people who are alone have friends, but those friends have their own family obligations during the holidays that usually don't include their friends.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 4||11/23/2012|
I'm so impressed that you've posted because there are a lot of us in your same position. Me, I live on the other side of the country and flying to be with my family for a few days isn't cost effective. Most of my friends in my new town have children and family obligations, so I spend holidays alone or with a lot of folks I really don't have very much in common with. I have to say: be good to yourself, watch whatever TV shows/movies YOU love, cook or take yourself out to eat at your favorite places, spend the entire day in your pjs and feel no guilt. Or drunk dial your friends and family whom you can't be with. ;) You can't imagine how many people are jealous of those of us who can do whatever the hell we want too on big holidays.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 5||11/23/2012|
I agree with the poster about the Christmas music. Some years are harder than others. I went to a store Wednesday that had all Christmas music, and it brought back a lot of really bad memories. I know that sounds selfish and terrible, but when one of your most recent Christmas memories includes sitting in a hospice waiting for somebody to die, all alone with a person in a coma who can't talk to you and you don't know if they even know you're there, and none of your family will come and sit with you because they can't be bothered, it's a bummer.
This year I'm trying to put it behind me and be cheerful and enjoy the holiday. We'll see how it goes.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 6||11/23/2012|
I'm about to leave on a road trip to one of my favorite places in a few minutes. Have a 5 hour drive. I will stop in a couple of small towns along the way, have lunch.
I'm into photography, so I'm planning on taking photos all weekend. Going hiking etc.
There's not much in the way of shopping in the town I'm staying in for the next two nights.
I'll drive home along another route Sunday evening.
If I was staying home, I'd be attacking all of the household projects I've been avoiding like raking leaves, cleaning out closets, going through my wardrobe and tossing/donating stuff that doesn't fit, or is worn out or I no longer wear.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 7||11/23/2012|
You could also do volunteer work.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 8||11/23/2012|
Having a dog helps me not feel as alone during times like these. No matter how much I want to hide, I still have to take her out for a walk a couple of times a day. She doesn't care if it's Thanksgiving or Christmas. She's happy I'm here, all the same.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 9||11/23/2012|
Maybe, next time, you could invite other people who are also alone and have a party.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 10||11/23/2012|
Well here's what you missed out in my world. I spent the day with my partners family. His parents are lovely. His brother and sister in-law are bigots. So are their three children age 16 14 and 10. They are all rude obnoxious self centered people. The 14 year old plops her fat ass next to me at every gathering. Yesterday she used the word Fag a few times at the dinner table. We are supposed to tolerate it. If something is said the tears come out and we are scolded for arguing with a 14 year old. My partners brother and sister in-law say oh "that's so gay!" And oh "what a fag!" Over and over and over. I am done. So is my partner. Anywhere else we would have had a nice day. I enjoy his parents but the others are intolerable. They are easily capable of bringing out the worst in people and I simply don't want to spend a holiday like that. They constantly yell and scream at each other, and when they get tired of that who knows who is next. Thanksgiving '12 is a new beginning. No more. DONE.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 11||11/23/2012|
R11 why don't his parents say anything?
|by Bob in Boston||reply 12||11/23/2012|
Hey R6 I hope you are feeling better. What a terrible situation to go through.
As much as Datalounge is bitchy and cruel, it's can also be very supportive and understanding. For a lot of us, Datalounge is the social gathering we don't have in our non-virtual life. I come here whenever I feel lonely and I suspect that many others do too.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 13||11/23/2012|
I grew up in a large family. Half of them have already passed on. And I'm still young. We had great holiday traditions. But I prefer to be alone now. It's just no fun anymore.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 14||11/23/2012|
[quote]Thanksgiving '12 is a new beginning. No more. DONE.
Good for you and don't let anyone guilt trip you into putting yourself through that again.
Next time throw your own Thanksgiving and invite people who appreciate you. That family sounds so trashy.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 15||11/23/2012|
R12 I honestly think they don't know what to say, as well as embarrassed. My partner had a difficult time coming out because of his family. The parents just want everyone to be together and have a nice time. But the brother sister in-law and their kids are the cause of friction and fights. We left there last night with stomach aches. His mom was at at loss for words. His father disappeared, clearly not wanting to be around it. I suppose his mom is just hoping things will get better but it will not. These people are animals, and part of the problem in my observations is that the have been allowed to behave this way. No one has ever said anything to them. I usually don't have a big mouth, I don't like confrontation. But the longer I am around them the higher the chance is that I'm going to say or do something very nasty. I have never been treated so rudely, even by strangers in the street. And it bothers me that my partners family thinks its ok to shit all over him, and me. They ruined the day for everyone.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 16||11/23/2012|
What I find annoying are the endless Christmas ads, which have started already here in England - showing endless happy families, as though there is no other way of living.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 17||11/23/2012|
I prefer being home alone with my two cats. Over the years have found I enjoy my own company, thoughts as solitude has always been my friend.Even as a child I lived vicariously. I would rather someone tell me about the dinner party last night than actually attend myself. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed Warhol's Diaries.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 18||11/23/2012|
holidays are pretty easy to get past. its the day by day being alone i'm dealing with. all of my friends have moved to other cities, or have jobs (i no longer have to work) or have kids that take up an unbelievable amount of time they should be spending with me (sarcasm). save a movie you particularly want to see, go on the holiday. the theaters are filled with movie goers, you'll blend right in. tuck away a special food treat (or whatever gets your motor running)and enjoy it on the holiday. go to walmart and thank your god that you are not forces to live with any of those shoppers.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 19||11/23/2012|
My family is all dead. My partner's family is in southern Utah.
On Thanksgiving we work at the local food pantry--they have people coming in on Thanksgiving for things they couldn't afford, or some finally admit they need assistance. Then we go to Denny's for dinner. (Don't laugh--so do a lot of people.)
On Christmas, we volunteer with a local charity to either serve food at a restaurant downtown or to distribute new coats and shoes to the patrons of the restaurant. One restaurant gets picked each year, and they donate the food. The local homeless charity gets volunteers to collect clothing and do the serving.
There but for the grace of God...
|by Bob in Boston||reply 20||11/23/2012|
Im in my sweats. Laying on the couch with the dog and watching mind less tv in between naps.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 21||11/23/2012|
OP here, answering R2 -- why is it so hard to believe I live in a city and am alone? Cities can be very lonely places. In fact, I think they're the loneliest places of all. When I lived in NYC I found it very difficult to make friends. I moved to Boston about ten years ago for a job, but now I freelance, and so I don't make a lot of friends through work. I don't go to bars. And frankly, Boston is not a very friendly city.
It's not as if I don't have any friends at all, though, it's just that I don't really have any friends I feel close enough to spend a holiday like Thanksgiving with. It feels weird to go to the house of someone you don't know all that well and share a dinner with their family, etc.
I'm still curious what other people do. Seems like it's mostly movies, tv, and food.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 22||11/23/2012|
I LOVE spending the holidays alone now. Took me a while to get there . . . then, I realized that it's just another day like any other. It's only all the cultural mythology around it that used to make it hard because I bought into what people said it was "supposed" to be about. In reality, it's just another Thursday or Saturday or whatever - except for most people it's a day off work. I enjoy the decorations and some of the food - do I decorate and make some of the food. I don't send cards or buy presents - I ignore all the hype about parties and family because I am not invited to any parties and my family is all deceased. I weaned myself off all the hallmark norman rockwell mythology about holidays and see them as a normal day of the week now - and so I enjoy them.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 23||11/23/2012|
My parents are dead and my siblings might as well be. I live alone and I've been unemployed for the last six months. I have friends but the good ones do not live nearby and the mediocre ones that do have their own obligations.
I started feeling myself getting bummed out and decided I wasn't gonna let that happen. Last night I made a nice meal for myself, and then lay in my backyard and stargazed for a spell. I am but a speck of dust in the magnificent universe. I signed up for a monastic Buddhist retreat this weekend. Today I'm following the Amazon Black Friday deals to see if there's any serious sales.
There's lots to do this weekend and I don't mind being alone.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 24||11/23/2012|
[quote]It feels weird to go to the house of someone you don't know all that well and share a dinner with their family, etc.
I don't agree. Also, if you're a good guest, people appreciate having a new face along. It also means that family members who often act up, are on their best behaviour, so you're appreciated for that as well.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 25||11/23/2012|
to the gay couple with the abusive famiy members: you should write them right now and tell them exactly what you've told us. Explain why this last Thanksgiving was the end of your holiday get togethers and that they are the reason for it.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 26||11/23/2012|
Op/Bob-- Would you post a photo? I'm alone on the Cape!
|by Bob in Boston||reply 27||11/23/2012|
I'm totally alone this weekend too. I have friends, but they're all busy doing family stuff... or in some cases they're off with their "other friends" and I just wasn't invited or included.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 28||11/23/2012|
This is like the friends of the friendless thread.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 29||11/23/2012|
Hey Harris, where are you on the cape? If you want to know what I look like, just imagine the best looking man you can think of, and the ugliest. I'm in between.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 31||11/23/2012|
I'm in much the same situation and *most* of the time handle being alone all right. I've grown into it, with time. But holidays are always a challenge. Things that work for me to take the edge off: getting some exercise. Finding something good to read. Allowing myself to take naps. Journaling. Getting out, even if it's only a trip to the supermarket. Spoiling myself with a good meal I've either cooked myself or gotten from take-out or had in a restaurant. And the corniest thing of all that puts things in perspective: thinking about the things I'm grateful for. You'll notice that 'calling a friend' is not on this list: They are all tied up with their families, whether they like it or not, this time of year. So I'm much more on my own. This 'being alone' business needs to be worked at. Oh, I also started playing a musical instrument I had neglected for more than 10 years and I'm surprised at how it's coming back to me. Bob in Boston, you are not alone, even if you feel like you are. There are a ton of us out here, facing the same stuff! Courage!
|by Bob in Boston||reply 32||11/23/2012|
"we've all been so socialized to think holidays must be spent with other people"
I agree. That whole "Home For The Holidays!" concept is actually pretty destructive in a lot of ways.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 33||11/23/2012|
I think it's both funny and pathetic how the whole 'home for the holidays' thing gets so hyped in the media, when probably 80-90 percent of those who do make an effort to get home have a miserable time when they get there. What's the point? To just be like everyone else? To do it to make yourself feel like a good boy or girl? To just say you did it so you don't feel left out of the rest of the lemming pack? To avoid being on your own?
|by Bob in Boston||reply 34||11/23/2012|
Bob just wondering, how old are you and what part of Boston are you in? 27 Brookline here
Sometimes I enjoy spending time alone...and I have some relatives I really don't care to see lol. I mean the extended ones...some of those fuckers...annoying.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 35||11/23/2012|
OP and others, here's why you are okay on your own. This Thanksgiving I broke a promise to myself to never cut myself again over family disagreements. But I did it--I cut myself.
It would have been better for me to have bowed out and left town for a few days, but I would have been guilt-tripped by my family so I didn't do it. I didn't stand up for myself.
In so many ways you are luckier than those of us who are with our families.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 36||11/23/2012|
I have very few friends and my long tem partner lives a long way from me. Sometimes I get very lonely, but I have a very demanding job that involves a lot of hours, so when I get home, I want to be alone and wind down without having to interact.
Sorry for anyone that feels so rough and alone. The irony is that people who I know who have a wide social circle and/or a large family tend to have their own problems with that. When I remember that, I'm often happy to be alone most of my free time. Of course, if I didn't have my partner and the one remaining family member I would go nuts.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 37||11/23/2012|
I'm usually invited out, but last year I wasn't, and it was depressing as hell. I determined on the spot to makes some plans for this year. Not long ago I reconnected on FB with an far-away friend whom I haven't seen in over ten years. His mom had recently passed away, so I flew out on Monday, took him out to dinner on Tuesday, and hooked up on Grindr on Wednesday. Spent all of Thursday getting back home. Hard to feel alone when you're elbow to elbow on a planeload of people.
As it turned out I was seated next to a soldier, returning home after a tour of Afghanistan. His experiences - suicide bombers and watching friends blow up into pieces - sort of put my own issues into perspective.
I guess If you're OK with being alone on Thanksgiving, fine. But turning your solitary holiday into a pity-party is your own fault.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 38||11/23/2012|
I can't imagine "volunteering" at a soup kitchen or some damn place on a holiday. I'm afraid some bum would leer over his plate of slop and sneer, "Loser! heeheeheee".
|by Bob in Boston||reply 39||11/24/2012|
I disagree with R26. R11 should not write to his inlaws or confront them. His PARTNER should. Its his family and he needs to deal with them. And R11 should simply refuse to waste anymore time with his partners' family until his partner resolves it.
|by Bob in Boston||reply 40||11/24/2012|