August 1, 2010

"How to Be Alone."

63 comments:

DKWalser said...

That's so sad.

AJ Lynch said...

That girl is immensely talented.

1jpb said...

Alone time is probably a lot harder to come by since the Meade-House merger, although I have no doubt that both sides of the merger are better off sans alone time.

Even so, I do hope Meade has some sort of man-cave (perhaps a garage or office) where he can claim some turf in the formerly all alt house.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Very nice and very soothing. Being alone is not the same as being lonely.

Being able to be contented with yourself, enjoy solitude, quietness, peaceful alone-ness is truly a gift in our loud, in your face, never in solitude culture.

Her video reminded me of the cloister or convent of traditional Catholicism were solitude and silence were contemplative virtues.

rhhardin said...

Here's a Red-Tailed Hawk Juvenile that's not happy to be alone video.

Marcia said...

The most interesting people I've known in life are people who can be comfortable in their own company.

If someone goes to movies alone, that is a positive signal.

rhhardin said...

Solitude was a guy's normal state before the feminization of everything.

Who knows what it's like now.

America's Politico said...

This is a terrific video, thanks for the link. The only observation I have is that eating alone in restaurant is not a good experience (IMHO). The waiter treat you differently and sometimes want to hurry you. The helpers (of waiters) stare at you (when they bring water or take away plates). The hostess walking about looks at you strangely. Then there are other diners who look at you strangely. In my experience, if I am traveling, I eat at the bar-stool or kitchen bar. The main dining with lights dim is a worse experience (with aforementioned items).

c3 said...

She was alone; unmarried? And therefore voting Democratic.....

but what, that accent.....Canadian. So...


just alone


and cold.

(and probably annoyed with that incessant music)

rhhardin said...

This is definitely a video for women.

Similarly Barbara Feldon's book Living Alone and Loving It.

She couldn't play 99 in real life.

The Get Smart follow-on Get Smart Again (1989) was a nice older update on their marriage, if you knew the original.

traditionalguy said...

Some people need alone time. Some people need social time. A balance is OK. But how does one stay alone at a dance? And how does one stay lonely at a Church? Dancing and Church activities mostly exist because they cure loneliness.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't take advice from people like her, yet it's always people like her who are offering it, or are presented as the people I should take advice from. She seems boring and liberal - just the type to recommend meditation. Accommodating her feelings and opinions is why the country has Obama but no dynamism. Rather than being alone, she should find someone who can show her how to put her talents to use.

That fragile, delicate persona will kill us all - or get us all killed. I will respect it no more than our enemies.

As Rush always says, it's a major failing of our current culture that it rejects/runs from anyone who represents the opposite of this woman.

traditionalguy said...

Then there was Cheers Bar in Boston. I liked Norm.

Lynne said...

You know, it's odd. I have the same difficulty socializing that other people describe in being alone. For me, solitude tends to be the default, ordinary state. Socializing is awkward and forced, like trying to dance in hockey skates. I prefer to attempt it with my sweetheart nearby, because he's so good at it and gives me lots of support and courage.
There are plenty of people that I love, but I'm incapable of small talk and geez, I hate gatherings.

MamaM said...

I found the Red-Tailed Hawk's cry plaintive. There was a call and wait quality to the sound that touched me. A signal awaiting a response.

Very different from sound of the magpies on the You Tube video I listened to earlier this afternoon.

I wanted to see if the amplitude and intensity of the chatter I heard on the clip of The View experiencing an Obama hangover would match the magpies and it did.

rhhardin said...

Anyway she's not alone. She has a cat.

Big Mike said...

I get what she's saying.

ricpic said...

Ah youth
When everything is heightened
When even solitude is a drama
A big deal
She's not there yet
When alone is home
She'll be there
And youth will be
Over

Fred4Pres said...

Being in the wilderness is better alone. So see so much more.

Of course if you get bit by a rattle snake or break your leg you might die.

Ann Althouse said...

"Anyway she's not alone. She has a cat."

And someone operating the camera.

traditionalguy said...

@ Lynne...You sound to me like a normal INFJ personality that is fortunate to be matched with an ENFJ personality in Meyers-Briggs lingo. I bet everybody relies on your faithfulness to provide for them while they are enjoying small talk with new friends. Just try working at listening and saying something that shows an interest in what the others are saying. It is reported that George Washington was an INFJ personality, but how they know that is beyond me. Also, Jimmy Stewart did very well with his INFJ personality.

Penny said...

"There is heat in freezing. Be a testament."

And ice that meets fire?

That would be cool, until it warms up.

1jpb said...

"Being in the wilderness is better alone."

If a spectacular sunset (or any other beautiful glimpse of nature/wilderness) happens but I can't share it; it's a lesser experience. On its own it's still awesome and wonderful, but great company adds another layer of bliss.

c3 said...

"Anyway she's not alone. She has a cat."

And someone operating the camera.


Oh Professor please do not break the fourth wall.

Then neither she nor I will be alone.

Penny said...

"And someone operating the camera."

Maybe so?

A smile and some "cheese" seem in order. :D

deborah said...

"I had savored for the first time what the sixteenth-century essayist Montaigne called 'passionate friendship': one that is deeply loving, unconditional, and heightened to the level of poetry. We delighted in each other's company, expressed ourselves freely, and brought out the best in each other. Not all conventional relationships call make those claims. There were so many delights that the lack of a sexual component wasn't felt as a deficit." -Barbara Feldon

I think it's the rare man who would be interested in this kind of friendship.

edutcher said...

Everybody needs to be alone at times, but we slowly die from too much of it.

Paddy O said...

"Being alone is not the same as being lonely."

Probably the only thing I remember from the old, very short lived Tick televion show was Batmanuel's comment, "Not alone, 'Lone'. Alone is an unfortunate predicament. Lone is an aesthetic choice."

Which isn't using the same terminology, DBQ, but it gets at the same sentiment.

I totally agree.

I very often feel more lonely in a crowd than when I am by myself.

traditionalguy said...

Deborah...That essay sounds like a college roommate relationship. My wife is in Virginia this weekend for a five day visit at the farm of her college roommate that she hasn't seen in 37 years. They still are bonded at the passionate friendship level from all the trouble and fun they once shared watching out for each other. I am enduring alone quite well.

MamaM said...

Traditionalguy...This past week I happened to look in the appendix of a book you recommend several months ago (Christmas?)and found the section on Personality types. The description of the MBTI pair preferences was so clear, my son and his girlfriend were able to use it to figure out their personality types which led to some good discussion and insight. (He's a Performer, she's a Protector-the INFJ). This came about via your initial input on this blog!

Life energy connects in peculiar and amazing ways.

Penny said...

"I very often feel more lonely in a crowd than when I am by myself."

"Expectations", Paddy O?

Lynne said...

TraditionalGuy:

What a sweet thing to say. Thank you!
I try to push myself to go to gatherings and then watch/follow my husband's easygoing cues. It's work, though, and will probably always be work.
Oddly, I have no problem approaching a stranger who needs help carrying groceries or dashing next door to warn a neighbor to roll up the car windows 'cause a storm is coming.

But as soon as the task is over and they try to start up a conversation, I just flounder.

Perhaps a little too much info in this comment, but the gist is: thanks for the nice thought.

The Crack Emcee said...

This woman knows nothing about being really alone.

Penny said...

Well done, Tanya Davis! And thank you Andyradorfman for bringing this to us.

Smelling the "fresh air" of those that are free.

deborah said...

"But as soon as the task is over and they try to start up a conversation, I just flounder."

Lynne, I think the trick is to just ask a question or make an observation, like 'how's your cat?' or 'what a beautiful garden.' The 'talker' will take it from there. :)

Trad guy, the quote is in the context of a male/female friendship.

Penny said...

"Life energy connects in peculiar and amazing ways."

And who would dare to harsh this buzz?

"All points of intersection are valid."

Pogo said...

Aww, she seemed like a sweet girl.
No need to crush her like a bug.
Life does that all by it's own self.

She's an example of why I love women:
they can sometimes make
the shitty parts of life
not so shitty after all
by her voice and cadence and art and magic.

Peano said...

Bite, you suckers. BITE!

Ann Althouse said...

I think this is an extremely charming -- and practical -- video. It has a lot of great ideas about how to go out when you are alone... how to not just stay home. I have spent many years doing things like this myself. After my first marriage, I decided it was important to value solitude, and that being with someone else was something that should be a matter of going beyond what was beautiful about solitude (as opposed to something you do because you're afraid to be alone). Perhaps I would have been afraid if I'd known I'd go on like that for 17 years, but I was quite happy and unwilling to share my time unless it was an improvement on the joy of living solo.

traditionalguy said...

Deborah...Don't be a sexist. Men can love men friends and women can love women friends without any sex component. Did you see Sideways?

deborah said...

Tradguy, I've seen Sideways (hilarious), but I wouldn't say their level of friendship was heightened to the level of poetry. Now in Dumb and Dumber, maybe...

traditionalguy said...

Dear Professor...Let me guess. You were not being appreciated for your great mind and felt used by others, especially men, taking the credit for what you were actually creating. So you called time out for a very long time. Thank God for Meade's persistence.

Youngblood said...

Serious question for the women here:

Is this something that's specifically an issue for women?

In my experience, it doesn't seem like quite so much of a big deal for guys. In fact, when relationships fail, guys often seem to be relieved that they actually have "alone time" and freedom all of a sudden -- even though they may be bummed out by other aspects of the break up.

As a guy, this video felt really alien to me. I think nothing at all of going to dinner alone, or getting a cup of coffee on my own, or whatever. And, really, I need alone time, even in a relationship, to write or work on various projects without distractions.

Penny said...

"She's an example of why I love women:
they can sometimes make
the shitty parts of life
not so shitty after all
by her voice and cadence and art and magic."

Lovely, Pogo!

Does your poet have a name?

Credit where it's due, and all.

Ann Althouse said...

"Dear Professor...Let me guess. You were not being appreciated for your great mind and felt used by others, especially men, taking the credit for what you were actually creating. So you called time out for a very long time."

No one was abusing me. Don't worry. I'm not vulnerable that way.

"Thank God for Meade's persistence."

It wasn't so much *persistence* as taking a chance and just being someone who belonged with me.

ironrailsironweights said...

In my experience, it doesn't seem like quite so much of a big deal for guys. In fact, when relationships fail, guys often seem to be relieved that they actually have "alone time" and freedom all of a sudden -- even though they may be bummed out by other aspects of the break up.

Breakups can be harder on men because we usually have to face them alone. Women are much more likely to have a support system in the form of sympathetic girlfriends. The stereotype is that after a breakup, the woman spends her time with her girlfriends drinking cosmos and swapping stories about how all men are pr*cks, while the man spends hours in front of the TV watching Sportscenter and devouring nachos and beer. Yes, it's a stereotype, but like all stereotypes it contains some grains of truth.

Peter

deborah said...

I require a great deal of solitude.

ironrailsironweights said...

By the way, the tribal tattoo on the woman's arm makes it highly likely she is shaved. Based on my regular perusals of Voyeurweb and Guess Her Muff (done strictly for research purposes, of course), the presence of tattoos significantly increases the (already high) chances that a woman is pedophilically hairless. Though tattoos are not as reliable a marker as a pierced navel; in that situation, the shaving probability is just about 100%.

Hippie chicks are the one exception to the tattoos = shaved rule. The woman in the video isn't one, however.

Peter

Ralph L said...

After my parents married in '55, my Mom followed my Dad's USN ship around the Mediterranean for a few weeks. A young woman alone was "fair game" in southern Europe at the time, married or not. Steaming 2nd class from Naples to Barcelona, she was protected by two English poofs. My Dad didn't know where to find her in Barcelona, and she was too afraid to go back to the docks, but as he walked around town he heard her calling his name from a distant hotel room window.

I needed an antidote to the step-mother, who arrives today. Something besides rat poison.

MamaM said...

Here's another clue for Peter:

According to her bio, "Tanya Davis' creativity is as fluid as her sexuality and as eclectic as her work. She writes and loves from the same place - her hopeful heart."

traditionalguy said...

Momma M...I clicked Tanya's web site and read her poem "Chocolate". That reminded me of my wife's saying that Chocolate is her favorite Food Group. Its getting lonely tonight...three more days to go.

MamaM said...

LOL Tradguy...I hope your heart holds out!

Skyler said...

Very nicely done. Her voice fits the poetry perfectly.

I think she has very good advice, too. Too many people, mostly women, are terrified to be alone and rush into one bad boyfriend after another because they haven't the personal fortitude to be comfortable with themselves alone, and are thus victims again and again of men who prey on the weak.

But being alone and learning to be alone are not the ideal state. It is just the necessary state before you can learn to be strong with someone else.

Joan said...

One of the hardest things about becoming a parent is sacrificing the possibility of alone time for a couple of decades. When I watched the video, I envied Tanya's freedom to go to a club and dance alone. There was a (brief) time in my life when that was one of my favorite things to do. When you're in a romantic relationship but have no kids, you still have that freedom, that lack of responsibility for/to anyone but yourself.

Christoph said...

I'd do her.

Lynne said...

Interesting observations re: how men and women handle breakups.

The running joke at our house is that my husband says if anything ever happens to me, he's going to empty our savings and lose himself in the fleshpots of Amsterdam. And I always say if anything happens to him, I'll join the Trappists and spend the rest of my life making cheese!

Fred4Pres said...

She's not alone. She has a cat.

Fred4Pres said...

Social isolation twice as bad as being obese or smoking...

She better get a blog.

k*thy said...

but I was quite happy and unwilling to share my time unless it was an improvement on the joy of living solo.

I have not always been quite so protective of my boundaries, as you. Those of us having grown up in very chaotic environs are at a big disadvantage discerning our private from social selves. Consider yourself lucky to have learned that discernment early on.

Suburbanbanshee said...

Re: going out alone, I go to restaurants alone all the time, and nobody ever looks at me funny. Of course, possibly I'm the one scaring them.... :)

Actually, though, I think I tend to behave like my family trained me to behave. Going to a restaurant puts me in a good mood, so I'm always smiling and sometimes even chatty. The older I get, the easier I am to persuade to have dessert. Also, I tend to order quickly and tip well. So they like to see me coming. :)

Seriously... walk into a restaurant like you're a great gourmet or a restaurant critic. You have nothing to fear, and a whole restaurant waiting to attend to your lightest wish. If doing nothing bothers you, read a book or write or meditate while you wait for your food.

Kirstin said...

I love this video, and I also loved Barbara Feldon's book. I hope she writes another.

She's still alive, isn't she?

Anyway, she and Lauren Hutton are intrepid single role models.

dbp said...

When I watched the video, I got an impression of a younger, darker-haired and still single Althouse.

I've read the Althouse blog for years and I cannot remember any explicit claims of enjoying solitude, but always had the feeling that Althouse enjoys her alone-time.

Two things though: 1. The Althouse sons would have provided much company for the inter-marriage years. 2. The blog provided some company once comments started to be allowed.

Eric said...

Very well done. VERY Depressing. What's with the tattoos? Canadian my guess