January 16, 2020

"For Liz, the loneliness of the weekend is exacerbated by an additional, painful sense that she is not only alone but locked out – 'banned from the weekend'..."

"Between Monday and Friday, she enjoys her neighbourhood, but at the weekend, the streets and parks seem to transform. They become questioning, forbidding, to the extent that Liz wonders if she has 'absorbed' her loneliness from her environment, now full of couples, families, groups. 'What’s interesting to me is that I’ll sit on my own in a cafe easily in the week,' she says. But the same cafe at the weekend is a space she cannot enter. Even walking the dog takes on a different cast. 'I don’t feel conscious at all during the week' – but on a Sunday morning, the same walk feels acutely sad."

From "The agony of weekend loneliness: ‘I won't speak to another human until Monday’" (The Guardian).

73 comments:

David Begley said...

Try a silent retreat. I just did. If you pray, you are not alone or lonely.

rhhardin said...

Women can't obsess over math or physics, is the problem. Human contact once a year is fine if you're got those.

dbzdak said...

I thought this was about Elizabeth Warren at first.

stlcdr said...

Blogger dbzdak said...
I thought this was about Elizabeth Warren at first.

1/16/20, 8:05 AM

Ditto.

MayBee said...

Weird.

I really don't think every little quirk of being human needs an article about it.

iowan2 said...

Live in the problem, and you get more of the problem. Live in the solution, you get more of the solution. Let's hope all of these people are living in their chosen preference.

stlcdr said...

"All good things come to those who wait."

vs.

"Life is passing you by; do something about it."

I think she's the former. A passive shrew of a woman who secretly thinks she deserves more (she may not be a shrew, but I have no sympathy or tolerance for people who publish such drivel - simply because they can do something about it but won't; making it the world's problem).

Calypso Facto said...

‘I won't speak to another human until Monday’

Sounds divine.

rehajm said...

Try being a solo guy in the park on the weekend. Stalker? or pedophile? they wonder....

Gusty Winds said...

..and there's nothing short of dying...half as lonesome as the sound, of the sleepy city sidewalks.....and Sunday morning, comin' down....

Fernandistein said...

I thought this was about Elizabeth Warren at first.

'Liz' is a popular Native-African-American name in England.

The Crack Emcee said...

I hardly speak to anyone, period, and it suits me just fine.

I can turn on the media to hear nonsense.

traditionalguy said...

If one wants a social life, then they must show up for it. Attend church, raise children with school events, play golf with people, take a cruise, go dancing, take spin classes . They all require the lazy bums first show up for it.

catter said...

We humans vary in so many ways. After four days of just me and the cat, I went to town today only because the coffee ran out. I'm supposed to meet friends on Saturday, so no human contact for another two days. My best winters have been like this; reading and skiing or biking.
I have trouble believing that two days away from their weekday social life is as painful as the author makes it sound.

catter said...

We humans vary in so many ways. After four days of just me and the cat, I went to town today only because the coffee ran out. I'm supposed to meet friends on Saturday, so no human contact for another two days. My best winters have been like this; reading and skiing or biking.
I have trouble believing that two days away from their weekday social life is as painful as the author makes it sound.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Liz would like to see these friends at the weekend, too, but when Saturday comes, “it’s unsaid – but it’s like they’ve closed the doors to me. Weekends are for couples.

So Liz realized that other people have lives that don't always include her. They would like some couple or even alone time for themselves. Boo effing Hoo.

You don't deserve access to anyone else's time. Maybe they want a break from YOU. If you are lonely find something to do. Get a hobby. Go site seeing on the weekend. Get a dog.

First world problems.

bwebster said...

#FirstWorldProblems

MikeR said...

Well, if she were willing to shake people's hands she'd have more friends.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Go
Vol
Un
Teer


It’s the same every time Althouse posts one of these “musing on being a lonely aging woman” navel gazing articles.

Big Brothers Big Sisters does yeoman’s work in demonstrating to individual humans at risk of worthlessness and resulting destructive behavior that they are worthy and valuable.

Surely that’s better than sitting around wringing your hands.

Kevin Walsh said...

I have lived alone for 34 years and am occasionally out of work in the Gig Economy. Much of my time is spent alone. I rove the streets, taking photos for forgotten-ny.com, a very fulfilling activity for me. I actively seek out places at off hours when they aren't too crowded, since I like it quiet without a lot of people around.

I'm one of those people Rod Serling would severely punish in a Twilight Zone script.

rhhardin said...

My complaint about weekends and holidays was that the company cafeteria wasn't open. You ate from vending machines.

Leland said...

I won't talk to anybody, which makes me lonely and sad. Why won't anybody talk to me?

Bob Boyd said...

I sleep with a pistol under my pillow so if robbers break into my house at night, I can shoot myself rather than meet new people.

rhhardin said...

The dog is social when she feels it's a meal time.

She recognizes various sounds that various foods make coming out of the refrigerator, and comes quickly if it's one I share.

She had not recognized hard boiled egg preparation sounds because of the delay between sound and food. She comes for egg peeling sounds.

Sal said...

I thought this was about Elizabeth Warren at first.

So sad that Liz has no one to lie to all weekend. Opps, it's not that Liz.

Amadeus 48 said...

She is depressed. Are drugs the answer? We just legalized MJ in Illinois. Liz should move here.

Actually, David Begley is on to something.

traditionalguy said...

This was definitely not Trump. He seems to have a social circle of tens of thousands that has no down time at all. And in his spare time he runs the world for free. All he Abstains from is alcohol.

John henry said...

I too thought this was about Warren. I didn't realize it wasn't until reading the comments

John Henry

Robert Cook said...

Really? The single woman's married friends wouldn't consider inviting her to social events simply because she is single? Either they're not good friends or the Brits have bizarre social taboos.

Levi Starks said...

She should consider living out in the woods.
You can be alone there 7 days a week.

Phidippus said...

I wonder if this "problem", such as it is, is more prevalent in the Grauniad-reading demographic compared to the general population. If so, God help them. What a peer group!

Many sensible comments/suggestions above. If human contact is what you crave, there are fewer easier things to obtain, and the best way to get over yourself is to do something for someone else. A selfless act, even if small, nearly always surprises and delights the recipient. Not the least reason being that such things are so rare in the self-absorbed culture we have today.

Personally I have had some of the best experiences of my life when completely alone, usually but not always with my camera. I enjoy a certain amount of human contact, but never crave it. I haven't been lonely since I was a teenager. The key for me was to accept myself as I was, and to stop doing things that didn't make me happy. End of problem.

JAORE said...

I am, by nature, a wallflower. I spent many years content to spend weekends with a good book or a television. I enjoyed going out once there, but had to be prodded to overcome inertia.

My wife has expanded my universe immeasurably. By forcing me out of my shell I have acquired a nice core of close friends for socializing and travel. I also ride bikes and I spent many days with a riding group. Finally I sometimes tutor kids (well adults too) in math for free. "Free" will get you all the "work" you want. Plus I am good at it.

Between that and family I find I have all the human interaction I can handle, and a bit more.

It is, all tolled, a good thing.

Greg Hlatky said...

‘I won't speak to another human until Monday’

Believe me, there are worse fates.

Fernandistein said...

Many sensible comments/suggestions above.

Thanks!

If human contact is what you crave

It's a funny thing - loneliness is no fun and can make some people crazy, but people spend a LOT of money to avoid being around other people, e.g. not living in communal homes (a la ye olde Indians or a homeless shelter), prefer real house to apartment, land around the house, etc., and more-so when raising whelps.

Yancey Ward said...

Damn it! Gusty Winds beat me to it!!!!

Anyway, here is thread music.

Fernandistein said...

I won't speak to another human until Monday

In Era of Trump's America, another human speaks to you!

Nichevo said...


stlcdr said...
Blogger dbzdak said...
I thought this was about Elizabeth Warren at first.

1/16/20, 8:05 AM
Ditto.

1/16/20, 8:07 AM


As the commies like to say, It is no accident. Ann has a wet-on or is it a sadz for poor Liewatha, who has been told by the Mean Girls at the DCCC that she'll never be part of the K-Gams, but if she'll take this bag full of dogshit and set it on Bernie Sanders' doorstep and light it on fire and ring the doorbell and run away, that they'll let her come to the parties.

rcocean said...

That's really sad. Yeah.

rcocean said...

Some of us have too much human contact on the weekends. Maybe Liz and I could cut a deal.

Yancey Ward said...

Somewhere there is a someone thanking the stars that from late Friday afternoon until Monday morning they don't have to listen to Liz bitch about her lonely life.

Shouting Thomas said...

Go to church on Sunday morning.

Easy problem to solve.

Shouting Thomas said...

In my area, you could easily go to a potluck or spaghetti dinner on Friday or Saturday night every week.

One or another congregation is hosting such an event every Friday and Saturday night.

We also have dance societies that give dance lessons almost every week.

Fernandistein said...

Anyway, here is thread music.

This is a sad lonely song if you listen to the lyrics.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"I won't speak to another human until Monday"

Not saying I'd want to do it all the time, but it would be great to have the option. Having quiet hours to myself to read a compelling book in a single stretch or binge on samurai movies or foreign detective shows (subtitles annoy the wife) seems like an unimaginable luxury.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've been thru this.

My late wife's death eradicated my social life. Our couples friends quickly decided they didn't want me around.

"What are you doing talking so long on the phone to my wife?" was one memorable line from an ex-pal.

My kids were grown up and had flown the coup.

Weekly services and parish meals were a life saver, and since I was the church musician everybody spoke with me and offered me some friendship and company.

Loneliness isn't a permanent condition of my life. It comes and goes as the circumstances of my life change. Those circumstances are about to change again. My grandkids will be moving beyond the nursery stage soon and won't need grandpa so much.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Eleanor Rigby. Maybe it’s a British thing.

n.n said...

It sounds like she's missing her better half... Equal and complementary.

stevew said...

My MIL lost her husband in 1985. At first her friends would invite her to their usual parties and such, but she was the only single and that became awkward for her and them. She remained friendly with them but stopped attending these events.

She is one of the busiest and engaged people I know, and has been while living alone in all the time since his death. She is active with volunteering, she is involved in the local community, and she is a good friend and neighbor to those that live around her. In other words, she makes her social life, she doesn't wait for it to find her. That's the difference between her and Liz.

Bay Area Guy said...

I am reminded of the sage old advice from Kindergarten -- Miss Rothstein (who was probably 26 at the time, and seemed like a statuesque beautiful woman to me)

"To make a friend, you have to be a friend!"

These lonely people don't seem to be going out of their way to be friends with anyone.

Yancey Ward said...

Yes, "Paranoid"'s lyrics are kind of sad.

PJ57 said...

L'enfer C'est Les Autres

JRoberts said...

For years our office would do some type of Valentines Day promotion, but quit several years ago. The reason? We were getting angry emails and phone calls from lonely women who were triggered by any mention of Valentines Day.

I believe rhhardin would have an explanation for it.

Bay Area Guy said...

I would distinguish adult loneliness suffered from the folks in this article from loneliness caused by death or divorce.

The latter can be bear. It can upend your life. But hopefully, it is temporary, and you can move past and rebuild.

Loneliness in folks who haven't suffered a loss such as death or divorce, doesn't resonate with me. It seems like the folks aren't trying very hard to connect with people, and, surprise, surprise, therefore, don't have many people in their lives.

Char Char Binks said...

Being alone doesn't bother me, but I can relate to Liz. Being out in public alone, when others out and about are socializing, can be sad, if your not alone by choice.

CJinPA said...

Scrawling down from the Tom Steyer post, I thought this headline referred to Liz Warren. And it didn't seem strange.

Fernandistein said...

Yes, "Paranoid"'s lyrics are kind of sad.

LOL

ALP said...

LOL I am the complete opposite: I try not to talk to anyone *at work* M-F and yabber all weekend once I am out. Especially clients - who wants to talk to clients?

Rory said...

"Even walking the dog takes on a different cast. 'I don’t feel conscious at all during the week' – but on a Sunday morning, the same walk feels acutely sad."

How can you not talk to people when you're walking your dog? Completely unremarkable walk, I probably just talked to ten, and my dog talked to half a dozen dogs. Two substantial stop-and-chat conversations, one with someone I know only by first name, the other no name at all. But they are human.

phunktor said...

I recommend Marcus Aurelius. And a ball-gag.

Rabel said...

Sad.

She ain't got nobody and is in an awful way.

Bill Peschel said...

When I saw Liz I thought it was the Queen, but I guess that's just me.

I remember being single and hated it. I drank in bars six nights a week. I fell into a group of people and that got me going to indoor soccer games and going down to Fells Point in Baltimore to hear music.

I realized years later that my problem stemmed from depression, being along in a large town, away from my usual family and friends, and still grieving my father's sudden death years ago.

I'm much better now. I have a wife (26 years) and a family. I'm working every day, and if I had time to go out, I would.

TerriW said...

Shouting Thomas: It's been my experience that grandpa in some ways becomes even more important in elementary and junior and especially high school as a beloved, trusted, unconditional love confidante who is -- most importantly -- not the direct parent.

jimbino said...

The worst thing is that single and childfree Amerikans are taxed a fortune to support the breeders and their families. Then they have the gall to promote "Stranger Danger" propaganda at all the local schools.

In Austin, TX, I once walked to my local park a block from my house, where what seemed a 10-year-old girl was painting a bench. I engaged her in conversation, but she abruptly broke off when I asked if she lived in our neighborhood! What the hell! I paid through the nose for her schooling, and all she learns is "Stranger Danger."

Here in Kenosha, WI, it's even worse. A local cop has taken it upon himself to go from school to school proclaiming "Stranger Danger" like a Paul Revere. He conveniently ignores two facts: children are statistically more likely to be abused by family members, priests, ministers and teachers than by strangers. And, cops are statistically worse than the general public in abusing wives and other family members.

Kenosha is the city of corner bars, if nothing else, but my local bar actually allowed couples to reserve bar stools for Trivia Night, until I complained. What the hell! It used to be that 90% of sitting at a bar involved striking up a conversation with a stranger. Kenosha is, of course, one of the world's cultural backwaters: here they still feature prayers and pledge allegiance to a god-ridden flag at every city council meeting.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"In Austin, TX, I once walked to my local park a block from my house, where what seemed a 10-year-old girl was painting a bench. I engaged her in conversation, but she abruptly broke off when I asked if she lived in our neighborhood! What the hell! I paid through the nose for her schooling, and all she learns is "Stranger Danger.""

Nothing creepy about that...

ALP said...

jimbino: I have your story beat. I am a petite middle aged female, heading towards my 'practically invisible years'. Nothing unusual about me or my appearance. Was walking down the sidewalk in our suburban city, headed for the library. Ahead of me by 20 feet or so is an 8 year old* boy. Middle school age.

He must have heard me behind him. He turns to look, sees me...looks panicked THEN RUNS! LOL even funnier, he looked like Bobby Hill in the "King of the Hill" animated series: blonde and pudgy. Da fuck...why are you running boy? I guess 60" tall females are to be feared. Shit he was practically my height and weight.

*Guess at the age, don't have kids so no clue.

Guildofcannonballs said...

https://fargo.fandom.com/wiki/Mike_Yanagita

William said...

I can see the appeal of young, attractive women, but I don't see what the big deal is about hanging out with other people. I have my bocce court moments with a few elders my own age. Pleasant enough, but not a source of essential nutrients.....Many of the couples you see feel trapped or in some way abused by their partner.....Schopenhauer said people are like porcupines. They huddle together for warmth, but then the quills come out and they push each other away. It's more efficient to stay a quill's length away and doing so is a lot easier when you're older.

Jeff said...

Seems appropriate: Sunday Morning Coming Down by Kris Kristofferson

Well I woke up Sunday mornin', with no way to hold my head that didn't hurt
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad, so I had one more, for dessert
Then I fumbled through my closet, for my clothes and found my cleanest dirty shirt
And I shaved my face and combed my hair and, stumbled down the stairs to meet the day

I'd smoked my brain the night before on, cigarettes and songs that I'd been pickin'
But I lit my first and watched a small kid cussin' at a can, that he was kickin'
Then I crossed the empty street and caught the Sunday smell of someone fryin' chicken
And it took me back to somethin', that I'd lost somehow somewhere along the way

On the Sunday morning sidewalks, wishin' Lord, that I was stoned
'Cause there's something in a Sunday, makes a body feel alone
And there's nothin' short of dyin', half as lonesome as the sound
On the sleepin' city side walks, Sunday mornin' comin' down

In the park I saw a daddy, with a laughing little girl who he was swingin'
And I stopped beside a Sunday school and listened to the song that they were singin'
Then I headed back for home and somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringin'
And it echoed through the canyons like the disappearing dreams of yesterday

On the Sunday morning sidewalks, wishin' Lord, that I was stoned
'Cause there's something in a Sunday, makes a body feel alone
And there's nothin' short of dyin', half as lonesome as the sound
On the sleepin' city side walks, Sunday mornin' comin' down

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Take in a homeless person. I know someone who did this. Surprisingly (and probably exceptionally), it’s worked out pretty well. The guy lives in the garage-makeshift apartment and has served dutifully as groundskeeper and handyman.

bonkti said...

I remember Linda Ronstadtt an all-day music festival at the Dane County Colosseum back around the spring of '73. Kris Kristofferson did his bit, perhaps followed by Country Joe, and then Linda Ronstadt got half way into her set. Kris staggered out from the curtains and, fueled with bourbon, being pawing at Ronstadt, who gamely tried to push him away and sing her song.

The crowd seemed to think it quite funny but that was long ago.

Iman said...

‘I won't speak to another human until Monday’

"Believe me, there are worse fates."

Funny stuff!

Iman said...

Yes... there are worse fates: https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=CzozJ_1579101590

pacwest said...

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