Monday, June 18, 2012

Hot Flashes and Heat Waves

I want to preface this post by explaining that it's been in the 90s here. I like hot weather. I bike in it, I walk around in it, I'm down with the heat. However.

I have a small apartment that gets little in the way of a cross-breeze, and I have pets, animals who have fur, and who, if they weren't domesticated, would be hiding sensibly in some cool, damp hole somewhere instead of sprawled on the floor trying to cool off.

We're having our buildings tuck pointed, having some much-needed repair done to our parapet walls and lintels, but the crew took a ridiculously long time to get its shit together, and the upshot of it is that for over three weeks I've had scaffolding in front of the only windows large enough to accommodate my air conditioner. And there are just so many days you can close the windows, shut the curtains, turn on fans and ask your animals to deal; there are just so many evenings you can sit in almost nothing while a film of sweat forms between you and anything you touch. Like my lap and my laptop. Right now. And the crazy-in-love cat stretched against my leg, on her back, head hanging off the couch, paws out, like Superman flying upside-down. Because this cat will do anything to be near/on me when I'm sitting. Kind of sweet, kind of a huge pain in the ass.

Did I mention I've had hot flashes all day and now cramps? that I'm wearing only underpants and two bandannas because everything else I have, including tank tops, feels like a bear pelt?

Just as long as you can envision the pretty, pretty picture here. I did wax my upper lip, so I am somewhat redeemed from being something that terrifies kids in a  Grimm Fairy Tale.

So here's the latest on the Why Can't Joy Feel Connected, and please, comments are more than welcome, because I need some perspective.

My friend Jennifer, who's lived here for two years and agrees that Chicago is good in that people aren't snobs and don't judge people on a superficial level, is also finding it hard nevertheless to connect with people intellectually. She put it well: "In order for people to be interesting, the have to have INTERESTS."

She hit it on the head. I am heartily sick and tired of trying to recommend books or radio programs or ANYTHING to people, to have absolutely NOBODY say, hey, that sounds interesting; let me try that!

I just finished two books recommended to me by the guy who owns a bookstore. I listened to two radio interviews recommended to me by Karen at Mutttering, and loved them; In fact, I was inspired to buy a book by the interviewee. That is how I go through life, like a magpie picking up pieces here and there that people hold out for me. Being OPEN. It makes for a wealth of unexpected experience, and it just absolutely baffles the living shit out of me that I'm surrounded by people who spend so much energy finding stupid reasons to dislike something, mainly, it seems, so that they don't have to try anything new.

Where is the curiosity? Where is the INTEREST? Where is the craving for inspiration?!?!

So I'm taking a new approach: I signed up for a running training clinic, so I can meet people who like to run, and hopefully get better. First one for me is Thursday. I will no longer watch movies unless I want to, attend things unless I'm interested. No longer will I go along just for the social component. I can't do that when there's little reciprocity. Part of it is indeed a small temper tantrum; part of it is stopping myself from feeling like a social doormat. Jennifer will be in China for a large chunk of the summer on business, so it will be up to me to forge new connections. I will go the the Irish Fest alone and dance; I will do what I want without the irritating futility of hoping I can spark an interest in others for something other than TV and sports. I will turn down offers to get together if the activity does not work for me. That includes miniature golf, dive bars (I drink very little) and movies about comic-book heroes.

I don't even care about finding friends at this point; I'll be happy to just meet people, share the fun, and move on.

Does anyone else struggle with this? I this a single-person phenomenon? I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, but my gosh, it's like there's NOTHING I can get people interested in. I want to scream at them, "THIS IS YOUR LIFE? THIS IS ALL YOU WANT? SERIOUSLY?"

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