Poppabear keeps up with some nerdy pursuits on a site called The Escapist (www.theescapistmagazine.com ) which includes some great personalities including Movie Bob but so far my favorite is a man named Jim who does “The Jimquisition”. A recent segment discussed the effect video games have including the idea that they foster loneliness. This brought up several thoughts since I watched it a few days ago, including the persistent question: At what point does wanting to do things on your own become ‘wrong’? I have pondered this question many times in the last few years. A few years ago I started spending a lot of time with my dad which included a lot of time at The Bar. This meant a lot of socialization. I was also something of a social butterfly in high school as part of being on the college fast track. In the midst of both times in my life I remember a lot of fun moments so I’m not going to posit that I was hiding my true self or any such drivel.

But about a year and a half ago I chose to stop drinking the way I had been, chose to spend less time in unsavory places and by proxy greatly reduced my time spent in social situations. This included less time with Dawn, Dad and several other people and I thought I would miss all of this hustle and bustle.

I didn’t.

I have come to recognize that I am by and large anti-social. Now before you start trying to track me down so the white van with the burly guys that want to give me the latest fashion in the lobotomy line can come get me hear me out. I am not saying I hate humanity and have any intention of damaging large populaces or have some hidden hatred and desire for revenge on the nearest Krispykreme. (My thighs on the other hand, resent my hands for lifting the delicious greasy treats to my lips *insert Homer Simpson groan*)  I simply do not like being around people. I’m not afraid of people, though crowds do give me pause, at 5ft tall all I see are asses and elbows and yes the idea of getting caught in a crush and not knowing why does make me a little nervous. I simply don’t like them in general. I know I am not a pleasant person myself, I’m shrewish and judgemental, but it does seem to me that there is a lack of personal accountability and pride in most of the herd.

Case in point: I recently received a call to come in for a potential job screening in a sales position with a national company and the recruiter felt the need to inform me that their business is conducted with a dress code of business professional and denim fabrics, clothing with slogans, t-shirts, flipflops, active wear (yoga pants, sweat pants) and tank tops or sleeveless shirts would not be looked at favorably during the interview process. I could only choke on a laugh as she went through this list! Even in my fast food days I never would have asked for an application much less shown up for an interview with any of the above mentioned items on my person!

Dress code aside, it just exemplified this personal opinion that I have about people in general. I can’t stand small children, usually because their parents don’t enforce any kind of manners or discipline and usually have none themselves. Poppabear often likens me to Red from That 70’s Show or Walter of the Jeff Dunham entourage and he’s absolutely correct. I like specific persons but not people in general.

This is one of the reasons my Saturdays are often spent happily by myself or sometimes in the company of my gaming group, watching what I want to watch and not worrying that my switching up shows or games is going to bother anyone else. It’s a selfish point of view too so don’t expect me to say it’s not. But is it wrong? Does it make me a bad person or insane? The usually touted definition of insanity is repeating an action and expecting different outcomes so I tend to think of my drinking years as the definition of insanity. Each drink had the exact same effect that the one before it in a hazy progression that ended in a blank period and the payback of the next day. Now though, I enjoy the anticipation of knowing that after dinner Poppabear is going to go to the Lair and enjoy table top gaming or painting miniatures and I will get to wallow in whatever my mood is, be it musicals or sit-coms.

I am social however, I have friends at work to lunch with, I spend time with my mother-in-law or my auntie, both pleasurable pursuits. Every other week I go visit my little brother and dad to watch NCIS. So I am not socially deprived or walled off. I’m just anti-social. And in the wake of the multiple public attacks made by people who, in my personal opinion, are even more selfish than I am and I resent the idea of being lumped in with them by the simple word of insane.

I enjoy the solitude of my truck on the way home, with or without the radio, those rare times when the house is all mine and even the occassional tug of sadness that comes from contemplation that in the near future the baby bear will be off on her own and no longer sleeping safe and sound under my roof. But I don’t see this as being LONELY. I feel fairly secure in my own mind and usually emotionally stable. Stuff happens and mini swings of despair, frustration and anger are normal but I don’t feel any driving need to go join a club to socialize with other like minded peoples. Because like minded peoples would hate that idea just as much as I do!

This idea that we must be social to be happy isn’t fair, it penalizes those of us that never wanted to be cheerleaders, didn’t mind belonging to something but didn’t use it to define themselves. And it teaches new generations that they’re wrong for being themselves, leading to more medication to deal with these so called ’sad depression like tendencies’. We are a culture of acceptance unless that acceptance doesn’t fit the idea of the socially involved person. I may never join a cause or a march…then again I may lead one. That’s up to me and it’s okay if it’s a march of one.