Have you ever hosted a party and no one came? Have you ever opened your home for friendship and fellowship … and nobody came? It happens to me … ALL.THE.TIME.
Now, I’m not talking about regularly scheduled group events when it’s my turn to host. I’m talking about times when I personally invite people into my home.
I wasn’t part of the “in crowd” in school. I had friends but often felt like I was on the outside looking in. But, even in high school, I hosted a baby shower for an older friend … and no one came. So, you see, it’s not a recent thing.
I was asked if I’d like to teach some fellow knitters how to do lace knitting. I was excited to be able to share my skills with others. So, I opened my home on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mondays of the month for that purpose. The 1st Monday, 1 person came (thank you very much). I was pleased and hopeful the “curse” had been broken. Now it’s been 3 consecutive Mondays and no one has shown up. A few have let me know they wouldn’t be able to come, but otherwise … crickets.
Let me back up just a little. I’m an extrovert … married to an introvert. In many ways, we balance each other. However, he is perfectly happy at home with his books or puttering in the yard and silence. For me, I can handle that for about an hour and then I’m crawling out of my skin. I need to be with people. I need noise, I need conversation. I need physical contact.
When I worked, my extrovert needs were met pretty well. When we retired we immediately moved to Mexico where I was involved in 2-3 different weekly activities that were usually within walking distance. I got my “bucket filled.” I made friends; we went shopping in Guadalajara or Chapala; or out to lunch … just because. [It didn’t hurt that the cost of things was a lot less there than they are here in the USA.]
But … now we’re back, almost a year, and I’m lonely. I feel isolated. My hubby is happy “doing this thing” all by himself or with others, makes no difference to him. Me … not so much.
Now, I don’t have a large fine fancy home like some others do. But it’s clean and nice. I don’t have a lot of money like some others; we have to account for almost every penny. But I’ve visited other friends in their homes which were no finer than mine. I live in a nice well-established quiet neighborhood. It is not fraught with crime. It is safe. But no one comes.
Even with church activities, when the school year ends, it’s as if fellowship just comes to a screeching halt, except for worship. You and I both know everyone doesn’t flock out of town to go on vacation ALL AT THE SAME TIME FOR 10 WEEKS! But also, everything doesn’t have to revolve around worship and prayer. I like to play board games or just go window shopping. I NEED PEOPLE!
I see friends’ posts on Facebook about their holiday barbeque, dinner or whatever, with friends and neighbors … our house is quiet. Only immediate family for holidays and we’re a tiny family. Not much conversation, if at all. Dinner is cooked … and over … and back to “same ol’, same ol’.” I fondly remember a few small groups “back when” where we did almost everything together … Sunday group meetings, shopping, camping, playing Nertz or Mexican train … even holidays like Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving … all of them … together. Then kids grew up, left home … and it seems everyone left, moved away or something … Except us. We’re still here.
When others open their home, I join them if I can (and let them know). Sometimes I even ask for a ride (one car home here) so I can be there to support them. For some reason, that doesn’t happen for me.
So, today I cleaned and dusted; made brownies; was prepared to make special cooling beverages (you’ve got to try my basil slushy); sat down and waited for someone to show up. Again … crickets. My husband came in from doing yard work, got a glass of water and just sat in the living room with me, happily not saying anything. It got kinda creepy. Then he asked if he could have a brownie. I told him I didn’t care … he could have the whole thing if he wanted. He looked at me funny.
After waiting almost an hour, and becoming more and more disheartened, I went upstairs and began my pity party. I don’t do pity parties often. In fact, rarely. But I felt like I deserved one. I crawled into the bed and just stayed there for awhile in the dark. I felt like no one really liked me. I felt like my presence was apparently merely tolerated. I mean, when I come to their homes, they actually act like they like me. We converse, laugh, crack jokes, eat together, pray together.
So WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
After 66 years, you’d think I’d figure this out, but ….. …… no. So, you tell me: because I’m not getting it. But I AM getting really tired of it. I’m tired of being lonely. I’m tired of feeling isolated. I’m tired of feeling merely tolerated. I’m tired of being on the outside looking in. And I don’t want to “get a job.” I’m retired. People tell me to “get involved.” I’m still looking for that special something. Obviously, I can’t create it myself because NO.ONE.COMES!
And now that my hubby and my son are gone, I just may go and have a good cry.
And eat a brownie … an 8″ x 8″ brownie.
I miss Mexico … where I felt like I had real friends.