At every stage of life – we want someone to play with who enjoys playing with us. If we were dogs, we could wag tails to signal openness. Teenagers do it by imitation, lamenting lack of friends/partners in misery loves company mode.
Young adults do it through flirting/dating rituals. They seek coupling, to struggle through life with a companion – because misery loves company.
Divorcees commiserate with divorcees – because misery loves company.
Q. What do we do when we are miserable, lonely or have nobody to play with?
A. Invite friends for dinner, because misery loves company.
I’m not miserable.
I’m getting over/through some difficulties, so it is nice to have company.
Sandbox kids and tail-wagging dogs show us.
Toddlers share sandbox toys, doesn’t matter who.
Maybe our toys looked appealing, or we liked theirs.
Less about sandbox, more about playing.
We made sandbox friends, lost then minutes later.
Later – blame peer pressure, wanting to be wanted, lonely or being miserable, we want someone to play with. We got particular, or not – befriended anyone who showed interest.
Early sandbox parallel – forgetting pretense, seeking what feels good?
Dogs say: let me play with you, scratch my head - my belly, let me shed on you, lick your hand, taste your saltiness. Nothing more.
Kids, similar: be here, play with me, next to me, don’t push me around. We’ll make up games together.
Lyn & Guy came for dinner last night. Thanks for coming.
Gusta sucked-up, waggled and squirmed, to be petted and rubbed – got what she was after.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 8C/46F, clear, breezy – a warm day ahead, filled with work, some left-over pie and salad, ice pack on ankle, mulling a deeply moving note from an old friend, writing-day, so much quiet, so many memories of other times, other places – walking on fresh mown grass, birds chirping and a strange squirrel going cross-country between trees more than a hundred yards apart …
Read your post this morning and it was most inspirational for me. I had knee surgery yesterday and have a 9 to 12 month recovery process. Your post couldn't have come at a better time. ( User it or lose it), Thanks, SS, Red Deer, AB
Hey Mark -- your column of today caused me to think of the following. Much of humanity is addicted to the the appearance and the apparent promise of perpetual youth. But as we age, we leave authentic youth behind. We tend to pine after earlier years of energy, wellness, vibrancy, strength and attractiveness. Not just the "youthing" industries, but our own ways of thinking and even our most deeply held belief systems have emerged from this. We strive to maintain our reproductive value well beyond our "best before" date. I don't hear too many people wondering aloud about whether this is honest or not ... anyway, the social messaging goes something like this: "I will present myself so that you will be convinced I am attractive and youthful and vigorous and virile and energetic and clear-eyed and clear-thinking, and that I am smart and well-heeled and full of excellent quality reproductive potential, and long-term promise for much more of the same, plus maybe even some wisdom, too. If you like what you see, we should hook up as soon as possible!" Vanity, denial and delusion swell to the surface. Some men who are in their fifth, sixth and even seventh decades ACT as if they are teenagers. Usually this is done without a great deal of thinking. Now, I learned on the ranch a long time ago that the only way you could get the attention of a randy mule was to repeatedly apply the business end of a 2x4. Putting this principle into practice, most teen-powered men end up putting a full stop to their foolishness when real-world consequences repeatedly kick in. My life experiences have also taught me that there are women who are in their fifth, sixth and even seventh decades who also get stuck in a similar loop of beliefs and behaviours where, for example, some -- a small number -- can engage in long-fought and very expensive battles to be the seniors' equivalent of a prom queen to literally be the chosen one. So, I guess the choice is: we can live our lives as a perpetual cartoon, or live our lives as authentically as we really and truly are. The most beautiful people I have met, come to know and love accept entirely who they are. Without cartoon, fear, resignation, exaggeration or desperation, they simply ARE. They ARE their balance, normalcy, gifts and unique personhood, their range of skills, adequacies and limitations, their efforts, successes and failures, their joys, aspirations, and disappointments, their goals, accomplishments and especially their impossibilities. Just play "Book of Liars" by Steely Dan. Enjoy the superb musicianship -- and the message. Then listen to "Hey Nineteen" a few times, too. They work wonders to help us appreciate the fountain of oldth! Cheer, BE, Calgary, AB