side by side
Recently I’ve visited a bunch of art shows with companions in tow. While I was happy enough to see these people and chat with them before each show, it felt a little confining to me (but also, I suppose, touching) that each person wanted to stick by my side while looking at the pictures (in one case, chatting to me the entire time, which drove me a little batty). I kept wanting to say, “We can split up and I’ll find you afterwards.”
Pondering this later, I considered the idea that I’ve become a hardened loner. I spoke to one of my (male) coworkers about this and he told me he feels the same way. He’s in a long-term relationship (although never married and childless), but when he goes to shows with his girlfriend they usually split up, and he frankly enjoys going to movies solo. We further discussed the inconveniences and difficulties of coordinating plans with other people and the fact that it’s often more exciting to go places alone, as you are more likely to meet new people.
I suppose those are the positive flip sides to feeling “alone, alone, alone, I’m always alone.”