Being alone sucks

November 13, 2006 at 3:50 pm | Posted in country living, faith, family, free knitting patterns, humor, knitting, love, yarn | 19 Comments

Firefly Says Being Alone SucksWe had a quiet and relaxing weekend on the farm with cold rainy weather. It was a good weekend to take it easy and do a bit of Christmas gift knitting while enjoying sofa-company with my husband.

Saturday afternoon even included a nice long cozy nap together on our reclining sofa … as I have pointed out before I do love an occasional nap.

I knit another pair of Knitty.com’s “Fetching” fingerless gloves this weekend, this time for my niece as a Christmas gift. I used a few of the sweet little buttons given to me by Winnie (the woman at our church who gave me a gazillion buttons last weekend) on the wrists. I knit these from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a soft blue color.

I will be making a knitted gift bag for these to go in, in a cream-colored Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn. I will most likely complete the bag by Wednesday and photos will be available.

After my husband and I met and started getting to know each other via email, I thought he was a very interesting man, but I did not think there was any way I would get interested in someone who lived so far away from my family and me.

Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Gloves in Blue Cashmerino AranTherefore, my defenses were up. It might sound strange, but I was sort of defending myself against how interesting he seemed to be. I was trying my best to stay at arms length, and yet I could not stop myself from replying to his long and wonderful emails with long and hopefully wonderful emails of my own.

A topic that came up often was the subject of being alone – or perhaps I should say, the “virtues” of being alone. I kept talking about how proficient I was at being alone: I could go to movies and restaurants by myself without feeling awkward; I could spend plenty of time alone at home doing creative things, watching old movies, writing … any number of activities. And I was soooooo cool with that. In short, I was comfortable keeping company with just myself.

In response he kept saying things such as, “Yes, but don’t you find you long to have someone to do those things with?” He was very open about the fact that although he was alone, it was not his choice to continue to be so. But you see, because I was defending my position, I could not allow his salvos of common sense on the subject to penetrate the walls I had rather carefully built and surrounded myself with over the years.

He was gently relentless in his pursuit of some kind of acknowledgment from me that being alone, though it could be tolerated, was not an optimum condition. He mentioned what it was like to go to dinner parties when you are the only non-couple person there, or when people leave a place setting for the spouse you do not have and how awkward that makes you feel. Or, when it is time to volunteer to do things at church that couples normally do together but you pass because you are alone and it just would not be the same.

What I explained to him was that while being alone might not be my first choice, I had come to believe that I might end up alone and that if that was the case I planned to embrace it rather than resist it and make a beautiful life in spite of that condition.

Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Gloves in Blue Cashmerino AranStill, he persisted.

Finally I hit upon something in an email to him that resounded for both of us … I suggested that what we could probably both agree on was that being alone sucks.

In his next email he said, “Yes, BEING ALONE SUCKS!” and had a few more things to say about that. For several more emails, in addition to anything else we talked about (and we talked about many, many things) each of us would say something else about BEING ALONE SUCKS.

A tender spot became a point of humor between us. It was a liberating phrase. And, being alone does suck. Shout it to the world, “Being alone sucks!”

There.

You know when it sucks more than any other time … Valentine’s Day!

Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Gloves in Blue Cashmerino AranAfter being liberated, I was able to admit to him something I had never admitted to anyone, not even to myself. I had been lonely. When I told him about that, I also pointed out that I had built a long illustrious career of being a strong-willed, independent woman who could take are of myself and did not need a man, no way, no how. Admitting to any sense of loneliness would have blown that image to smithereens.

To him, I could admit it and it did not make me feel vulnerable. Instead, it made me feel stronger. He made me feel stronger. That was different.

I am profoundly grateful to him for being someone who could get me to open up and really communicate about some very deep seated matters I had always held closely locked and guarded. I appreciate so much the fact that he did not let that point about being alone rest until he received a proper acknowledgement from me … and truth. It was part and parcel of the current I found myself sweeping along in … my current, his current, enveloped within another current most gracious.

The painting you see at the top of today’s blog is a watercolor I did from a blind contour drawing my sister made of me years ago when I was being alone and strong, but tired. For some reason, that painting has become a symbol in my mind of the “Being Alone Sucks” mantra. I do not know why, it just is.

So, to celebrate our liberation and to encourage the liberation of others, I put up some products over at CafePress this morning with the painting you see above and the slogan, “Being Alone Sucks.” There are t-shirts, hoodies, a tote bag, mugs, even a dog t-shirt. I will be donating a portion of any revenues generated from the sale of those items to our Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Honestly, I have not ever worked with CafePress before, so I am not entirely sure how the revenue stream works; I cannot say what the exact percentage will be that goes to Habitat but they will receive an appropriate donation from these sales.

Mostly, I think the products are fun and might be liberating for people who wear or use them. Who knows, maybe someone else who is alone will see you displaying the slogan and it might be liberating to them as well or at least start up an interesting conversation!

I feel compelled to tell you one other thing this morning: I am a very private person. That might sound strange considering the things I share here in my blog. I am doing this because my sense of gratitude for what has happened in my life is so large that I feel sharing it is the right thing to do. We experienced real magic in finding and recognizing each other. I don’t think it would be right to keep that to ourselves, when other people might benefit from knowing things like this do truly happen. I told him at one point that I would never again snicker at a fanciful “love” story that just seems a bit too good to be true. I realize now those stories are probably written, at least some of the, because things like this really do happen. It happened to us. It could happen to you.

I have to end off now and go make myself some tea to warm my hands … it is chilly up here in my upstairs office this morning.

Have a beautiful day … and thanks so much for stopping by.

~firefly

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19 Comments »

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  1. Wow! Your watercolor does say that! Cafe Press no less!;) Nice…The buttons make a big difference on Fetching, gives them a completely different look, very special. Hope you have a great day!

  2. Can it be…am I the first to comment this morning? Can you tell that I have been hovering on this page, waiting for the next intallment? 🙂

    Oh darn, I see that Carol just beat me.

    Honestly, I’m not sure that I would purchase anything with “being alone sucks” emblazoned on it, but I might go for something along the lines of “when the current hits, hang ten and hang on!”, or something along those lines…I am not a marketing person, so that is about the catchiest phrase I can come up with!!!

  3. I’m a lot like you – I’m a very self sufficient independent person who actually values her time alone BUT it sucks being alone! The world is built for couples and being single sucks (especially on Valentine’s day!).

  4. I agree with your first comment about how you need to be self sufficient. I love going places by myself because I don’t have to worry about someone else’s needs. But since I’ve found my Matt, I can’t imagine being without him. I think single people should be good by themselves. And if they never find someone special, they should be ok. But when they find the special someone, they’ll be great.

  5. Very cool post today, not that your others aren’t. I felt like I could identify with you on two levels.
    1. My hubby and I have one of those “fairy-tale” stories too, so I know what you mean when you say that you will look upon those stories with more appreciation. They do happen. Incidentally, there is a terrific movie titled “It Could Happen to You” with Nicholas Cage. Highly recommend it, its one of “our” movies!
    2. Being alone does suck. As a military wife, I have both worlds. I have the wonderful world of being a couple, and the interestingly wonderful world of being alone. You do indeed learn to be self-sufficient and independent to a fault, but it isn’t always fun.

    Love the fingerless mittens…the buttons add the perfect touch.

    Got to run… 🙂 ’til later, have a wonderful day.

  6. Being alone does suck. I do like the painting. It looks tired and busy thinking at the same time. Like she has been thinking the same thing over and over and is really tired of thinking about it.

    The buttons on your Fetchings really change the whole look of them. I like it.

  7. I just love the buttons on Fetching. I have my grandma’s button box. She taught me how to sew buttons on a washcloth over 50 years ago, with buttons from that same box. I’ve added to it, and subtracted, making up bags of buttons to send to my granddaughter so she can practice her sewing.

    Your latest installment in HIMMH was very good. I must take a peek at Cafe Press now.

  8. I love them. The color is pretty and the buttons are beautiful! They are just perfect.

  9. I am loving more of the story and I love the buttons on the Fetching. I read earlier this morning but just now had time to comment.

  10. A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled, there can be a quiet joy in solitude, but it’s nice to have someone to share with at the end of the day. I love the buttons and the colour of the gloves.

  11. I just came across this site and I have sooo enjoyed reading your story. I can’t wait to get started on a few of your projects!

    Thanks!

  12. Beautiful, well done site. The pictures are absolutely lovely. Loved your story, sounds like a wonderful man.

  13. Loved your story…I would agree that being along sucks, although I was lucky (or unlucky depending on your point of view) to meet my husband when I was 18. Beautiful knitting work also 🙂

  14. There is a time for being alone, even if only to appreciate the beauty of being with a special someone. But in general, I do agree that being alone SUCKS. Luckily, I don’t have to be alone if I don’t want to right now. Spending the holidays alone sucks even more than being alone normally.

  15. you know, when you’ve been alone a while and have made the conscious decision that you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life, it does make being alone easy. In making this conscious decision, I think one is freeing him/herself from disappointment but there’s also still that possibility of surprise. I think you know what I mean. The fetchings look very nice in that shade of blue..and the buttons! 🙂

  16. its unfortunate, but i have learned how to enjoy those times when i am alone. sometimes i seek to find times to stay away by myself. now, i don’t want to come off as crazy of course, but there is value in being alone sometimes because it exposes the true you and makes you have to deal with some things about yourself.

  17. too true..I met my mate on-line..we messaged back and forth for weeks..though I had become a strong single mom..I felt being alone.though a distinct possibility for the rest of my life..would still suck..I wandered by and read your story..lovely..

  18. […] Anyways, I finally got to her blog entries this morning and this one hit right where it hurts. It is part of the How I met my Husband story. Reading it, made me realise that although I’m always saying that I don’t mind being alone, my true feeling is that being alone sucks… it sucks big time!!! It made me cry and even now nearly 8 hours later it is going to make me cry again. […]

  19. Oh, my. I feel like an idiot. I shall have to look up the word “fetching”. (I have lived my entire life in So. Fla, within the sound of crashing ocean waves. We have never required anything thing wool nor have we ever been dependent on knitting skills.)

    Regardless, your site touched a deep chord in my soul. Maybe this crazy upside-down-pineapple-cake world really IS designed for couples..

    May we ALL find that perfect companion, who loves us regardless of our idiosyncricities and faults! THAT is true companionship, isn’t it?


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