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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Thursday, March 16, 2006

If it wasn't for disappointment, I wouldn't have any appointments

I've been a bit lax with posting new material up here recently, but that's mostly because nothing's really been going on.

I just recently realized that what was once a mildly pathetic social life has blossomed into a completely pathetic social life. I've always been a stay-at-home kind of guy, preferring to surround myself with creature comforts instead of venturing out and...well...being social.

It's kind of hard to pinpoint the exact start of this, but I'd have to say my job has been mostly to blame. Back in my late teens and most of my twenties, I had a crappy job working at a supermarket. Since it took me forever to get through school, I was usually working nights. And even when I *did* finally graduate, I got me a job supporting a major newspaper, meaning that the crunch times were always late at night. The shift never really bothered me...not only have I become immune to working nights, but I think I actually prefer it. There's something to be said about not having to face a nightmarish commute every day, nor having to deal with crowds when you want to run errands. Frankly, part of me even enjoys *not* feeling obliged to eat lunch with coworkers during the day. The downside to all of this is that it's killed any weeknight activities that I might have otherwise enjoyed. I can't play softball with friends, or go out to a bar afterwards. I can't go to a hockey/baseball game at night, nor can I enjoy one on TV (if it wasn't for TiVo, I'd never get to watch regular TV, period). So any social life I might have had, never really gained any footing because I can't do anything on weeknights to reinforce relationships. Frankly, I can't believe I'm fucking married.

All that being said, having a baby has just about been the final nail in the coffin. Whatever free time I had is now being spent with family. That's definitely not a bad thing, but it does complicate things from a social perspective. Of course, the next logical step here is to start having family/friends outings where everyone and their kids do group events, or to use your children's relationships to meet new people, but that's another topic altogether.

I don't think I realized how bad it had gotten until a couple of Fridays ago. I have a group of friends I hang out with on a semi-annual basis. Although we're all over the place now (northern NJ, Pennsylvania, Trenton), we try to get together at least once or twice a year. We've religiously gone to Atlantic City every time, but the commute's become a pain especially for my friends who, after arriving back at my house at 3 AM, find themselves having to drive another 90 minutes just to get home. So we were going to have one of our old fashioned sit around and bullshit nights where we just play cards and watch TV.

I was all geared up for it. About a month ago I throw about a dozen different season passes on my TiVo. The Munsters. Good Times. Seinfeld. The Simpsons. South Park. The Three Stooges. Benny Hill. What's Happening. Monty Python. Fawlty Towers. Pretty much any classic sitcom/cartoon from the last thirty years was on there. Hell, I even went out and bought myself a poker set...officially making myself the last male in the U.S. to own a poker set. All that planning and what happens? One of my friends...who works the graveyard shift...backs out at the last minute because he forgot to take off from work. And when he backed out, it opened the door for another guy who was borderline backing out himself. The whole night went up in smoke in a matter of minutes. I was devastated. I mean, *utterly* devastated. I was all prepared to have a good time and wound up having it all blow up at the last second. Shit like that never bothered me before, but because these opportunities come around so infrequently anymore, I wound up in a foul mood all night.

Anyway, people suck. Now I remember why I bury myself in Madden football and fantasy sports leagues all the time.


Blogger Darren said...

It's tough, but unfortunately that's sort of what life becomes as you get older and start having a family. I have, in fact, found myself going out too often on occassion, and ending up with a wife who is mad at me because I left her home with the kid. Still, it is important to have a life outside of your family and outside of your house, so I can understand your disappointment. You simply have to make more occasions for these interactions, put in more of the effort yourself when your friends might not, that sort of thing. Of course, I'm incredibly tired after having worked pretty much constantly for the last week or two (and seeing almost no one except for my clients), so anything I say right now may not make any sense and should probably be disregarded. :)

3/16/2006 11:18 PM  

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