Let's have a salon

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:00 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
[personal profile] jenett
Several years ago, I ran a series of weekly salon posts, where I'd post a topic to get us started, people would show up in the comments, and conversation would ensue. Now seems a good time to try them again!

(You should not feel restrained to keep on this topic! Start other topics! Encourage topic drift! That's part of the point. Feel free to ask random questions, there's a chance someone might know about the thing.)

This week's question


What are you learning right now that you're really interested by? (That might be a project for work, for personal stuff, a gaming geekery thing, a book you're reading, a podcast you're listening to, the fact you're learning a lot about Dreamwidth and how it works this week, or anything else.)

What do you like about it? What are you finding more challenging?

Things currently contemplating


I'm currently reading Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones, which is well-researched and has a really interesting structure where he's looking at different pieces of it through small slices (individual people, towns, situations) and tracing back to the origins as much as possible. I really like books where the information part is well done, but the structure creates connections between pieces of information in helpful and new ways.

Notes:


* Consider this a conversation in my living room, only with a lot more seating. I reserve the right to redirect, screen, and otherwise moderate stuff, but would vastly prefer not to have to.
* If this works this week, I'll do an updated FAQ and continue.
* If you don't have a DW account or want to post anonymously, please include a name we can call you in this particular post. (You can say AnonymousOne or your favourite colour or whatever. Just something to help keep conversations clear.)
* If you've got a question or concern, feel free to PM me.

Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 01:22 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: (Default)
From: [personal profile] author_by_night
So here's a topic inspired by one of those Facebook memories. I have this problem less now that I'm in my thirties and my friends are mostly boring old people* parents or have other grown up obligations or just aren't that into partying anymore, but it used to be hard to make friends because I wasn't into, you know, going to bars and stuff. I don't drink much, so getting drunk to get drunk really wasn't an option.

At the same time, and I'm curious if this was the case for others, I felt like a lot of non-party people were either anti-social altogether, or they weren't into partying because they had strict moral values. So not only could we not party, everything had to be "good." No watching PG-13 movies, for instance. Also, they weren't available often because they almost exclusively did stuff with their church. I have nothing against being how they were, it just... wasn't who I was. I was somewhere in between "let's get plastered every night" and "let's drink Shirley Temples and talk about Jesus."

Like I said, it's less of a problem now - I don't know if it's because I'm older, because I've found my "people", or a little bit of both. (My guess would be it's a mixture. I have a feeling one or two WERE party people in their twenties who've since mellowed, but many also just seem like me - they want to have fun, just not beer kegs at 4 AM.)

*Kidding, obviously.


(Great idea for an entry, btw!)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 07:47 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: (fistbump by etherealnetworks)
From: [personal profile] author_by_night
That makes sense. Sounds like you were busy!

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 02:22 pm (UTC)
anandrine: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anandrine
hmm, i think there's a bunch of factors to this. where you live, plus whether you've lived there a while or you're new. when i was in high school and college, even though i was in the conservative, religious south, this wasn't a problem. at one point, i met a couple friends through a church group, even though most of us weren't religious (or rather were interested in wicca, lol) and were gay/bi/etc--it was just kind of a convenient place to meet once a week. when i was in college, i signed up for student groups and met people there, and i occasionally went to parties with friends and met people there, but also, at that time i didn't drink and didn't feel out of place for not doing so. one of my most memorable experiences from that time was going to a spot in the middle of some alabama woods that supposedly had an abandoned, haunted church--totally sober.)

on the other hand, moving as an adult to a new state, i've definitely experienced the struggle. however, i also think it's less to do with "partiers vs. jesus freaks" and more to do with the fact that when that happens, you often have zero foundation to build on, unless you happen to have friends in the new state who can introduce you to their friends. in that case i feel it's not so much you only have two extremes when it comes to actual people, but when it comes to thinking of places where there are large amounts of new people you could meet, if that makes sense?

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 03:34 pm (UTC)
mindways: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mindways
I've always found that "a thing to do together" has been key to making friends - meet via a shared interest, and if there's a social-clicking with someone then start getting together with them outside of that interest.

I've never found "get smashed" or "go to bars" very appealing. Instead, I've met people via roleplaying games, board games, LARPing, martial arts, partner yoga, the SCA - and in many many cases via introductions from mutual friends, though that's not a good bootstrapper unless you happen to befriend a social nexus right off the bat. Plus still-friends from high school + college.

I've never run into the strict moral values problem, but I grew up in New England; despite our puritan heritage we lean pretty liberal these days.

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:07 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: It's a rat!  With a spork!  It's ME! (Default)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
I always had fun meeting folks with RPG, gaming, SCA stuff. It's been neat and sometimes you stay friends even after what got you together has ended.

(I grew up in and still live in Rural Mississippi, so you end up with a lot of folks on each end of the spectrum of 'partier' and 'religious fundamentalist'. The most fun I ever had with the fundamentalists was when they discovered that the New Testament doesn't say anything about alcohol and they decided they were going to experiment with various types. Took three months and lots and lots of the taster bottles.)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:09 pm (UTC)
maellenkleth: (glass-flower)
From: [personal profile] maellenkleth
I seldom partied, because I worked long shifts at a responsible job in a coal mine. My workmates expected me to be well-rested and **not** hung-over when I wired-up the shots at the coal-face.

Of course, the standard quip, back then, was "I don't stand behind my work: I stand behind a BIG rock."

Did tend to hang out in the Chinese restaurant on Sunday afternoons and drink a lot of tea. Either that or the doughnut shop were our social choices, out there, back then (that was almost 40 years ago,now).

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 02:12 am (UTC)
dejla: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dejla
I'm not a great fan of drinking parties -- watching other people get plastered only made me wish I was an interior decorator because I could sure do better than that on a wall.

Most of the people I have encountered in my life were not heavy drinkers or did not drink at all. My father, for instance, was a Baptist minister whose father was a drunk. Not a mean drunk, but a happy, funny drunk who lost his farm because of drink, who couldn't provide for his family because he was drunk, and who ended up digging ditches to make ends meet.

I do drink a little now, not all that often because I am also the designated driver in my group. Two mixed drinks and that's it for the evening. I don't care for beer, and I'm not crazy about dry wines. I like sweet champagne and German whites, but one glass of that is usually it.

So... there are things that I would do with certain friends that I wouldn't do with other friends. Some people I might watch porn with -- which can be hysterically funny if you're in the mood. Others I might watch PG-13 or R films or simply sit and discuss religion, politics (NOT at a mixed dinner crowd), or books.

I think you havs to find your people, as you said. And as you get older, the people you had less of a connection with drift away, and the ones who really get you stay

IMHO.

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 05:46 am (UTC)
ofmonstrouswords: (bsg: kara thrace card game)
From: [personal profile] ofmonstrouswords
I was a super partier in my 20s, because theatre kid, but no longer, because super disabled now (thanks to said partying**). Also I'm older, and even if I were physically able to go out clubbing again I would feel like a super creeper in a crowd of 20somethings.

I'm still a night owl, though, and like socializing past midnight. Just in quieter environments, such as at home playing card games/board games, watching movies together, geeking out over stuff, knitting circles, etc, not out at the club and dancing until everything hurts. (Which, tbh, I miss doing.) Luckily I have found and can find others who are into this, but usually only every so often, like at events where we don't have to get up early the next day. Otherwise, folks have Adult Responsibilities that don't include being on a shift worker's schedule and being able to stay up late during the week or even on weekends.

Anyway, when I was a partier, I had a bunch of people I called friends but for the most part were probably acquaintances. Some of them have remained close friends; one was my best man at my wedding, though probably worth noting he's never been a "partier" so much as he was game for whatever the hangouts were when we went to school together. We were just as likely to play Rock Band in his trailer as we were to go out dancing (and what we decided on would likely come down to how much money we had).

The problem is I moved away from the town where I went to uni and was a partier and now I live in a city where everyone is much farther apart, physically, and transit is crap enough this means you rarely get to see the friends you have unless you all live in the same neighborhood. We don't even visit my husband's family that often because it's something like a 30, 45 minute drive. (Or 3 hours on transit.) So most of those people who remained close friends? I rarely see, if at all.

The friends we have here are scattered across the city in various neighborhoods (boroughs? I don't know what to call areas that are basically cities onto themselves but rest within the regional district of Greater MainCity), and any events we might want to go to are generally speaking going to be super far out of the way.

Currently my husband is at rehearsal for a burlesque show he's performing in on Friday and that is in *downtown.* Ie, a place we almost never go to, because it's an hour away with normal traffic and gas prices are horrendous. Burlesque outside of downtown? HAH.

The pagan crowd similarly tends to have their events in other neighborhoods that are far enough away that we can't go on a regular basis, or for the once-a-year campout type gatherings, they're *close*, but we can only afford one of them a year (and that's because it's run by his mom and she gifts us part of our registration fee for our bdays).

So the end result is I feel I have no friends because there's no one I see often enough to feel like they're really part of my life, because getting out of our neighborhood to see people is a huge problem. And I have no idea how to make new friends in our neighborhood, not to mention a lingering feeling that there's no point because even though I WANT us to settle down here in this part of town, the likelihood of us being able to afford that is super super super slim. Paperthin, even. Or the problem that the process of making new friends often requires time spent in public areas, not homes, before inviting to homes, which translates to "let's meet for coffee" which means I can sit there and order nothing because *I cannot afford to go out for coffee*.

I don't really want to YET AGAIN go through the process of Make Friends, Move Away, Have Friends Scattered Across Globe, Feel More Alone Than Ever. (My best friend in the entire world? Lives in Alaska. Most of my friends from teen years? Hawaii, because that's where I went to high school. I'm on the mainland of British Columbia now, and most of my uni friends are STILL on Vancouver Island, which is prohibitively expensive to visit now because BC Ferries=the devil. I end up reluctant to make new friends because I never know if I'm going to stay in an area and long distance friendships with no in-the-area friendships to balance them are breaking my heart.)

The one area where I've been trying to make new friends/become part of a community has been the local Anglican Church, where they know I'm pagan and are cool with it, and it's been lovely, but then my car's windshield wipers stopped working which renders it undriveable in a temperate rainforest, so I haven't been in weeks. Which just, add to the pile of "I started trying to be part of a community but then stopped, for whatever reason."

So. Yeah. I have no idea.


**long story that is best summed up by: drunken wrestling can lead to damaged spine.

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 01:37 pm (UTC)
woggy: (Umbrella Frog)
From: [personal profile] woggy
I don't really want to YET AGAIN go through the process of Make Friends, Move Away, Have Friends Scattered Across Globe, Feel More Alone Than Ever. (My best friend in the entire world? Lives in Alaska. Most of my friends from teen years? Hawaii, because that's where I went to high school. I'm on the mainland of British Columbia now, and most of my uni friends are STILL on Vancouver Island, which is prohibitively expensive to visit now because BC Ferries=the devil. I end up reluctant to make new friends because I never know if I'm going to stay in an area and long distance friendships with no in-the-area friendships to balance them are breaking my heart.)

This, a thousand times this. Thrice now I've moved away from the cluster of friends I'd acquired, and starting From Scratch is...really difficult. Plus the problems mentioned with transport - I just finished moving from old house (in old neighborhood a stone's throw from downtown and the uni campus) to a farmstead that is...significantly further away. It was the right choice for a whole lot of other reasons, but knowing i'm up for at least half an hour drive to see anybody is rather crushing (and even then, most of the folks I know locally are 'acquaintances' rather than true friends, so that makes it even harder to summon the motivation).

I got nothing either, other than to say this resonated. ^_^;;

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Sunday, April 16th, 2017 01:03 pm (UTC)
tinny: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tinny
That is interesting! I have an LJ friend who is from Finland and claims that there are no other places to go but bars, and that everyone is expected to be drinking.

I can't help them, because I don't live in Finland and thus can't disprove their claim. From what cliches I have heard about Finland, it may even be true? It's still so sad to have to stand by and not be able to help.

My own approach to this (which I already told them about) would be to go look for common interests - start an online dating profile with the intention of finding non-romantic friends to spend time with, or start sports or other hobbies to find like-minded people.

I'd have thought that works anywhere. *shrug*
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