Skip to content

How To Be Alone

So much unplanned weeping this weekend. Not that I always schedule my crying jags, but still. I was caught by surprise but spurred on by coverage of the California wildfires, general news reports, listening to The Moth’s Veteran’s Day Special and binge watching Bourdain. Later today CNN will be airing Anthony Bourdain’s final Parts Unknown episode. His death hit me hard. Yesterday I caught up on more episodes from past seasons. They’re all wonderful and bittersweet. Much of the focus is on family and community nearly everywhere the show is filmed. Especially the episodes from the Basque region of Spain and in the Philippines. I will always feel like an orphan and traveling only highlights that. Last month I returned from another solo trip. It was remarkable but I find it both interesting and frustrating how I’m treated in different parts of the world, as a solo woman traveler. Dublin was great but I didn’t get outside of the city at all. In Rome I received a few odd comments but it was much worse a couple hours away, in the smaller hilltop villages and coastal areas where I received outright hostile stares. I’m not sure why. My nationality and age aren’t immediately obvious. A woman venturing out in the world alone shouldn’t be met with such hostility. If I’d been a man no one would have batted an eye. Experiences like those make me feel even more like a loner weirdo (but won’t stop me from solo travel). Thankfully Lane Moore’s book is out now. When the title was announced a few months back - How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t - I immediately thought “hey, that’s the book for me!” And I was right. I’ve been reading it and listened to her on NPR’s Weekend Edition yesterday. This review gets at it: One woman’s quest for companionship in a culture progressively geared toward isolation. In the US, in particular, we are failing to maintain community. Dysfunctional families like the one I raised myself in are becoming the unfortunate norm. Which is why I’ve always been drawn to stories about others who don’t quite fit in.

Five Good Things:

  • Speaking of loner weirdos, the main characters in Can You Ever Forgive Me? should be unlikeable but the film strikes just the right balance of funny-sad. Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy played off one another perfectly.
  • I am currently car-less. My Volvo is with my trusted mechanic who, apparently, hates Volvos. Great! But I was able to work from home on Friday. And found it relaxing to have Netflix’s Moving Art episodes on in the background. Especially the Whales & Dolphins episode. Serenity now.
  • Long-time King Dude fan here but I had no idea they had a new release out! Well, newish. Came out back in August. Been enjoying Music to Make War To.
  • Managed to grab a Massive Attack/Liz Fraser ticket Thursday during the presale. The rest went on sale Friday and sold right out. So on a Sunday night in March I will be jammed into a sold out Palace Theatre, most likely with a bunch of olds (my peers).
  • It’s only Sunday and I’m already looking forward to Friday. Because of the amazing Helen Zaltzman! I have a ticket to see The Allusionist, live, in a stunning venue in St Paul. Just last month I was able to attend a live taping of her brother’s podcast, The Bugle, at the delightful Sugar Club in ef48b”>Dublin.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *