Friday, July 25, 2008

My Friends Ain't Enough For One Hand

My mum's concerned about me and Betty.

You haven't got a hobby. You do nothing with your spare time.

We do. We watch telly. We read. We listen to music. We blog.

Yes but you don't communicate with other people.

Blogging is communicating.

Yes, but it's not face to face. I don't know any other couples like you. Most normal couples have a social life. They meet up with other couples. They go round to other couples' houses. They entertain.

What have we got in common with other couples? Come to think of it what have I ever had in common with most people? Besides, I've got my friends.

Which you see how often?

They're miles away! How often would you see your friends if they moved hundreds of miles away?

We're always making new friends. We've got friends from dancing. Friends from bowls. Friends who we meet on holiday - we're always chatting to new people when we're on holiday. Tell me, Geoff. Are you really happy? Are you really really happy with your life?

Outside of work?

Yes, of course.


You need a hobby, though. One where you meet people. Golf.

I hate golf.

You used to play sports. Tennis.

That was for the competition. I didn't make any friends from tennis.

I'm not going to get anywhere with you two am I?

We're happy with our sad little lives.

Are you doing anything at the weekend?

Of course not. You?

Of course.


  1. Tell your Ma that Max Mosely is a normal sociable person who invites people round to his house and involves them in his hobbies.

    Have a lovely sociophobic weekend and bollocks to the rest of them!

  2. Thank you, Murph.

    As you see I'm posting this at 9.38 on a Friday evening so our new social life hasn't taken off yet.

  3. You have achieved a state of bliss.

  4. Serenity is not having to worry what other people think of how you live. Ditto what Murph said.
    I'm typing this at 22.42.

  5. Just because your mother likes face-to-face meetings doesn't mean you have to like it! Maybe she's trying to run your life cos she doesn't have one in spite of what she says!

  6. 'Face to face' and 'meeting people' and 'friends' is all a load of cock. You MIGHT have a few good nights but most likely it'll be terrible, THEN you have to spend the rest of your life lying to get out of going to 'events' or 'parties'. It's bad enough having to do this with family let alone people that should have stayed strangers. I say stay within your little bubble of joy and music and books.

  7. "Friends who we meet on holiday..."

    Those words send a chill down my spine.

  8. MJ - You're my guru!

    Istvanski - I used to take it to heart. I haven't for some time now.

    Llewtrah - She's always been sociable. I've always been the opposite. All she wants is for me to be happy and if only I did this or did that I would be happier. I just can't convince her that I'm now the happiest I've been since I can remember. Maybe I smiled a lot more as a very small child.

    Inwardly Confused - I like to keep people at arm's length. I've always been the same and refused to go to any parties as a kid. The funny thing is that out of my grandparents, my parents their offspring, my mum and sister are the only two sociable people. It's a modern disease.

    Tim - But they're so interesting! Arthur and Janice were a lovely couple and so down to earth. We couldn't have picked a better couple to sit next to on the first night.

  9. You didn't smile a lot more as a child.

    We've all seen the photos, remember?

  10. Stay at home & keep the door shut!

    My mum was very sociable, although she didn't 'have people round' very often, thankfully. If she had, I'd have had to spend even more time in my bedroom than I actually did.

    As a kid I used to hate people 'knocking' for me, I'd try to get her to say I wasn't in, but she thought 'mixing' would be good for me. It wasn't.

  11. MJ - Of course. The proof's in the pudding there. My mum remembers a happy little tanned boy cavorting on Dorset beaches.

    Beth - One of my mum's arguments is that at least my dad had his allotment as a hobby and I have nothing. As if the allotment wasn't somewhere to get away from people.

  12. were you inadvertently swapped at birth?

  13. I don't think so. I'm the spitting image of my mum's aunt.

  14. My love for you both has just shot off the graph. Especially as we'll never meet.
    Hobbies are for losers and wankers (as the young people say).

    Most chilling words and phrases:
    Come over for supper.
    We're having a little get-together.
    There are some people I'd love you to meet.
    We were just passing and thought we'd call in.

    Must stop. I've broken out in a cold sweat.

  15. I have a social life - I'm going upstairs to see Kev at 6 o'clock.

    We aren't expecting company.

  16. Willie - Our next door neighbour has just purchased a barbecue. He said "I hope you don't mind us using it - we'll keep it away from the house. You never know, you might get an invitation." I wriggled out of that one by saying I'm not really into barbecues but please go ahead. There's an art in polite refusal.

    Kaz - I presume that means you're back. Welcome back! And I presume you didn't meet up with other nice couples in Spain. How anti-social of you!

  17. I've never been to a dinner party in my life. I've never even been in the same house as one where a dinner party was being held.

    My idea of supper is a cream cracker and some cocoa.

    And anti-sociability is brilliant.

  18. Arabella10:46 PM

    Oh Lord, Betty just described my childhood/adolescence: hiding in the bedroom while downstairs old people drank whisky, cupped cigarettes in their hands and played The Dubliners.

  19. Billy - I went to a couple of dinner parties in my early twenties. The best bit was the washing up.

    Arabella - That sounds like Shane MacGowan's childhood. The downstairs stuff, I mean.

  20. Blogmates are much less tedious and far less likely to unexpectedly drop in and consume all of your liquor.

    The real world is disturbiingly garish and unpredictable. Besides, I feel like Hugh bloody Hefner entertaining people whilst lounging in my pyjamas.

  21. When I used to wear pyjamas they had a tendency to gape open. That would keep the buggers away.

  22. This could be open, indeed gaping open, to several interpretations, all more or less explaining your aversion to certain social activities. (In this context, should that be 'from certain s. a.?) I was in Kent (in day clothes) last Wednesday, but felt very shy about telling anyone. Meanwhile my mother (98) tells me I don't display enough loving-kindness. Could we be cousins?

  23. Possibly, as I don't have anything in common with my supposed real cousins.

  24. billy: there have been letters in the Guardian about 'supper' since Cameron used the term this week.
    I think it was Rod Liddle who told a story about a girl inviting him to 'supper'. Interpreting this as the bedtime snack, he thought his luck was in and went and bought some condoms.

    geoff: barbecues are probably worse than dinner parties because they infect neighbouring gardens with a nauseating stench.
    Ban them, I say.

  25. A work colleague is after a new barbecue. She was looking at some top of the range ones last week and all the middle aged Iron Johns there were taking turns at standing in the cooking position.

    Ban them now!

  26. Mrs Malc is a very outgoing, sociable type who has hoardes of friends. We were constantly being invited to various gatherings where I'd keep one eye on the wine and another on the clock. Dull, dull, dull.

    Then we moved to a small Scottish island. That sorted it.

    And the fact that people expect to make friends playing tennis explains a lot about Britain's standing in the world game.

  27. The day I have 'friends from bowls' is the day I give up breathing.

  28. Malc - And you certainly wouldn't want to make friends with the likes of Henman and Murray.

    Boz - There was a story in the paper today about 8 year old triplet bowls players. Their grandmother said "Everybody down at the club loves talking to them and it is nice they are getting involved with the older generation in this way." I thought one of the benefits in being old was that you didn't have to communicate with children. Nowhere's safe any more.