Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tonight, instead of getting to know some friends better and probably meeting new people, I chose to sit in a dark room, waste some money and play computer games.

Almost nothing's that simple, of course, so I shouldn't beat myself up like that. It's a problem of mine. To elaborate, I went up to Burlington earlier this evening, planning on going to Drinking Liberally as I do most Thursday nights. No one else showed up at the usual place, so I went to a nearby cyber café to check my e-mail and see if it had been cancelled. As it turns out, it had merely been moved to Nectar's, a club a couple blocks away. I couldn't decide right away if I wanted to join them at the new place or just turn around and go home - I was iffy about going up there tonight in the first place, and Nectar's was not the kind of place I felt like. But while I was at the cybercafé I logged on to Kinderkreig, my main character in World of Warcraft, planning to just do a little housekeeping-type stuff.

But some people were trying to get a group together to tackle Onyxia, an extremely tough boss. In similar situations I've refused to join in, but I had never even tried Onyxia before, and I was assured it would be quicker than I had expected, so I went for it.

Over two hours later, I finally left, job undone and clearly undoable by our group.

So instead of going to a social outing that I was ambivalent about to begin with, I tried to do something I had never done before. At least, that's the "glass half full, dammit, I don't care how light it feels!" interpretation. But when all is said and done, instead of getting to know some friends better and probably meeting new people, I chose to sit in a dark room, waste some money and play computer games.

My parents have complained about the time I spend playing computer games and occasionally I've wondered myself, but I've always believed that there was nothing wrong with games except for how they can become a procrastination tool. But if that were ever true, clearly it's not any more.

I need to get off my ass and... forget that, I just need to get off my ass. I have absolutely no excuse for spending every Friday and Saturday night online without fail, or for having a heap of receipts which are waiting for me to spend the mere 15 minutes it would take to balance my checkbook and avoid overdue bills, or for already procrastinating on a few things at this dream job, or for not even trying to develop a social life closer to home or more personal than weekly interest groups in Burlington, and on and on.

By almost any measure I'm better off than a year ago. And by every single measure I'm certainly better off than I was three years ago, as both Gretchen and Katye could agree with. But just "better" is not nearly fucking good enough, not by a long shot.


A. Azuri said...

I just got to level 59 with my UD Warlock on Khadgar, and did my DM quests with a bunch of guildies. Yes, I'm addicted. Yes, I'm exhausted. Am I going to stop? Not until my card runs out, which it probably will in the next week.

But at least my project proposal is done. And the Spring Seminar is next month rather than next week. So maybe I'm going to get a breather.

More likely, I'll continue being an insomniac. *smacks self with pillow* This is your friend, Ladystark!

Katye said...

On the other hand, did you have more fun playing the game than you would have at drinking liberally?

I decided at some point to stop trying to force myself to be a social person, because I'm not. What's the point of trying to go out and make friends when I'm happy the way I am?

I have ways of getting out of the house - work and karate - that give me a group of social acquaintances. From that, I get about one "party" a month. I leave these parties happy, but I know I couldn't do it more often than I do. I turn down social activities because, frankly, I know I'd have a better time on my own.

So maybe I just didn't read your essay right, but it sounds as if you wanted to play the computer game more than you wanted to go to this bar. It's one thing to look at it in hindsight and say "I should have gone to the bar", but why are you forcing yourself to do something you didn't feel like doing?

If you're addicted to computer games, that's slightly different. I'd say you should read more Terry Pratchett or pick up a hobby. I just don't see the point in forcing yourself to be more social than you like to be naturally.

Unless you're trying to pick up girls or something. Then I can see where meeting people would be important.

But mostly, don't knock your asocial life, because mine's just like it. =)

Cyrus said...

What's the point of trying to go out and make friends when I'm happy the way I am?

The short answer is, I'm not happy. Whatever should be done about it, whatever even can be done about it, whatever would help me find someone or probably even more importantly help me be at peace by myself... does not include playing computer games. I'm sorry if the post came of as just knocking the asocial life, and if it works for you, more power to you - I'm even a bit jealous. But it's not working for me these days. For that matter, I don't know if it ever did work for me.

The problem is, it seems I have yet to learn how to have any other kind of life.

Anonymous said...

If you really aren't happy, then I can see reason for change. I was just reminded of a friend in high school who cut his hair to please his girlfriend. People change their lives too often because they think they should, not because they want to.

That said...obviously I can't drag you into a social life from halfway across the country. Even if you do give up your computer games (didn't you delete them all from your comp once?) make sure you still show up on AIM at some point.

The asocial life has its down side, of course. I just miss the friends I already have more than the friends I might make.

As far as how to be different, I can't help you there. I'm pretty sure just going to social gathering places and striking up conversations with people over and over again until you find someone you like is the key. Far easier said than done, in my book.

Try to get a straight man. Whatever they're called. Start with making a social friend, and they will lead you to others. That's how it always worked for me.