Monday, June 23, 2008

How do you describe yourself

Michelle at The Beartwinmom's Den tagged me with a meme this afternoon.

  • Write a six-word memoir.

  • Post it to your blog including a visual illustration if you would like.

  • Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogsphere.

  • Tag 5 more blogs with links

  • Don’t forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

Unlike Michelle, I did not have several swimming around in my head. I find it hard to define myself in words, it depends on the day, time and situation. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a defining characteristic of mine is that I am a loner. I enjoy people, but in small doses. If you give me the option of an afternoon with people or of one with myself, I'll choose me, every time. The internet is a boon for loners like me. I get to interact with many, many people, but on my terms.

Here is my 6 word memoir:

"Party of one, leave me alone."

I've stolen part of it from Anneli Rufus. She wrote the book, "Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto".

She writes on her webpage:
My book Party of One is about our subculture - the subculture that will never, by nature, join hands and whose voices will never, by nature, form a chorus. Some loners are neuroscientists and some are office cleaners. Some are sculptors and some are Survivor fans. Some are law students and some are surfers. No two loners are alike, but all of us have one thing in common: we like to be alone. We like it. Everyone else - nonloners, that is — can't stand to be alone. They squirm. They feel ashamed. They yearn for company when they're alone. They're bored and don't know what to do. They're lonely.

We're not.

Maybe we're not holed up in caves all day, or in submarines like Captain Nemo in his Nautilus. But alone we feel most normal. Most ourselves. Most alive.

What did Kurt Cobain, Albert Einstein, and Georgia O'Keeffe have in common?

No, not their taste in music. Guess again.

They were loners.

Mainstream culture loves nonloners. Joiners, schmoozers, teamworkers, congregants and all those who play well with others scoop up the rewards.

Meanwhile, loners get dissed. All the time. At school, at work, at church or temple, in movies, loners are misunderstood, misjudged, loathed, pitied and feared. Reporters and profilers calmly and constantly call us perverts, losers, stalkers and serial killers.

If every headline that includes the word "loner" had "Canadian" or "certified public accountant" instead, imagine the outcry.

Nonloners call loners crazy. Cold. Stuck-up. Standoffish. Selfish. Sad. Bad. Secretive. But we know being a loner isn't about hating people. It's about essence, about necessity. We need what others dread. We dread what others need.

Do birds hate lips? Do Fijians detest snowplows?

A journalist and the author of several critically acclaimed books, and a lifelong loner, I wrote Party of One as a way to expose mainstream culture’s antiloner prejudice. But I also wrote it to show the ways in which loners have not just survived but actually changed the world, not just saved civilization but had a lot to do with creating it.

Famous loners span every era, every realm. Albert Einstein, Anne Rice, Michelangelo, Barry Bonds, Isaac Newton, Franz Kafka, Stanley Kubrick, Janet Reno, John Lennon, James Michener, Emily Dickinson, Alexander Pope, Hermann Hesse, Paul Westerberg, Georgia O’Keeffe, Kurt Cobain, Haruki Murakami, Gustav Klimt, Charles Schulz, Dan Clowes, Piet Mondrian, Saint Anthony, H.P. Lovecraft, Beatrix Potter and Joe DiMaggio....

Not to mention Superman, Batman and Shiva.

So — as the pickpockets sang in the musical Oliver! — consider yourself one of us.

"The Party of One" is a must read for all loners and for anyone trying to understand the loners in their lives. I'm a loner, and have always known I am a loner, and yet the book helped me realize that I have two children who are loners, one more than the other, and that I need to parent them with care, so as not to over tax their little nervous systems with too much "people" activity.

I tag:
Tina from MT Bar Farm
Lydia from Little Blue School
Leah from Webmama
Shell from Eclectic Eccentricities
Danielle from Amuzon's Practical Magic


Danielle said...

Thanks for the tag. It took a bit of thinking, but I came up with one!

Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

See, I knew you could do it, and do it incredibly well. :-)

Lostcheerio said...

Mine: It must be visible from space.

Leah said...

Sorry I haven't posted mine yet.
I promise I will, but I just haven't been able to come up with anything yet.

Leah said...

Well, I finally did it!

Here's my meme: