Lately, I have been wondering something. What do people do? And I don’t mean people like me, people who crash on the couch every night and watch reruns or cheesy movies edited for television. What do people do with free time? Or is this whole “free time” thing just a concept that I need to get over and fill with some fruitful effort of self-betterment?
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy lounging around with the husband and zoning out in front of the television. It’s just that I’m afraid that we do it too much. I mean, we were in Florida, and even though there was cable there, and a DVD player (crap-tastic as it was), we really didn’t watch that much television at all. But we were on Vacation, that’s right, with the capital “V,” which meant that we were stepping outside of our normal schedules of work and the need to vegetate afterward. We were in Florida, where there was sand to walk on, cool breezes to enjoy on the balcony during cocktail hour or lunch time. Or dinner. We talked to each other and had some really good conversation. Not that we don’t during our regularly scheduled programs, it’s just different with the salty air in your nostrils and nothing to set the alarm for the next morning.
All that aside, even before this vacation hiatus from real life, I had been thinking about how I spend my time. I had been thinking about what other people do to go have fun. And all I can really seem to come up with are bars and clubs. Now, if you’re not a bar or club sort of person, which I am not (with some exception), and even if you are a bar or club sort of person and happen to be pregnant, what do you do? Where can one go for some social interaction, some low-cost hanging out?
I can’t really seem to find the happy medium between post-college bar hopping and early-bird-special bingo night at the American Legion. What do late-twenty- and early-thirty-somethings do with themselves when they want to go out and have a good time? I can’t seem to come up with anything.
I think that in my past social lives, what I did on any given night or weekend was intricately connected to my network of friends. We gamed, we went to see movies and talk about them over pie, we scheduled day trips to Great America. Or, we just found someone’s house and sat around, played video games or watched movies or just talked. I don’t really have a friend network in this place at this point in my life. It’s not an automatic thing, anymore, like it was in high school and in college. One has to work at the cultivation of individual friendships and groups of friends are not a guarantee. Just because you like one person doesn’t mean that you’ll like that person’s friends.
Tomorrow night, I’m going to a meeting of a local artists’ group. It’s their last meeting before they stop for the summer, but I thought I’d give it a shot to see if there were some people there with similar interests as me who might eventually turn into friends. Maybe some of them do things together sometimes. This is a big step. It’s difficult for me to venture into new territory. It makes me uncomfortable. But it’s one of those items on my self-betterment to-do list. To put myself out there and see what happens. Because if I stay where I am, I could be missing out on any number of things I might never know.