My Go-to Pastime (don't judge me!)
Don't believe that all Italian families are big or happy.
I had two mentally deficient Italian-American parents, no siblings, very poor, my father loved gambling but hated work, didn't provide for my mother or me (he preferred his siblings to us) and ruined every celebration.
Without warning he committed suicide a week after I graduated from high school (which he wanted me to quit in my 2d year.)
He was also an atheist and tried to get me to stop believing but I was and am still a very firm believer, partly because I didn't want to be anything like him!
Thankfully I had decent peers who urged me to go to college which I did (& grad school where I met my husband). Neither he nor I like snow so we relocated to the Deep South in the 1970s.
We had no family here but made a lot of friends; however, due to their relocations, illnesses, deaths, etc we find ourselves stranded, owning a home in a neighborhood that started out pleasantly enough but has more recently become rife with howling coyotes, unfriendly pets, eye-sore cars, weed-strangled yards . . . Hubby refuses to move - we do like the location, the geography, the climate but not the 21st c. weirdness.
I spent my middling years working long hours, commuting in murderous traffic, giving my time and money to Christian charities which in many ways failed me when I was near death a few years ago due to an illness I contracted while abroad.
I also wrote books which were published and I've taught writing classes.
But now to my current dilemma: way back when, I escaped my parents' dysfunction into TV land. Now that my husband is retired, he looks up from his history tomes every evening to see me sitting there, watching, but due to a serious incurable injury, eye problems and a lack of sophisticated friends, TV is about all I feel up to doing. I am expert at finding worthwhile programming - but there must be something more intriguing I can afford to do at this stage of life.
No children, no pets. My husband and I have traveled a lot but my health has become too compromised for all that hard work - and travel is hard work, not something to put off indefinitely.
Before he retired, I was so lonely that I foolishly joined a "senior center" where I was hit on for sex, badgered for money and insulted by bitter divorcees or spinsters. When I tried addressing these issues with the overseers, my revelations went over like a lead balloon. I must say I was delighted when their shiny new costly building was shut down due to the pandemic. Nyah, nyah, NYAH!!!
Realistically, now that we know so much about Covid, I'm not sure I want to be among people any more. So what's left - besides TV?
Oh, and I used to have penpals way back in high school. My favorite was a high school girl in the Midwest. We wrote many long, philosophically heavy letters back and forth for two or three years. One day on a whim, I phoned her (long distance calls used to be a Big Deal) - when she realized I spoke like "the Kennedys" (that New England accent!) she LAUGHED AND LAUGHED AND LAUGHED at me. Never mind that I was and still am Conservative - like her! I recall politely putting the receiver down (remember receivers?) and shaking to my toes. Eventually, I learned from her brother that she had married and had children but died of a ravaging breast cancer. To this day, I wonder why she was so hurtful. So much for pen pals. At least TV has never laughed at me.