Why Exactly The Need (for People) Applies To All
I'm 66 in November - fairly convinced I'm retired now - and frankly, I do not really see very much of the need for the usual socialization and join-us group routines. I must admit something, however, and it is revealed at the end of my long-winded story here, in the last paragraph or so below.
I was a techie from around 1990 through 2008 or so, and then I managed to survive up through 2017 in pseudo-technical administrative roles - some much more technical than others - until they fire you or the people you supported. Then when those around you get it then you know it was a matter of time before you get iced as well.
Here's the thing: I've struggled endlessly with the people games, the endless mingling behavior that companies try to enforce to squeeze more production out of me, to do and say what the groups I'm stuck with expect of me, and to act as if I'm enjoying their company.
Oh initially I'm very interesting and refreshing to them ... my ways of expressing myself always appear real and I surprise them with my honesty, sincerity, and relevant subject matter to them.
They aren't used to someone who doesn't sound canned and packaged in the group conversations. I seem to short-circuit them into extra smiling, blushing, laughing.
But as the days go by and I'm forced to be in the middle of them, forced to listen and pretend to laugh at their aggressive verbal questioning and fielding the "I'm just curious" hook at the end, my body language seems to give me away because I do my best to avoid groups at all costs. Then predictably, they drop me. They always do.
Before anyone goes into the you-can't-be-isolated routine and I come across another "socialization" lecture in print of how I need to increase the brain's plasticity let me at least come out with this: I kind of enjoy being in a cave and hiding.
I've always enjoyed my own company - I have a million interests and yes, the internet is a hiding place, yes.
And no, I value my privacy and I absolutely refuse to become a social media person, I've no "connections" for Linked-In, I refuse to touch Facebook and its ilk, I use my technical knowledge to the best of my ability - not super great knowledge but quite useful - to continue to be a moving target so I am (not) packaged, and sold, and my data, location, and info about me is (not) used for purposes I don't want it to be. It's a losing battle but to me (nothing) is more important than my privacy.
I was ok as a database programmer but then suddenly I was too old. I married a Japanese woman in 1989 and it will be 29 years of marriage in a few months. No kids and thank goodness for that. Who needs the "friends" thing? Why? What would I do with friends? Socialize? I haven't got any money to do that.
Besides, I say one thing that shocks them and then the time is lost, the money is lost, and it's worthless in the outcome. I love my own company and my wife's. Family? No, there we go with the questioning again.
Make an attempt to "un-retire"? Are you kidding? I'm a male with a drooping face. Eyelids drooping, mouth ends curving down, facial skin falling. I'm going on what kind of interview? No, I won't pay in the "attempt/risk" to fix it.
Every single job I've had from 1990 through 2017 has done it's budget conscious thing of cutbacks. But before that happens, new management is brought in, and I'm humiliated and ridiculed before I'm fired. This although I've been told countless times that I'm a good worker and receive excellent reviews. You see, I don't go to the bars with them, I don't go to lunches with them. My lunch time always belonged to me. It was my precious moments away from them.
Why do I want to do that again? And for that matter, why would I want to lose so much time in each day with going to "meet" my friends. I can't afford them.
I won't go to a doctor and I try not to go to a dentist. They're businessmen competing with other doctors, dentists. They play the medical coding game as well. Tests tests and then 4 more doctors suddenly join your tests. Any of my friends or family going to help me pay the $5,000 ... $10,000 that materializes for nothing?
Yes I'm on Medicare. Yes I get social security. My wife works hard but I've eliminated much of our debt with the money I once had from the jobs. She will be 63 in November. She can't get any reasonable coverage for at least 2 more years. I'm not living off her money. I'm living off mine.
My days are fulfilling because I wake up and help her, then I spend my days as the house husband. This is puny one-bedroom in a well-kept old "dump" of a building they constantly market off as "old-world charm" and that kind of garbage.
To me it's my cave. I'm happy here. I have a million interests. Yes I use my brain. No, I don't always "exercise" my brain. Yes I do exercise. I was a road cyclist for many years. I still ride a 2-wheeled rocket using my human engine ticker, but the only doctor I went to in what, 20 years .. told me I have not only a heart murmur but an enlarged aorta. I chose to basically ignore him and his push of the drugs. Bull. I wont' put drugs in my body.
So that's my story. I found this website because the one thing I haven't brought out here is why I did.
You see, if the dependence I have on my wife's love (not money - I have more than she does, but neither of us can last forever ... another car and its costs are one huge example) ... is suddenly ended then what will I do if she is hurt in her job, or on her commute? What if the worst happened to her? Who will I have then?
You see? That is the one pin in my balloon ... and I'm trying to resolve it knowing that I really can't with the lifestyle I've always led.