Beggars Would Ride

I’ve been pondering this subject for a couple of weeks. I get calls from friends who feel alone. Especially if they are divorced. Oh wait. I mean, especially if they are married. No wait… I mean, especially if they are single.

FUCK! I guess I get calls from people who feel alone ~ especially if they are humans!

We all want someone to be there when we need… well… someone. We want that special someone. The one who we know cares about us more than anyone else in the world does. In my experience, the people I have generally found this to be true about have been my family and friends. They know me. They love me. Just as I am. And when I struggle, they are ALWAYS there for me.

Well except when they are not.

I come from a strong family background, with a strong belief that you just take care of family. That’s the rule. I also have a handful of very good friends. The type who believe you just take care of friends. That’s the rule.

So I always know that’s there. And there is certainly much to be said for that kind of security.

But what about intimacy? That great horse of an entirely different color. We are born with a place inside of us that yearns for that special one who will make everything matter more, will make every fire burn brighter, and will make every jagged pill easier to swallow.

Sometimes, as David at Dadshouse
mentioned this week, we just want a hug. We get busy. Time and responsibilities tie us down. We’re strong and independent individuals who just do the next thing without blinking. And from time to time, we want to collapse under the weight of it. We want someone there to catch us, or hold us, or just tell us they’ll take the mental reins for five minutes while we snuggle up to their warmth.

But strangely it seems, at those times, no one is there. Why is that? Where does everyone go? Family, friends, fuck buddies ~ all hidden from view. You could have two people in your support group, or two hundred. But those moments just happen when not one of them is available.

It’s a fact of life. We’re in this alone. Regardless of our situation. Yes, it happens less often if we have maintained a strong support group. David makes a comment that single parents have drawn the short straw in this sense. As married people, they lost contact with the huggers they knew as single people, and don’t have the free time to recreate a new store of huggers for those days. I’m going to call horseshit on this one. First off, single parents have the same 24 hours a day that everyone else in the world has. So you can develop friendships, but you have to make a concerted effort to do that. Relationships take work. And if you’ve done the work, then you have them. Secondly, as I said, regardless of how many of these relationships you have, people don’t just hang around in the woodwork waiting to hand out appreciative, heartfelt hugs.

So some of us are hardworking single parents who just want a minute to be weak. Some of us are stay-at-home moms who just want a break from the hectic life where everyone wants something from us so we can get something back. Some of us are single with no imminent partner on the horizon and we want some hope that someday that partner will show up. Some of us are in relationships, but apart from our loved one for one reason or another. We can’t go get an intimate hug from someone else, so we just have to make it through the yearning.

In the end, we find ourselves pleasantly surprised when a stranger tells us we look fantastic. When a cashier lingers long in handing us our change. When a little child gives us the simple gift of whatever precious thing is in their hand at the moment. Or when one of our grown children calls to say something unexpected and very timely like, “Mom, I just called to say that you are the most amazing person I know!”

We muddle through those alone times. They happen to everyone. And they make us strong. We wish there were another way to become strong. But if wishes were horses…


74WIXYgrad said...

We muddle through them, but we also make it through them.

Secret is to be a friend to get a friend.

You can't expect to get hugs if you don't give them. If you invest in some hugs, they always increase in value no matter what the stock market does.

and they increase in value the fastest when you give them to those who need them the most.

cathouse teri said...

This is true, Wixy. The thing about love is that it is something to be given. Not something to receive. We do enjoy the privilege of receiving it, but that by the grace of the givers.

A great quote:
Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it.

The same can easily be said for love.

Brunhilda said...

Sometimes I wonder where my friends have gone, then I remember how I tend to only turn to them in times of need. I need to learn to not be such a fair weather friend. Indeed you do have to be a friend to have a friend.

cathouse teri said...

Brunhilda: Much wisdom in that statement. I always say that someone who always wants to be left alone winds up finding themselves alone. When we look around and see no one there, we do need to evaluate whether or not the issue is that we have just not been a good friend.

The Exception said...

Beautifully written Teri. My daughter learned a song when she was little "Love is something that you give away and it comes right back to you." I love that little song. It continues "If you hold on tight, you won't get any." From the mouths of babes!

I think we also have to be open to the various forms and directions from which love and friendship and the rest can come. If we will only accept it from one direction or from a specific form... just think of all that we might be missing!

T said...

I love this post!! I agree with The Exception too... we have to be accepting of the content of love, no matter the form in which it takes.

As you said, "In the end, we find ourselves pleasantly surprised when a stranger tells us we look fantastic.".... That just happened to me this morning!! Here I am lost in the yearning for my soon-to-be-home soldier and love comes to me from seemingly out of the blue.

I think it helps to be present too. When I can be accepting of this moment, I am inspired by the beauty that is already there. Its when I'm yearning for a future yet determined or lost in my past that I feel so very much alone.

Great post!

Flip Flop Momma said...

amen....that was a great post and so very true..

sometimes i feel i have no one too.


kari said...

my comment disappeared, but basically I wanted to share with you this old jewish proverb:
There were two ropes that went into a no no..wrong proverb...

There was a man who wash bashing his head against a wall. He did this most every day to the surprise of the people in his town.
Finally a little old lady tapped him on the shoulder and asked him, "Sonny, why do you spend so much time bashing your head against the wall?"
He replied, "Granny, because it feels so good when I stop."

Brad K. said...

Cathouse Teri, I think the problem is that we are (supposed to be) raised by family. Loving family. Children are first taught as infants and toddlers that they are to accept and respect the presence, love, and discipline of the parent(s).

Then we teach them a few social skills, tell them something about responsibility to themselves, others, community, and family. We hopefully display some examples of respect and nurturing. We tell them not to get pregnant but show them how to 'succeed' with makeup, clothes, choosing 'better' people to associate with.

Hopefully we tell them to find a mate, to make babies and raise them to be responsible citizens.

And we have an expectation that the kids will grow, move away, and Do Good Things.

Congratulations, Teri, for Doing Good Things. Lonely at times, isn't it?

When we live outside our family we take on the risk of being alone when we need someone to share with - a parent, a sibling - a lover. Other times and other cultures don't place the emphasis on the myth that Sears and real estate developers created after WWII - that the American Dream is the single family dwelling. Many peoples live in extended families all their lives. I don't consider it necessary nor usually helpful that us Americans today view living away from parents and siblings as 'succeeding' or even a healthy goal. Assuming, that is, that the parent family is reasonably healthy.

So instead of being aware of people that are alone all or part of the time, we assume that isolation is peachy-keen. And we go along, sharing a feeling of being alone. And not even remembering, most times, that this is what our parent's taught us, while we teach our children the same, lonely lesson.


dadshouse said...

Actually, this particular post you wrote took the mental reins for me, if only for a moment. Thanks!

I do still think it's easier for single people and married people to develop friendships than it is for single parents. I have single friends who dont' want to hang out with my kids, or who can't see me because I'm tied down. And I have married friends who are more comfortable sharing dinner with another couple than with just me.

BTW - I think you meant horseshit, not bullshit (tee-hee)

Sornie said...

I think the world would be better if hugging (from a married person) wasn't viewed as flirting by that person's spouse. That is where the whole damn hugging society begins to crumble.

T said...

Teri, I linked to this post and elaborated on my comment today. If you're interested, the post is here.

cathouse teri said...

Exceptional One: No doubt. We must be open to the reality of where love comes from and take it as it is.

T: I like that! Be present in your own life! ;)

FFM: Odd, isn't it? It's like standing knee deep in a river, dying of thirst!

Kari! Where the hell you been girl? At the bar with those two ropes?

Brad K: Thank you for your strangely obtuse message.

David! Yes! (I stole that and changed it in the post!)

Sornie: Well that's a tricky subject, eh? I think it's overly insecure of a woman to think ill of her hubby receiving hugs from the opposite sex. However, if my hunny bunny had a certain friend of mine supposedly give him an innocent hug, I happen to know she has designs on him, so I would get pissed. Pretty much, I would be pissed at her, though.

T: Love, love, love it!

exskindiver said...

why is it that everyone gets to call you but me?
i am human too!
this is horseshit i tell you.

exskindiver said...

thanks teri.

cathouse teri said...

Chessie: Hee. :)

The Doozie said...

I'm lost in the mud

Turtle Guy said...

"I come from a strong family background, with a strong belief that you just take care of family. That’s the rule. I also have a handful of very good friends. The type who believe you just take care of friends. That’s the rule."

I've always enjoyed your posts. You've shined through with this one, in your words and timing.

Good to read you.

colbymarshall said...

I actually feel very lucky that I feel like I have someone in every situation...even if it is only myself. Sometimes I need to battle through things on my own.

One Man’s Opinion said...

Interesting post. I was going to do a simular one devoted to the human need to be touched and what some people will do to achieve it.

Jeff said...

Great post Teri. I love your deep introspective posts that make you think.

As you know, I wrote about poop today. That's pretty deep isn't it?

cathouse teri said...

Doozie! Whatever am I going to do with you?

Turtle: Always a pleasure to see you.

Colby: I agree! Best to have self as our best friend! Cause we always have us!

One Man: Well I hope you do it!

Furry: I like the brain thing!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Teri... wow. This is just a great post. Just. great.

So true and again, what is WITH us that we can't just get it that life isn't easy sometimes. And that's just tough beans. And we'll get through it and life will be better.

yellojkt said...

I think it was Elvis that once said that he sometimes got lonely right in the middle of a room.

VE said...

As long as I don't have to actually ride that horse on the beach....I'm not a fan of horse riding even though I've done it a fair amount...

cathouse teri said...

Jen: Yeah, we're just generally a bunch of whiny babies, riding around on our pity horses. :)

MelloYello: We all know what it feels like to be lonely in a crowded room.

VE: Yes! You have to ride the horse! Now get over here and quit your whining! ;)

anno said...

Didn't Mother Theresa say something like, "It's all blessings... and some people have been blessed a little more..."

Mrs4444 said...

"or just tell us they’ll take the mental reins for five minutes while we snuggle up to their warmth." I love that. I had to stop for a minute and even wonder how long it's been since I just snuggled. (besides going to bed). I'm going to do that tonight! Thanks for the inspiration.