hello, let's all go out for happy hour.


i've got a friend here who constantly complains about seattle. i don't wanna live here forever, she'll say. also, i don't wanna do another winter here. her main beef with the emerald city is that, during winter, it gets dark around 4 p.m. i'm talking total darkness. i'm sure it's the same thing in many other cities, so i don't see why it's such a big deal to her. her other complaint is that the seattle freeze is a real thing. none of her coworkers ever invite her to do anything, and even though she's been here for almost two years now, she still only has a handful of friends in town.

i know what she's talking about. nearly two years at my job, and i've been invited to exactly one happy hour. i've had to initiate the other three outings. it's a difficult thing to do, to put yourself out there, and not know what other people are thinking. maybe they don't want to go drinking with you. maybe they're sick of seeing you for eight hours a day, everyday, and they just want to go home and forget you exist. maybe they think, okay, i'll hang out with this guy because he obviously has no life, and his only source of making friends is his dull job.

i'll admit i don't have a life. in case you couldn't already tell by the incessant blogging. somebody in college once told me, there are two kinds of people in the world: people that call and people that wait to be called. i'm one of the latter, so i have no reason to complain. after college, though, there's very little to talk about. in the few interactions i've had with strangers, the conversation pretty much goes like this: so, what do you do? answer. oh, cool. based on these pathetic conversations, i can only conclude that tyler durden was wrong. you are your job.

there's very little else to talk about. i can't imagine what i'd have to talk about with others if i didn't stay up to date on social networking sites, on march madness, on movies, awful television shows and worse music. in college, there was more opportunity. you could talk about so-and-so, this professor and that, what classes you were taking, what your plans were after graduation. or you could just get high and tell the person sitting next to you that he was eating the best cookie in the world (true story, a girl named liz said this to me once in the cafeteria). you had every reason in the world to talk to someone, regardless of whether or not you were looking to score.

i met with my boss last week. she was all excited for me to move to san francisco, and by the way she talked, i could tell how much she despised this city, too. everyone's so isolated here, she said. in a big city like san francisco or new york, you just meet so many more interesting people. here in seattle, you have a bunch of people with their headphones on, and they don't even stop to say hello or smile at you. it's just so unfriendly. i could've argued that it was unfair to make generalizations about an entire city, but i had no reason to. i've been here off and on since 2001, and i can say her assessment was pretty much dead on.

maybe it's just our personality. only a problem for introverts, or maybe it has to do with being a person of color. i don't know exactly. all i know is that i've realized lately that i'd like to escape, too, find another city to live in, a place where i can deal with this problem all over again.

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