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Neon (digital camera joy)

This is one of the things you do when you’re alone and bored. Near the end of August / beginning of September 2000 most of my friends were seriously busy. One had recently got a serious girlfriend so he was always at home They are now married, Congratulations :-) Another had an accident in the family and had to leave the area to a few months. So, I was pretty much alone.

It’s interesting to me how hard it is to make new friends the older I get. In high school and college it’s easy. There are lots of people you are around everyday. They are all doing similar things and the are all relatively the same age. Now that I’m 35 (when I wrote this) it’s not so easy. I’m not a member of a church. If I go to a school the likelihood that there is somebody near my age and that has time to "hang out" gets smaller and smaller as more and more people "have other lives".

As for me, at the time I decided, if I can’t go to dinner with my friends then I’ll just have to go by myself. I beats saying at home where there’s absolutely no chance of meeting somebody.

So, I ended up in the east of Beverly Center area and I decided to take a few pictures of neon signs to pass some time. Here are the results.

  • Joe
    In certain ways…

    I think it’s easier to make friends when one gets older, because it’s kinda hard to see the strengths and weaknesses of people when everybody’s packed into the same college box. What makes it harder as we get older though is that our fear of failure and rejection increases tremendously, and we tend to find a comfort spot where we ooze till we rot in utter boredom of ourselves or of each other.

    There’s nothing like spending time alone to define new directions and motivations! The most interesting people you see in a cafe or restaurant are always the ones who are totally at ease hanging out by themselves ^^

  • greggman
    Maybe it’s not about age

    Maybe it’s about situation. For example right now I’m in Japan. I go to class from 9 to 1 weekdays. In my class there are 10 people.

    One shy anti-social guy form Singapore looks about 28
    One 45+ year old guy from Boston
    One 30 year old busy English teacher from Altanta
    One 21 year old girl from HK with Japanese boyfriend
    One 21 year old girl from Korea that acts 12
    One 21 year old girl from Korea that acts 21
    One 38 year old guy from Taiwan with job and family
    One 24 year old girl from Korea who made it clear (Koreans only)
    One 30 year old guy from Taiwan (started today)
    One 24 year old girl from Chili with Japanese boyfriend

    The only prospect for a friend there is really the 30 year old Taiwanese guy but (a) I don’t know if he’s single. Not single meaning no time to hang out and (b) he’s studying Japanese so like me he’d rather hang with Japanese people to get that practice.

    So, the quesiton is, if I wanted to make friends how would I do it? Approach random people on the street? Hey, wanna hang out? Go to a bar? Japanese bars come in 2 forms. The most popular are Izakayas. A place you go with 3 to 20 friends. Not a place you meet strangers. They also have the traditional bars (ala Cheers) except expect to spend $20 per drink. Well not everwhere but then I’m not a bar person.

    The same was true in LA. Where am I supposed to go? Hang out at a coffee shop until I have the nerve to talk to somebody? Hang out a bookstore? I hung out at Relaxtation on Sawtelle once. All I saw where groups of people that didn’t look like they wanted to be bothered. I hung out at Insomnia a couple of times. Maybe a little better chance there though I felt like a poser editing my webpage instead of writing a screenplay.

    I know that I’m mostly making excuses though they all seem like pretty low chance venues. Some book I read basically said to start doing stuff you want to do that includes other people. Like go to church, join a club, take a class etc. Maybe I’m just not creative enough to come up with some good classes but my experience so far is that in each class there is at most 1 out of 15 people that *might* be interesting. Well, by that I mean *might* be friend potential. Friend being someone you hang with.

  • MrsRedDave

    I also find it hard to meet people. Mostly because I unforunately hold people to a much higher standard than I should. And so this limits me, because there is always some reason for me to "not like " someone.

    I agree with Joe (from Jan 29th) that our fear of failure and rejection increases tremendously as we get older. And this for me really sucks because it makes me look for reasons not to make friends. When what I think I really want is a few GOOD friends, to go do things with once in a while.

    So I guess my comment to you, Greggman, is that maybe you should come back to the USA and start hanging out with your sister, (ME), and maybe I can help you find what you’re looking for and you can help me to stop being such a party pooper.

    =)~

  • mom
    So … I am very, very surprised?

    It sounds like standards that were pressed on to you both from your childhood days have STUCK! And, I am both happy and unhappy about that. I do think standards have a place in our world, but compassion towards others whose standards are not as ours is good.

    I’ve also found as I’ve grown older (now that my 59th has just recently passed) that most of us really only have 2 or 3 really, really good friends in our life. Hopefully, one of those is our spouse … that is really good! These are the ones who forgive and forget our idiosyncracies and mistakes.

    It is easier to live with the other people in our life if we show them understanding, enjoy who they are when we are with them and then get on doing what we like best.

    So, I love you both so very much … see you soon in Japan Gregg! Tami, I hope to have a day with you before I leave.

  • Beefy
    Beefy

    Ever thought about any other hobbies ?

    ie. Karate, gym ???

    Being kooked up at home all day with the computer playing games, surfing the net etc. may be fun but it does not help.

  • CryLuna
    neon pretty signs

    the pictures are pretty. i had a look at your photo gallery as well, and you’re a very good photographer.

    just since everyone else has gone down the route of becoming your psychiatrist (i can’t spell), the people in the collage are younger if im not mistaken….yes? well, surely there are places where there are people of your own age who would accept you more readily.

    i don’t know…but i wish you well all the same.