Posts Tagged: loneliness

What Jean Rhys Taught Me About Loneliness

My father told me during my rebellious teenage years, “Just please go to college.” After a few scrapes with boys and drugs and sex, I did. I went to UCLA and studied English, where I was introduced to Jean Rhys, the Caribbean-British writer whose turbulent life was filled with lovers and failed marriages, alcoholism and poverty, trips across the continent and even a stint at Holloway Prison.

As a junior I read Good Morning Midnight, a 1938 novel in which an aging beauty named Sasha wanders Paris after an attempted suicide in a London hotel room. In one scene, she daydreams:

Perhaps one day I’ll live again around the corner [...]


Are There Poems About Other Things?

Forever alone. Go, wallow. We'll wait here for you to get back.

Or will we? The wind blows a leaf past your bench. When did it get so cold?


Old* People Obsessed With Talking Out Loud

We are tempted to think that our little “sips” of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation.

Another day, another popular piece about the lonely sterility of the internet versus the good old days. This one's by Sherry Turkle for the New York Times, and she ends it with a half-hearted call for "conversational Thursdays" (casual Fridays' socially inept little sister), among other proposed solutions. It's a nice piece, like the Atlantic one [...]


Loneliness and the Bath

Now that you've gotten rid of your two best friends, pillows and cocaine, what's left? Nothing, only hot water.

The greater the feeling of loneliness, the more baths or showers a person is likely to have, the longer they stay in and the hotter the temperature. Warm physical experiences were found to significantly reduce the distress of social exclusion.

Moreover, "The lonelier we get, the more we substitute the missing social warmth with physical warmth," says one of the study's researchers. Imagine if Sex and the City were one woman and three bathtubs!


In Case You Missed It: Loneliness, Part Two

"This is not proof that loneliness causes dementia; the reverse could be true."

Well, that is a relief.*

Yesterday: Part one.

*No, both of these articles are sad but also end in touching and uplifting ways. Although hopefully there will not be too many more installations. :-/


Or It's a Space Station and We Have Days to Live

Orphan. Starless. Rogue. Alien. Planet. —Remember, however lonely your holiday may be, it's better than that celebrated by CFBDSIR2149, drifting aimlessly through space and time and memory.


If a Status Gets Updated But No One's "Around" to Like It…

"We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible." —Stephen Marche's cover story for the Atlantic on misery and Facebook is a great if not particularly uplifting read (share it on Facebook!), although envisioning how the vampire-Jetsons photoshoot went down takes some of the edge off. ("Like this?" "Can you be … emptier?") The good news, though, is that the answer is and always has been "simple": "The greater the proportion of face-to-face interactions, the less lonely you are. The greater the proportion of online interactions, the lonelier you are." But also: "The more you try to [...]


Smoking With Friends

Just as we once knew that infectious diseases killed, but didn’t know that germs spread them, we’ve known intuitively that loneliness hastens death, but haven’t been able to explain how. Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking.

Good morning! The New Republic's current cover story explains why being lonely is killing us. The illustrator at least seems to [...]


Only the Lonely

I'm fine. How are you?


Just Out of Curiosity

If we had a Salt Lake City Hairpin meetup, would it just be me, picking sadly at a Jello salad, or are there enough of us to make it awesome?

Maybe we could band together like a gang of hot Miss Marples and solve this recently-opened, super-disturbing cold case?