Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Intolerable Distress of Togetherness

Greta Garbo.  She was my hero.  I went to every movie of hers at the old movie theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when I was 20.   That woman could suffer with class, and I wanted her class.

Both she and I could relate to that intolerable distress of too much togetherness.  Me?  There was never a time when I didn't feel crowded in my crazy family.  Now, at my age, I especially savor my alone time.  Separate rooms.  Separate houses.  I cannot imagine ever living with someone again.  Too much stress.   I'd be of a mind to kick even God out, if God came in and started rearranging my furniture.

There is only one condition of togetherness that I find palatable. 

Treasure the weirdness in me and you.  Plus, you keep your weirdness on your side, and I'll keep mine on my side.  

Deal?  In the spirit of sharing, I'm going to share one weird thing a day.  O.K. Maybe not every day.  Every week.  Today, my former devotion to Greta Garbo.   She was a hermit, but such a classy and beautiful one.  I wonder what her reason was for wanting to be alone?  I imagined she felt the same intolerable distress of togetherness that I felt.

I see the same thing in our government today.  Nobody gets along any better than my family did.   Donald reminds me of my mother.   The sort who commands "Get to your knees!"  Jebb was clueless, like my Dad.  Hilary is slippery.  Rubio is just trying, trying, trying.  Makes me wonder if all of them were traumatized as kids.   That being said, whenever I get to wondering why the folks we elected, or are about to elect, are so weird, I have to stop.   I can't claim the moral high ground here.  Not when I have turned out so weird myself.


  1. Garbo's era in movies was before my interest in them. I can see why you like her---after reading what you wrote here---but I've never thought about her much. I know she was one of the few silent movie actresses who was successful transitioning into talkies. I don't ever want to live with someone again, either.

  2. I always hoped I'd run into her in New York. I'd walk by her apartment building on the east side, hoping for a glimpse.

  3. NYC must have been an exciting place to live.

  4. I loved it and was afraid to leave for fear off falling off the map! I lived downtown in Greenwich Village for 11 years, from ages 21 to 32. At which point I married and moved out to the burbs.

  5. Anyone who would want the job of President HAS to be weird in their head!!!
    How could you stand to live in the noisy, crowded NYC, if you like alone-ness?
    There really IS a difference in being alone or being lonely. I was pretty lonely all my married life. I don't think I've ever been lonely since I've lived her all alone for the last 13 years. I posted this on FB this morning.

    1. I so identify with being lonely inside one's own family. I'm so glad you got out of those marriages!

    2. (Can't tell you how many times I've wanted to divorce my family)

  6. AWESOME cartoon. Exactly how I feel. I ALWAYS need the option to be left alone.

    I fit right in, in the village. Young. Single. Ambitious. The weirder the better. I lived smack dab in the middle of the gay movement, when it first sprouted back in the 70's. We were ALL outside the norm. My best friends were gay. Aids didn't even exist, yet.

    I relate to self-identified misfits. I relate to the way every fresh widow feels like such a misfit. Then, a lot less so when we get absorbed back into the mainstream. Eeeek!

    I'll be watching to see who your state chooses today. Hope your candidate wins.