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Chess for One

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

I’ve always been a loner. I’m okay with that. But recently, I’ve started to think the amount of time I spend alone verges on abnormal, and maybe it’s time to do something about it.

Not that I haven’t tried.

I mean, I was married, which is always a sign that a person is taking the whole “togetherness” thing pretty seriously.

Beyond my (failed) marriage, I’ve gone out of my way—a lot—to make friends, but somehow, people always seem to drift out of my life. Whenever I’ve changed jobs or left school (back in the day) or moved, the people I’ve been close to just don’t seem to keep in touch.

It’s not me. I swear.

For the first five years after I moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, I sent letters, emails, even gifts to my closest Jersey friends, and I took (at least) quarterly road trips back to visit them.

Not once were my efforts reciprocated.

Ditto when I made the reverse move, coming back to New Jersey from Pennsylvania after being away for 11 years. Despite arranging (this time) almost monthly trips back to see my PA friends, everyone quickly stopped returning my messages. Eventually (and no, it was not soon enough for me to be proud of), I took the hint that these people had had enough of me.

Even here, where I’m living now, I try to meet people all the time. I’ve been a member of Meetup since 2011 and I go to just about any get-together nearby (within reason). And still, I can’t seem to find anybody I’d consider friend material.

Maybe I’m a huge bitch and don’t know it? Maybe I talk with my mouth full? Maybe I have a serious case of BO? I have no idea. All I know for sure is that my hard work in the friendship department does not seem to be paying off.

If people don’t like me, so be it. At the heart of things, all that really matters is whether I like me—and I do.

But still, there are times when it might be nice to have a buddy. Take this past Christmas, for example.

For years, I’ve wanted to learn to play chess, so I got the idea to buy an inexpensive chess set for a Christmas gift to myself, just to see if I could learn the basics.

What I learned instead? Chess for one sucks.

There are certain things that are simply better with two (or more) people: sex (I dare say), playing on a seesaw, having a game of catch, and yes, chess.

But for me, it looks like I’ll be playing solo for now. I guess I should look at the bright side:

I always win.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I would be willing to bet it isn't you. We live in a fast food world and people see many things through that lens. It is human nature to be immersed in the people and situations around you. Once someone is no longer there, it is easy to lose touch. People promise to keep in touch and I believe intend to, and then time gets away from them. I think it is great that you made the effort to keep those connections going. They have to do their part for it to work. I don't know how old you are. I went through something similar in my late 20's/early 30's a few times. It seems I must repeat behaviors to learn the embedded lesson. The art of being alone is a valuable thing. There are many people who cannot be alone and will stay in unhealthy circumstances to avoid alone due to various factors. I applaud your strength (although it may not feel like that). Part of what I learned in my 20's/30's is that it wasn't that I didn't care or those people didn't care, it was that I outgrew them. We learn we will outgrow clothes and toys but no one ever talks about the people, jobs, and relationships we will outgrow. Sometimes it takes a while to find those kindred spirits but they are out there and you are worthy of knowing.
    291 days ago
    I'm certain chess for one would definitely 'suck'.

    I find it hard to believe that people get tired of you, or don't really like you. I wonder if it's simply that, being a loner yourself, you are attracted to and befriend people with similar tendencies and ways of relating, and once life doesn't keep you in close proximity, they just drift away because it's their natural tendency. Most people who are loners won't do the work to maintain relationships.

    304 days ago
    That's sad maybe your trying to hard
    305 days ago
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