This coming Sunday marks one year that I have
been owned by a cat been a cat owner. MeowKitty has been a special part of my life and I really love her annoying, demanding, passive aggressive, demeaning little feline heart.
After this first year with a cat, my greatest observation is that she is Selectively Social. She decides who she is with, when she is with them, how long she stays, how long they stay, when it’s time for the claws to come out and stop rubbing her belly, already. There is no obligatory greeting of her human at the door, there is no polite meowing at strangers to acknowledge their presence and there is definitely no taking care of anyone other than herself.
When she does decide to socialize, it’s quality. She purrs, she gives kisses and head boops, she curls up beside her chosen human and lays her head on their hand for more affection. She returns the attention with more kitty-kisses than one thought possible. She’s awesome at being social – with the right people and at the right time.
Although I realize this is quite a stretch, I think I have learned a little something from MK.
Being that I am over 30 and in a college town I have a trying social life. ‘Trying’ in this instance has come to mean that I try to be social, but it can just be a challenge at times.
In my current location people (spoken in the collective sense) seem to be perpetually in ‘kegger’ modus operandi, circa somewhere around junior year of college. A night out looks something like this:
About two rounds in, someone threatens to buy everyone shots and because no one wants to be the old cat lady and go home at 9:30 like they really wanted, everyone agrees. The light weight of the group declares, at 9:47, that she is drunk and is ‘totes gonna vomit later’. She was the designated driver. No one is having a great time until the third or fourth drink. The night is just really getting started at 11:00 pm. Before it’s all over there is always a couple arguing in the corner, someone is crying in the bathroom and someone else has disappeared with no trace from one bar to the next. (Disclaimer: I have been guilty of all the personalities in this description at one point in my life, therefore no judgment has been passed.)
I love the occasional wild night out – it reminds me that I am not old, nor a cat lady and I’m still capable of some semblance of
booze drenched dance. However, this is not how I would prefer to socialize on a regular basis as a functioning adult. It’s exhausting when you’re older and have life things to do the next day.
In all honesty, when was the last time you were really able to function with only ONE eye would open? Did you get anything done when you were nauseous and hungry at the same time? How did your shower feel while your brain was imitating a walnut in a vice grip? Did you enjoy trying to nap while your friends were blowing up your phone & social media because of last night’s drama? Did you ignore your cat while she was non-stop licking your boozy/sweaty face? (Maybe that last one is just me, but everything else = totally relatable and you know it!) I mean – who can do life like that?
I cannot. Not at thirty-four. I’m pretty sure no one enjoys the day after a night out, but now that I am older and wiser the pleasure just isn’t worth the pain.
Therefore, like my precious MeowKitty, I have become Selectively Social. A few examples:
Would I like to join you for the unveiling of a new beer at the pub at 7:00? SURE!
Would I like to sign up for your six-hour pub crawl? Noooooo.
A new band downtown is playing at the grungy dive? SURE!
Wait, they go on at 11:30 and you’re going for cocktails at 7:00? Nooooo.
You’re going out with a group of friends from college on Saturday and want me to join? SURE!
You’re going to hit all the college bars that you used to frequent 15 years ago? Nooooo.
I’m thankful for social invitations, because I could be sitting around with nothing going on, having staring contests with my cat (she wins EVERY. TIME.). However, I’ve learned that just because someone invites me somewhere, doesn’t mean I have to go, especially if I know that experience is going to go from ‘Oh, so nice to see you again!’ to ‘Wooooooo!! Shooooots!!!’ real fast.
*The RCL would like to point out that while this post and these specific examples DID revolve strictly around folks that drink too much and can’t get out of their 20’s mindset, she finds the adverse just as tedious and has placed some examples below:
Would I like to come to your child’s birthday party? OF COURSE!
Would I like to come to your child’s weekend long extravaganza celebrating her 5th grade graduation? Nooooo.
Would I like to come to a wine tasting dinner with you at your friend’s house? OF COURSE!
Would I like to stay after for a
two-hour short presentation on *insert annoying pyramid scheme product here*? Noooo.
Would I like to come to dinner with you and a few of the girls Friday at 5:45? OF COURSE!
Wait, we’re just going to stare at our phones and secretly judge each other’s life choices? Noooo.
In short (I know, wayyyy too late) Selectively Social is simply living a little more like MeowKitty. Not to say I have learned to be snobby or rude, but I do have a clear understanding of how I would like to spend my time.
I am in search of quality interactions with good people who know their boundaries and live rambunctiously when appropriate, but overall, take care of business. I want to laugh until my stomach hurts, not because I’m on my fourth drink, but because I’m having an authentic conversation and a visceral connection with another human being…
Then I want to go home at 9:30 and hang out with my cat.