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04.20.2006

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why, in our 20somethings, do we suddenly need to invent excuses to get together ?
Organized FUN! |  1
continued from page 1

Part of the change, for me personally, has to do with the fact that I now spend so much time by myself Ė one of the hazards of the freelance, work-from-home life Ė that by the end of the work week I am positively dying for face-to-face interactions with real live people. As much as I like to pride myself on my general self-sufficiency, I do, occasionally, need to be around other human beings. Too much solitude leaves me too much time to start obsessing over my life, and, quite frankly, Iím already neurotic enough. Sometimes itís just nice to feel part of a crowd. So because my work life keeps me isolated from the rest of the world, seeking out social contact in my free time has become even more important than it might be for someone who worked a more traditional office job.

But the other, more universally-applicable factor is that spending time with friends no longer occurs by happenstance the way it used to, back in the days when oneís entire social circle lived within the confines of an undergraduate dorm building and the group would gather in the dining hall for every meal. With just about everyone now juggling jobs/school and busy personal lives, itís become increasingly difficult to connect with friends without a concerted effort at scheduling a specific time for getting together. And because it seems that we now, in our quasi-adulthood, our beginning to understand the meaning of the word "responsibility", fun has begun to seem like a luxury Ö taking the time to do anything less than productive becomes, pathetically enough, an indulgence. Allotting time to an eveningís festivities in advance, on the other hand, lets us appease our guilty consciences by giving us the incentive to work harder right now, to compensate for slacking off later.

This, then, is what itís come to: making rationalizations to sanction my playtime. This new foray into the realm of organized fun Ė Boggle nights and B-movie nights, exotic-cuisine-du-jour dinners and costume parties Ė reeks more than a bit, I realize, of old-person- dorkishness. So I'm embarrassed to admit this, yes, because Iím still young enough to wish I was spontaneous and carefree, but the fact of the matter is: Iím kind of enjoying it.

 O  

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