March 23, 2006
Hey does anyone have a Windows 98 CD about? I'm trying to get some old hardware up and about.
Ramble of the Moment
Lately I've been thinking about how being an only child, along with living in some neighborhoods without many kids my own age, might have molded me, and what influence it might've had on my introverted streak.
I "moved around a lot as a kid", and it was always just me and my folks. From the ages of about 4-8 I lived in a little town called Salamanca, and as far as I can recall was mostly on my own in terms of freetime...I think before and after I had more friends contact, but after, it was generally having one or two close friends at a time.
Maybe though I have a kind of unrealistic vision of other folks' childhoods, running around in "Li'l Rascals" type groups, learning through experience about all kinds of social rituals that I'm still a newbie on. Maybe most people tend to have one or two close friends besides their usual schoolmates, and the tribalish neighborhood gang thing is the exception. On the other hand, a lot of people have siblings.
I can think of a few implications of this kind of background, though I can't always be sure about the nature vs. nurture aspects (as far as I can tell, a kind of "attention seeking introversion" runs through my family a bit.) For one thing, a lot of my pleasures are solitary (no, I'm not talking about that one)... I think in my current relationship with Ksenia, I feel more drawn to doing couple-compatible-things, like watching a video, even when I'd much rather work on my independent projects. It's not forced by her, it's not even quite because of guilt, but kind of a feeling of...I don't know, responsiblity, or what "should" be done. Not that I mind watching the videos or anything. Also I think sometimes she wants a kind of coupley snugglehood that just doesn't come instictively for me. I can undestand it but I don't grok it at all.
The other thing implication, and this comes somewhat from those "birth order" books, is how being a bright beloved only child got me used to being both the center of attention as well as not having serious competition for most achievements. The unfortunate side effect of this is I usually try to avoid "contests" where I don't think I'm likely to "win"...like I've said before, I hate things that remind me I'm not the smartest and bestest guy in the city. I prefer the illusion that I would be crownable as God-King of the Universe, the Watchman of Wit, the Vishnu of Videogames, the Programmer Papa Smurf, the Crowned Champ of Creative Expression, if only I really set my mind to it. But I can't be bothered, so I'm just here at my station in life.
Link of the Moment
Oh look, as if we only children didn't have enough already, our own website complete with a list of famous only children. (Yeesh, are we in that much of a minority?)