However, some days ... y'all are all I have.
I realize that it feeds into one of the more pervasive clichés of the intensive internet user, but I really don't have ANY "friends & family" in R.L, although I really don't feel that I fit the "pathetic loser" image that this calls up. As far as family is concerned, there are vast lots of them out there that I don't know. Were somebody to have done a full "family tree" for me, there would be a plethora of cousins and second cousins. My father was one of five siblings, and the one brother of his that I even know the name of had five or six families between his teens and his 80's, of which I've met exactly one cousin. On my Mom's side, she was an "oops", being 11 years younger than her nearest sister, and 18 years younger to the next, and that's just counting the kids of my Grandfather's second wife, having had a large family (my Mom was a Great Aunt at birth) with a previous one. Again, I only know one cousin (well, plus his wife and daughter), from that side of the family. And, of course (as many of you may recall), I'm somewhat estranged from my one Brother due to the unforgivable actions of his unspeakable wife.
So, when I say I have "no family", this is not genetically factual, but given that I don't even know the names of most uncle/aunt-level relations, it's functionally true. I have one sibling with whom we exchange gifts, but no communications, one cousin who I've met a few times and exchange Xmas cards with, and one cousin (three, counting his wife and grown daughter) with whom I'm reasonably friendly, but who is also pretty much only an "Xmas card" relation.
On a similar level, "I have no friends". Again, this is not absolutely true, but the long-term close friends that I do have, I'm lucky to see once every year or two, none of which live anywhere near Chicago, and (oddly enough) are, generally speaking, not "web people" (which, since I'm not much of a "phone person" creates a bit of a communications chasm). Now, I used to have a whole slew of friends, but between The Wife not liking any of them (and thereby making it very hard to do activities with them), and many of them moving, they went from many to none within the first few years of our marriage. When I say "I have no friends", I mean that to say that there isn't anybody I could call up to watch a football game with, to take an extra ticket to a show, to help me move a couch, etc. The nearest person fitting that description is 150 miles away, and doesn't even own a computer (and until recently, didn't have his own phone).
Why am I plowing through all this "TMI" detail in the pre-dawn hours of a Saturday?
Well, I'm just at a point where I sort of need a "shoulder to cry on", someplace to air long-festering grievances (I suppose I should take heart that Festivus is only 10 days away), and have somebody to tell me that I'm doing all I possibly can (or suggest things I've managed to miss) and generally commiserate with me.
The trigger for this? This is one of those things that I really ought not to talk about. It involves The Wife, and our (disastrous) finances, and various happenings that looked like I'd gotten taken care of (for at least the next month), which now are in Very Bad States due to certain actions of hers (which have, through some amazing psychological prestedigitation, suddenly become my fault).
If I were still a "drinking man", I'd be down at the bar telling all and sundry various bad opinions of The Wife, which would elicit sympathy and support (plus I could get shit-faced and not remember why I was upset); but being "clean and sober" for nearly 23½ years at this point, that hardly a realistic scenario. I did almost walk out of here last night to go spend 12 hours or so drinking coffee in a McDonalds ... but that would have solved nothing, and I was not likely to be starting on "great new friendships" with the street people doing the same to get out of the single-digit windchill.
So, here I am, pathetically emoting into the digital void, since there simply isn't anybody else in my life (it is, after all "bad form" to bitch about one's spouse to one's children) that I can talk to.