Truly, I'm not much of a party person. I'm happy just to stay at my house, puttering around inside or outside, hanging on the computer, writing, reading, knitting...fill in the blanks.
I don't mind driving--I like it--but, if I never had to stir out of my house, that would be fine with me. I have enough people contact through teaching, phone calls, and the Internet. Periodically, I work at the bookstore and reconnect with my friends there, or spend time at my parents' house, visiting with them and my siblings. And, of course, I love to go to Austin to visit my kids. So, I'm not without human contact, but I try not to be overwhelmed by it.
I used to give my Advanced Comp students an assignment at the beginning of the semester--to spend an entire day by themselves. I cannot tell you the number of stunned looks I got. "What? You want me to spend a day by myself? See a movie by myself? Eat by myself? Shop by myself?" I couldn't understand their reactions. Who wouldn't revel in a day all to him- or herself?
Well, obviously, quite a few people, as it turned out. I discovered that many people don't like to be alone. Some of my students couldn't figure out what to do with the time, though I did have a couple of female students, who had small children, who loved it. They could tell their husbands/boyfriends/parents that it was an assignment for a course--they HAD to do it for an essay they were writing--and that gave them a reason to take a "personal" day. I had one student who went to the bookstore where I worked, ordered a cup of coffee, and spent about six hours reading, writing, and watching people. She enjoyed it so much that she told her husband she wanted time off one day of the weekend, every weekend, for herself. And she got it!
I don't understand the aversion to being alone. It's thinking time; it's recharging time. With all of the energy I expend teaching and talking, I need that time to regroup! I'm getting more of it this semester than any semester in seven years, and I'm so grateful for it. I know if I have to go back to a four-day week in the fall, I will miss my solitude.