Odd People (Human, But Strange: Cranks; Eccentrics; Nutters; Etc.)

Bad Bungle

Tutti but not Frutti.
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The Chilterns
In the shop the other night. My boss came over the headphones muttering darkly about 'people'...
I was at Aldgate Station (still a mature student) waiting for an afternoon train home when one of the station Staff came over. He'd had a few drinks as it was his last day, but reckoned it was OK to talk to me "because of my shoes" (trainers ?). Two minutes into the chat a young lady came up and ask how to get to Kingsway. He explained she needed to get a train to Liverpool Street and then change to Holborn and then - "No", she said, "how do I get to Kingsway !" He patiently explained again she need a train to Liverpool Street and then change to Holborn .. she looked at us both as though we were idiots - "No, how to I get a train to Kingsway FROM HERE". Summoning the last of his customer respect he explained she should get the next Met train and tell the driver to jump the tracks ... she walked off at that point but I wasn't convinced she understood. Glance from the Staff on his last day said it all.
 

uair01

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Rotterdam
Here is a nice writeup of a meeting with the math genius Alexandre Grothendieck:

When he seemed totally unmoved by my getting out the bakery box from my bag and told me again to leave, I returned to the gate.

I explained that I had climbed the gate to get in, but when he didn’t react at all, I thought (nonsensically, I now realize) that he wanted me to climb back over the gate to prove to him that this was indeed how I entered his yard. But, the ground under the gate was sloped so that the fence was significantly higher from the inside, and I was shaking from the huge influx of adrenaline that I was experiencing. After a few horribly embarrassing failed attempts at pushing myself back over the gate, during which all I could think, over and over, was “Alexander Grothendieck is watching me” (which he was, with what I might describe, in retrospect, as detached bemusement), I asked him to unlock the gate.

However, he stood totally still and silent, like my own personal Ghost of Christmas Future, and then told me, once more, to get out. I thought I had better not fail at this next attempt. I tossed my bag, hat, and scarf over, did a bit of a run up, and vaulted inelegantly over, smacking my shin hard on the gate on the way. Seeing the bruise later helped me convince myself that I had not dreamed up this entire episode.

Once he had seen me leave his yard, I thought that Grothendieck might just walk off, but I decided to wait. He did as well, and we studied each other from opposite sides of the gate for a moment. We were a similar height, and his blue eyes were alert and focused.

Grothendieck asked me not angrily, but a bit sternly, in French, how I knew his address and how I had gotten there. He told me again that I should not have come in, and should not have disturbed him in his “cloˆıtre”, which reinforced the impression given by the brown robe he wore that he thought of himself, in some sense, as a monk.

When I was given the address, I had said I wouldn’t tell Grothendieck how I came by it, so I just watched him silently during this monologue, looking shocked.

More here:
https://webusers.imj-prg.fr/~leila.schneps/grothendieckcircle/Katrina.pdf
 

uair01

Justified & Ancient
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Rotterdam
Here is a nice writeup of a meeting with the math genius Alexandre Grothendieck:

When he seemed totally unmoved by my getting out the bakery box from my bag and told me again to leave, I returned to the gate.

I explained that I had climbed the gate to get in, but when he didn’t react at all, I thought (nonsensically, I now realize) that he wanted me to climb back over the gate to prove to him that this was indeed how I entered his yard. But, the ground under the gate was sloped so that the fence was significantly higher from the inside, and I was shaking from the huge influx of adrenaline that I was experiencing. After a few horribly embarrassing failed attempts at pushing myself back over the gate, during which all I could think, over and over, was “Alexander Grothendieck is watching me” (which he was, with what I might describe, in retrospect, as detached bemusement), I asked him to unlock the gate.

However, he stood totally still and silent, like my own personal Ghost of Christmas Future, and then told me, once more, to get out. I thought I had better not fail at this next attempt. I tossed my bag, hat, and scarf over, did a bit of a run up, and vaulted inelegantly over, smacking my shin hard on the gate on the way. Seeing the bruise later helped me convince myself that I had not dreamed up this entire episode.

Once he had seen me leave his yard, I thought that Grothendieck might just walk off, but I decided to wait. He did as well, and we studied each other from opposite sides of the gate for a moment. We were a similar height, and his blue eyes were alert and focused.

Grothendieck asked me not angrily, but a bit sternly, in French, how I knew his address and how I had gotten there. He told me again that I should not have come in, and should not have disturbed him in his “cloˆıtre”, which reinforced the impression given by the brown robe he wore that he thought of himself, in some sense, as a monk.

When I was given the address, I had said I wouldn’t tell Grothendieck how I came by it, so I just watched him silently during this monologue, looking shocked.

More here:
https://webusers.imj-prg.fr/~leila.schneps/grothendieckcircle/Katrina.pdf

And another one, also good:

I had written about my background. That I was a Muslim from Iran. He said that he also believed in God, but he didn't follow any "traditional" religion. I had written about my feelings towards the mathematical community and that I shared some of the feelings he had when he left the community.

When the letter was finished and he saw his portrait on the verso, he was quick to ask where I had obtained his picture. I was not sure how much he knew about Internet. I told him that I had downloaded it from the website GrothendieckCircle. He was very displeased to hear it. He told me that he had requested the responsible people to take down the site.

I assured him that the site was indeed inactive. I wanted to tell him that it was thanks to this site that many people (including myself) got to know more about him and that it was such a valuable source for his legacy, but I decided to let him be the speaker. He asked how I had obtained his address. I explained.

He also asked if I was alone and if I had driven all the way from Zurich. When I told him that my spouse and I (and only the two of us) drove from Zurich to meet him, he was very touched, and thanked us. I think he did not realize what position he occupied in the heart of so many passionate mathematicians, for whom Mathematics was not everything, and saw Grothendieck not just as a great mathematician, but as an
activist, a rebel and a person of principles.

https://webusers.imj-prg.fr/~leila.schneps/grothendieckcircle/Mohammad.pdf
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
Joined
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Messages
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Location
York
Here is a nice writeup of a meeting with the math genius Alexandre Grothendieck:

When he seemed totally unmoved by my getting out the bakery box from my bag and told me again to leave, I returned to the gate.

I explained that I had climbed the gate to get in, but when he didn’t react at all, I thought (nonsensically, I now realize) that he wanted me to climb back over the gate to prove to him that this was indeed how I entered his yard. But, the ground under the gate was sloped so that the fence was significantly higher from the inside, and I was shaking from the huge influx of adrenaline that I was experiencing. After a few horribly embarrassing failed attempts at pushing myself back over the gate, during which all I could think, over and over, was “Alexander Grothendieck is watching me” (which he was, with what I might describe, in retrospect, as detached bemusement), I asked him to unlock the gate.

However, he stood totally still and silent, like my own personal Ghost of Christmas Future, and then told me, once more, to get out. I thought I had better not fail at this next attempt. I tossed my bag, hat, and scarf over, did a bit of a run up, and vaulted inelegantly over, smacking my shin hard on the gate on the way. Seeing the bruise later helped me convince myself that I had not dreamed up this entire episode.

Once he had seen me leave his yard, I thought that Grothendieck might just walk off, but I decided to wait. He did as well, and we studied each other from opposite sides of the gate for a moment. We were a similar height, and his blue eyes were alert and focused.

Grothendieck asked me not angrily, but a bit sternly, in French, how I knew his address and how I had gotten there. He told me again that I should not have come in, and should not have disturbed him in his “cloˆıtre”, which reinforced the impression given by the brown robe he wore that he thought of himself, in some sense, as a monk.

When I was given the address, I had said I wouldn’t tell Grothendieck how I came by it, so I just watched him silently during this monologue, looking shocked.

More here:
https://webusers.imj-prg.fr/~leila.schneps/grothendieckcircle/Katrina.pdf
To be fair, though, if someone uninvited and unexpectedly turned up in my garden, I would probably behave similarly. Just repeating 'get out'.
 

Floyd1

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To be fair, though, if someone uninvited and unexpectedly turned up in my garden, I would probably behave similarly. Just repeating 'get out'.
It appears that this thread has for a good while now deviated from the original intention of the O/P. So I'll carry on in the same vein and as your 'garden' comment reminded me;

This guy has always interested me. Curt Claudio.

Curt travelled from California and spent time sleeping in John Lennon's garden at his Tittenhurst residence (near Mytho) in May 1971.
He was a clever guy, but had taken a bit too much lsd by all accounts.

A good account here (although note; he was not a Vietnam veteran as is stated).

John spoke to him for a while and then invited him in for something to eat.

https://johnlennon.com/news/curt-claudio/
 

Ronnie Jersey

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It appears that this thread has for a good while now deviated from the original intention of the O/P. So I'll carry on in the same vein and as your 'garden' comment reminded me;

This guy has always interested me. Curt Claudio.

Curt travelled from California and spent time sleeping in John Lennon's garden at his Tittenhurst residence (near Mytho) in May 1971.
He was a clever guy, but had taken a bit too much lsd by all accounts.

A good account here (although note; he was not a Vietnam veteran as is stated).

John spoke to him for a while and then invited him in for something to eat.

https://johnlennon.com/news/curt-claudio/
That was on our tv some years ago, how impressive that John Lennon invited him in, just like a regular person, saying 'he was just a guy who wrote songs'.
Unbelievable.
 

skinny

Convict
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Glions
Oh yeah I remember that from the Imagine doco. I had the same response. How could a pop culture icon be so ... neighborly?

I adore Lennon. Recall the day he died. I was in the front seat of the car in our tiny rural town. Da was driving and had the midday news on the radio. I wondered why Da pulled over and stopped and turned up the volume and was staring straight ahead and I knew something was wrong. I looked around for the issue at hand (must've been 9yo or so) and not seeing anything out of the ordinary I asked him what's up?. He just held his hand up in that way Dads do to silence kids. Eventually he told me who John was and why he was important and how sad this event was. I don't recall where we were going at the time but I clearly remember where we were stopped right next to the Catholic church. I guess it was about then I started paying attention to pop music and dragging out my folks' vinyl records.

Sure could do with more of his kind these days. He was like our Ghandi. Born leader. Yet humble. Strange person, himself.

Soz for the minor derail.
 

uair01

Justified & Ancient
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Rotterdam
Today I had a very strange experience. In our Catholic parish we have more churches than priests, so from time to time a service is led by lay persons. I'm one of them. Today was the feast of Trinity Sunday, so I made an appropriate liturgy and sermon. I even quoted some poets and saints. I saw a new person in church who was looking quite skeptical through all this. I'm ok with that, because I assume I'm at most a tolerable, but probably mediocre, speaker.

But then at Holy Communion I distributed the Eucharist (consecrated by a "real" priest, previous Sunday) and the procedure is meant to go like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Amen"

But with thjs new person it went like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Would you really think so?"

To explain for non-Catholics: We have this thing called "presentia realis", which means that the Eucharist is really the body of Christ (Protestants don't agree with this). So a remark like this, at this moment, is either blasphemy or insensitive trolling. And then, after the service this same person critiqued my sermon for being totally within tradition and lacking any sharp edges or doubts.

Well ... and now I'm half exaggerating for theatrical effect and trolling :cool: and I'm half serious ... I see some possible interpretations:
Either it's the Holy Ghost telling me to stretch my boundaries.
Or it's the Evil One tempting me to stray.
But also it just might be a random weird person :)

As my friends the Jesuits say ... this will need some discernment.
 
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Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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Today I had a very strange experience. In our Catholic parish we have more churches than priests, so from time to time a service is led by lay persons. I'm one of them. Today was the feast of Trinity Sunday, so I made an appropriate liturgy and sermon. I even quoted some poets and saints. I saw a new person in church who was looking quite skeptical through all this. I'm ok with that, because I assume I'm at most a tolerable, but probably mediocre, speaker.

But then at Holy Communion I distributed the Eucharist (consecrated by a "real" priest, previous Sunday) and the procedure is meant to go like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Amen"

But with thjs new person it went like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Would you really think so?"

To explain for non-Catholics: We have this thing called "presentia realis", which means that the Eucharist is really the body of Christ (Protestants don't agree with this). So a remark like this, at this moment, is either blasphemy or insensitive trolling. And then, after the service this same person critiqued my sermon for being totally within tradition and lacking any sharp edges or doubts.
Sometimes, you may get a non-Catholic visiting your church.
My Mum's a baptist, but she has been known to visit churches of other denominations.
 

Mungoman

Mostly harmless...
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Today I had a very strange experience. In our Catholic parish we have more churches than priests, so from time to time a service is led by lay persons. I'm one of them. Today was the feast of Trinity Sunday, so I made an appropriate liturgy and sermon. I even quoted some poets and saints. I saw a new person in church who was looking quite skeptical through all this. I'm ok with that, because I assume I'm at most a tolerable, but probably mediocre, speaker.

But then at Holy Communion I distributed the Eucharist (consecrated by a "real" priest, previous Sunday) and the procedure is meant to go like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Amen"

But with thjs new person it went like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Would you really think so?"

To explain for non-Catholics: We have this thing called "presentia realis", which means that the Eucharist is really the body of Christ (Protestants don't agree with this). So a remark like this, at this moment, is either blasphemy or insensitive trolling. And then, after the service this same person critiqued my sermon for being totally within tradition and lacking any sharp edges or doubts.

Well ... and now I'm half exaggerating for theatrical effect and trolling :cool: and I'm half serious ... I see some possible interpretations:
Either it's the Holy Ghost telling me to stretch my boundaries.
Or it's the Evil One tempting me to stray.
But also it just might be a random weird person :)

As my friends the Jesuits say ... this will need some discernment.


As far as I'm aware uair:, a Lay persons job is to confirm the scriptures, not to hammer numerous tenets on Kirk doors.

And this person attitude tells me more about your character, rather than theirs.

Shine on mate.
 

Lb8535

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Today I had a very strange experience. In our Catholic parish we have more churches than priests, so from time to time a service is led by lay persons. I'm one of them. Today was the feast of Trinity Sunday, so I made an appropriate liturgy and sermon. I even quoted some poets and saints. I saw a new person in church who was looking quite skeptical through all this. I'm ok with that, because I assume I'm at most a tolerable, but probably mediocre, speaker.

But then at Holy Communion I distributed the Eucharist (consecrated by a "real" priest, previous Sunday) and the procedure is meant to go like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Amen"

But with thjs new person it went like this:
I: "The body of Christ"
Recipient: "Would you really think so?"

To explain for non-Catholics: We have this thing called "presentia realis", which means that the Eucharist is really the body of Christ (Protestants don't agree with this). So a remark like this, at this moment, is either blasphemy or insensitive trolling. And then, after the service this same person critiqued my sermon for being totally within tradition and lacking any sharp edges or doubts.

Well ... and now I'm half exaggerating for theatrical effect and trolling :cool: and I'm half serious ... I see some possible interpretations:
Either it's the Holy Ghost telling me to stretch my boundaries.
Or it's the Evil One tempting me to stray.
But also it just might be a random weird person :)

As my friends the Jesuits say ... this will need some discernment.
We have a concept of "a blessed avatar of the Buddha who uses devices to emancipate you..." so I'm voting for a trial by the Holy Ghost. Sounds like you did fine. He knew it was an RC church.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
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No. She is polite and respectful.
Which is what makes @uair01 's experience so odd. Most people I know who pop into churches (even myself, on occasion) without sunscribing to the religion that is being practiced within, are polite and respectful. Someone coming purely to heckle the lay preacher is very strange indeed.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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Which is what makes @uair01 's experience so odd. Most people I know who pop into churches (even myself, on occasion) without sunscribing to the religion that is being practiced within, are polite and respectful. Someone coming purely to heckle the lay preacher is very strange indeed.
Indeed. I would not do this either, and I'm an atheist.
 

GNC

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The minister at my local church was heckled a few years ago during the Christmas midnight service by a man who had to be escorted from the premises. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
 

Floyd1

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Not sure that this is 'strange folk' in the Fortean sense, but has anyone ever met someone who seems to disagree with everything you say even if it's pure fact and in any case it's something that you have experienced for yourself? Almost like they'd say it was day if you said it was night?

(I'm not speaking of two people who just happen to disagree on a certain topic/belief or are telling someone they've seen a ufo/ghost etc).

I've had incidences with at least two people who fit this description and it really is annoying to say the least.

One was a young Egyptian woman. We were talking about the Suez canal and I mentioned how, on the second time I'd crossed it, (at night) years before, we didn't use the tunnel, but instead, the bus got onto a rickety old ferry and we crossed that way (I just thought this was the usual practise at certain times of day, as I'd only used the tunnel once before, in daytime a couple of weeks earlier).

She replied that ''No, you wouldn't have done that- why would you have done that when there's a tunnel''? I told her I didn't know why *(I do know now), but that's what we did. ''No, you're mistaken'' she said, ''that wouldn't have happened''..... I gave up with her in the end and left her to her opinions. A very infuriating person.

*(The reason was that the tunnel had sprung a leak).
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Not sure that this is 'strange folk' in the Fortean sense, but has anyone ever met someone who seems to disagree with everything you say even if it's pure fact and in any case it's something that you have experienced for yourself? Almost like they'd say it was day if you said it was night?

(I'm not speaking of two people who just happen to disagree on a certain topic/belief or are telling someone they've seen a ufo/ghost etc).

I've had incidences with at least two people who fit this description and it really is annoying to say the least.

One was a young Egyptian woman. We were talking about the Suez canal and I mentioned how, on the second time I'd crossed it, (at night) years before, we didn't use the tunnel, but instead, the bus got onto a rickety old ferry and we crossed that way (I just thought this was the usual practise at certain times of day, as I'd only used the tunnel once before, in daytime a couple of weeks earlier).

She replied that ''No, you wouldn't have done that- why would you have done that when there's a tunnel''? I told her I didn't know why *(I do know now), but that's what we did. ''No, you're mistaken'' she said, ''that wouldn't have happened''..... I gave up with her in the end and left her to her opinions. A very infuriating person.

*(The reason was that the tunnel had sprung a leak).
Yes, I have met a few people falling into that category - whether town taxes or buying a car is the subject, you are always wrong, as they patiently explain their nonsense to you.
I just leave them to their infuriating fiction. :)
 

Mythopoeika

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Not sure that this is 'strange folk' in the Fortean sense, but has anyone ever met someone who seems to disagree with everything you say even if it's pure fact and in any case it's something that you have experienced for yourself? Almost like they'd say it was day if you said it was night?
I have met so many people like this that I despair. There is no way to use facts and logic constructively with such people.
 

Floyd1

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I have met so many people like this that I despair. There is no way to use facts and logic constructively with such people.
Ever come across these types Myth; I speak to a guy I know for 20 minutes or so every week or two. On at least three ocassions someone that he knows has come up and started to talk to him. When that happens, I'll say'' right 'Pete' I'll be off then, see you later''. Pete doesn't acknowledge me at all and just looks straight at the other person. I'll say again ''see you then Pete''. Nothing. Next time it happens I'll shout a bit louder and say ''Oi, you ignorant b*****d....''
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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Ever come across these types Myth; I speak to a guy I know for 20 minutes or so every week or two. On at least three ocassions someone that he knows has come up and started to talk to him. When that happens, I'll say'' right 'Pete' I'll be off then, see you later''. Pete doesn't acknowledge me at all and just looks straight at the other person. I'll say again ''see you then Pete''. Nothing. Next time it happens I'll shout a bit louder and say ''Oi, you ignorant b*****d....''
That sounds incredibly rude of him to do that.
But I have encountered so many people like that, mostly working in high-tech, mostly in the Cambridge area.
I can't wait until I retire.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Ever come across these types Myth; I speak to a guy I know for 20 minutes or so every week or two. On at least three ocassions someone that he knows has come up and started to talk to him. When that happens, I'll say'' right 'Pete' I'll be off then, see you later''. Pete doesn't acknowledge me at all and just looks straight at the other person. I'll say again ''see you then Pete''. Nothing. Next time it happens I'll shout a bit louder and say ''Oi, you ignorant b*****d....''
I like the ones who rattle on for 10 minutes about their life, then if I say something they suddenly have to run off. No interest whatsoever in anyone or anything else, very self-obsessed, which is ok - but the next time I bump into them, now I have to run off. :)
 

Swifty

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Ever come across these types Myth; I speak to a guy I know for 20 minutes or so every week or two. On at least three ocassions someone that he knows has come up and started to talk to him. When that happens, I'll say'' right 'Pete' I'll be off then, see you later''. Pete doesn't acknowledge me at all and just looks straight at the other person. I'll say again ''see you then Pete''. Nothing. Next time it happens I'll shout a bit louder and say ''Oi, you ignorant b*****d....''
My pensioner neighbour won't acknowledge me if I walk past and say good morning if she's talking to someone else. Maybe that's me being rude and she doesn't like being interrupted? .. she's normally very chatty and friendly with me and the Mrs so maybe that's just her way? ...

I used to go round and visit a local mate when he invited me, we still get on but I stopped going round because he'll be live gaming with a headset on and completely ignore you after inviting you round which I find a bit ignorant.
 

Coal

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Ever come across these types Myth; I speak to a guy I know for 20 minutes or so every week or two. On at least three ocassions someone that he knows has come up and started to talk to him. When that happens, I'll say'' right 'Pete' I'll be off then, see you later''. Pete doesn't acknowledge me at all and just looks straight at the other person. I'll say again ''see you then Pete''. Nothing. Next time it happens I'll shout a bit louder and say ''Oi, you ignorant b*****d....''
My next door neighbour but one did that when I was talking to the neighbour, rude fecker. That was his second strike.
 

Floyd1

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My pensioner neighbour won't acknowledge me if I walk past and say good morning if she's talking to someone else. Maybe that's me being rude and she doesn't like being interrupted? .. she's normally very chatty and friendly with me and the Mrs so maybe that's just her way? ...

I used to go round and visit a local mate when he invited me, we still get on but I stopped going round because he'll be live gaming with a headset on and completely ignore you after inviting you round which I find a bit ignorant.
Very ignorant. Like the ones who keep the TV on full blast when you visit. This is why I very rarely visit anyone.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Very ignorant. Like the ones who keep the TV on full blast when you visit. This is why I very rarely visit anyone.
I always had dozens of friends, every holiday I would cook up a huge feast and just everyone would come over and spend the day. We were invited to everyone's barbecues, and they were all invited to ours. Those were great times.
I visited an old friend recently, and she picked up her phone to call someone as I was talking.
We were having our car looked at the other day, around the corner from an old friend of mine who I haven't seen lately (because of the virus), and I told her I would stop by just to say hello, she said don't bother, I won't be home.
And it's not just me - Mr. R says the same thing, now we don't visit anymore.
I think things change, and people get a bit strange, as time goes on. :)
 

Mythopoeika

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I always had dozens of friends, every holiday I would cook up a huge feast and just everyone would come over and spend the day. We were invited to everyone's barbecues, and they were all invited to ours. Those were great times.
I visited an old friend recently, and she picked up her phone to call someone as I was talking.
We were having our car looked at the other day, around the corner from an old friend of mine who I haven't seen lately (because of the virus), and I told her I would stop by just to say hello, she said don't bother, I won't be home.
And it's not just me - Mr. R says the same thing, now we don't visit anymore.
I think things change, and people get a bit strange, as time goes on. :)
It's a bit sad when old friends can't be bothered.
I have always had to be the one who works at friendships, calling them, visiting them, etc. Yet most of them can't be bothered to call me.
I can't work it out.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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It's a bit sad when old friends can't be bothered.
I have always had to be the one who works at friendships, calling them, visiting them, etc. Yet most of them can't be bothered to call me.
I can't work it out.
Same here, I don't understand it either - to me it seems that everyone is in their own little world and doesn't give a hoot.
And since the virus, it's worse, as if many have become housebound, working from home, etc., and you just don't see them.
There are people living on the next block from us, who I have not laid eyes on in more than a year!
I have given up calling most myself.
 
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