Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Is becoming a recluse a rational response to an irrational world, or a symptom of mental illness?

Do you have to be a misanthrope, or can you just want to be left alone? Are the two different?

Do you have to be rich, self-indulgent? Is there a how-to manual?

I have to admit the idea is appealing to me. I'd have to be able to get to the library, and for a while I'd still like the Sunday New York Times delivered, as well as a periodic lunch or dinner out. Other than that I think it might be OK, as long as UPS stays in business. Wouldn't even need servants.

I'd tend the garden, catch up on my reading, invent labor saving devices, play with Ted, wash the car. Deep down I believe this could be the perfect life for me. I don't even think Mrs T would care, as long as I didn't make her do it too. She wouldn't last 15 minutes.

I've been reading too much Nero Wolfe again, can you tell?



Martha said...

Toad -- sometimes I feel the same -- a life of puttering around Linderhof -- tending house and garden.

Anonymous said...

I had this experience briefly a few years back. I took a week off of work to lay tile across my first floor. I told myself I would do nothing but stay home and lay tile until complete. After four days of no human interaction, I needed to get out. I had to be out there among "them". It was definitely better philosophically, then in reality.

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Sounds like what I call "retirement." Sign me up.

Mrs. Blandings said...

It's also February in Missouri. I can barely find the energy to lift my coffee cup. Mr. B is fretting as I am a week late with a deadline and all I can manage is a half shrug. We need Spring.

Toad said...

I think you are all right. I am retired, so staying home for days at a time is no real stretch.

The warm weather last week gave me a chance to see all that needs doing, but the ground was too soft to leave the pavement.

Now its cold again. What I really need is sunlight.

Mom on the Run said...

I love to stay home. In fact, usually when everybody leaves for a few days and I have that huge opportunity to "do something" I usually don't leave the house unless I absolutely have to. My family cannot even fathom not wanting to go somewhere and DOTR gets a little batty if he has nowhere to go. That's when I turn him loose on the errands I hate to run!

Gladys said...

I guess I would be considered a recluse although I prefer to be referred to as thrifty. I don't work outside my home. I don't go out other than to the grocery or to the pharmacy. It's not that I don't like it I just don't want to spend money in trying economic times. I am perfectly content to be at home, baking, cleaning and being creative. Taking walks with my loving husband and not be subjected to the multitude of crazies out there.

ADG said...

Toad...It's what I call that "pasty" time of year. We all need some vitamin D to tune up our collective outlook.

Even so, I don't think that a hit of sunshine and vitamin D will address all of the dynamics that fuel your appetite and curiosity regarding full blown...Howar Hughes-ish reclusiveness. It's just a crazy world out there. My little brother and I are thinking of starting our own country. Stay tuned.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I get what I call "people hangover."

As long as I can get outside for a run or walk or drive with the roof open, I'm pretty content with my own society. There are days when Mrs. E. and the children come home and I realize that I haven't said a word out loud, nor so much as turned on a light unless it's to read. I'm also phone-phobic and prefer written communications. When I played sports, I was a fencer, part of a squad, on a team, but alone on the strip.

During our larger parties, I can look around and see everyone having a ball -- everything seems perfect -- and all I can think is "Excellent! O.K. everyone outta the pool." (Figuratively speaking.)

I chalk it up to being a writer and living in my head so much. Others call it "anti-social." Which is a far cry from "sociopath." Right?

David said...

I'm not reclusive, but I am introverted. Sometimes I really just need to sit in a room by myself, doing something, or not, as I choose.