Me/alienation

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There are a lot of aspects of the human experience with which I just don't connect and don't understand. I can't come up with a complete list off the top of my head, so I'll be adding things as they occur to me.

  • Marriage: What is it for? I mean, our society has set it up to be personally beneficial in certain ways under certain circumstances, and I understand the authoritarian motives behind that, but why does it actually seem to work for a lot of people?
  • Dating: how is this different from hanging out with someone to whom you feel close? Nobody seems to be able to explain this clearly.
    • I think I mean this mainly in regard to asexual relationships, since I'm not interested in sex as I understand the term... but even when I thought maybe I was, I still wanted to establish friendship before moving on to anything more intimate – while the idea of "dating" often seems to skip past "friendship" altogether, and I can't understand why you'd want to be physically close to someone you didn't feel emotionally close to first.
    • This extends also to "girlfriend"/"boyfriend" designations, which I gather are kind of parallel with dating. I desperately want the level of commitment implied by having or being a "girlfriend", but it also feels like it's slightly off-target. It's just very confusing and doesn't seem to be congruent with what I actually need.
  • Parenting: There are people who actually want to raise kids, despite knowing how much work it is and how much of your life it can consume. This makes no sense to me. I especially don't understand people who actually want to procreate, given the generally deteriorating economic conditions into which most offspring will be born. The plutonomy tells us we're worthless; we should be making less of us, not more.
  • Pet care: There are people who want to own pets and seem to accept the responsibility of primary lifetime care for a pet as unquestionably worthwhile, despite this being pretty much like childrearing only not quite as hard.
    • I get that some people get a deep sense of companionship from their animals. I enjoy interacting with animals, but I simply can't feel that same sense – and even if I did, I think the level of emotional drain I get from caring for them would... eat up most of the benefits of companionship even with a dearly-loved human. I'd worry that this means I am basically selfish, but I'm pretty sure that nobody who knows me well would agree that I am.
  • Sports: Why does it matter who wins, especially if you aren't friends with any of the players?