• Kaye Curren


Lately, I have realized I don’t care to go out much. I’ll schedule events on my Google calendar per our local event news, carefully labeling and describing the event in detail. Then I don’t go.

Occasionally I stop to ask myself if I’m getting old? Getting senile? Don’t I like anyone anymore? (Don’t answer that, Kathryn.) Have I been antisocial for a while now, and I just didn’t notice the transition? Granted there are circumstances. To attend one event downtown in our little college town, for example, here’s what I endure.

  1. Shower, dress, and do my hair and makeup. (Forty-five minutes on a good day.)

  2. Pack up my purse with phone and emergency information (in case I trip over a sidewalk), and snacks in the event of a traffic jam because I forgot it was football Saturday. (U of M rah, rah!) The truth is I don’t go near the campus on football Saturday anymore – once was enough.

  3. Next, I calculate my time to get to my event: I Google map the best parking location, which between September and May could be a real feat. I assess whether I’ll hit class dismissal time. If so, I add fifteen minutes to dodge students sprinting to beat me to the intersection. I check construction news to see if the university has closed off three city blocks to build yet another endowed edifice. Since scarce parking usually means a ten to fifteen-minute walk to the venue – double that coming back – I add thirty minutes to my adventure. Oh, and the weather. In winter months, I need to add twenty minutes to wrestle into coat, hat, gloves, scarf, and boots. If it rains, I hope I don’t poke someone’s eye out with your oversized umbrella.

  4. I’m not even there yet. Now I stand in line, ticket in hand. I maneuver the crowd, the stairs, the long line at the restroom (I ALWAYS have to go), and finally I’m seated.

  5. Ah, rest, relief. I open the program as the performance begins, hoping no snackers or small children are sitting near me. Recently, I attended an anniversary concert for Leonard Bernstein. The lady next to me pulled out a crackling cellophane bag of lemon drops and proceeded to crackle the paper and suck loudly on the lemon drops. This might have been all right for the first movement of the Bernstein symphony, but she chose to chomp on her treat during the slow and quiet adagio. I was shocked to observe that the crunching of lemon drops can actually drown out an entire violin section. At intermission, after having my seat kicked by a restless youngster behind me, I made a beeline for the door. I shuffled to my car, jumped in, and breathed a sigh of relief. Home, James, I always say.

As I said, lately I notice that, for me, staying in can be more satisfying than going out.

Here is a Going Out or Staying In Chart. You can use it to decide your future goings or stayings.

I would love to hear your going out or staying in stories in the comments below. Or email me at

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