Sunday, February 27, 2005

Moving, Loneliness & The Tipping Point

Last week I finished The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell. I'm challenged to describe this book - it is so thought provoking that just when I have a coherent point to make about it, another often contradictory point overrides the first point and then I'm trying to reconcile them and on and on. Since I just moved, and seem to have just begun to come to terms with that fact, I am understanding the book within the framwork of the "just-moved" personality. As an aside, I think my eyes have actually become physically larger since moving here and taking everything in. There is a point where Gladwell describes the three key personalities involved in creating/disseminating information which leads to social epidemics (think of the way in which a band or restaurant will become an "overnight sensation." One of the personalities he describes is a collector of information like the best place to buy a stereo or where you can find the cheapest candy or something like that. The social currency of this personality is this kind of information. He describes this person as having a lot of magazines. Does this sound like anyone you know? I thought about how I related to Portland, and how so much of my relationship to it was knowing where to go and what to do and that I really liked telling people to go to my favorite places (like Pix or Stumptown) and that one of the reasons I liked it was because it was useful information. I realize that I relate to people in this way. I think this is why I am now having kind of a hard time in this new city. First of all, I don't have a knowledge base to draw on about this city. Just about every time I go somewhere, it is the first time I've been there. So even if I had someone to tell (which I don't) I wouldn't have anything to tell them. Of course, that's not really totally true but generally it is a cause of my lonelieness here. I know that I will eventually make friends, and that it will not be so cold, and that I will be able to recommend something to a new friend and really mean it soon. But right now, I can't deny - it is hard living in a new place.

2 Comments:

Anonymous katieo. said...

dear robin,
the way i see it, someone just like you--some person who attached to treasures and feelings, niches and secrets, salons and parlors of various sorts--is going to discover you in a panic. you will be an over-night sensation. someone just like you will see you as that potential, that wide-eyed flaneusse (much like a native of the amazon who has never stepped out of the jungle), that blank canvas and chalk you up until you're thick and painted, until the gems of chicago are all gathered up in your pocketbook.
you are a true friend.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous katieo. said...

p.s. that person could be you

12:10 PM  

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