One is the Loneliest Number

When I was living in Chicago, I went through a lonely period. All of my good friends had left the city to settle down, and I was still there, working at this small ad agency that was going out of business. Almost everyone had been laid-off, so I didn’t even have co-workers to hang out with. I was between boyfriends.

I was 26. I was all alone.

During this time, I was going to this big Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue that had a counseling center that put on helpful, not-too-churchy seminars: dealing with bereavement, balancing work/family, stuff like that. So one day when I read in the bulletin about an upcoming seminar called “How to Deal with Loneliness” I thought why not? Maybe I could get a few tips. Plus with Chicago being such a big city, I figured I probably wouldn’t know anyone there, so I wouldn’t feel like a total loser. I called and registered.

Three or four weeks later, I got this call at work from someone at the counseling center. She told me that unfortunately, they’d needed to cancel the loneliness seminar.

“Okay,” I said. “Thanks for calling. I’m curious though, why did they cancel it?”

She sounded nervous, “Um, I guess there was a lack of participation.”

“Really? How many people signed up for it?”

“You were the only one.”

I swear to God.

I started laughing. “Well, I guess that makes me pretty lonely then”.

I’m sure she thought I would jump off a bridge. Imagine that: You are the only one in the entire city of Chicago that signs up for a “How to Deal with Loneliness” seminar.

True Story.

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5 thoughts on “One is the Loneliest Number

  1. I don’ t know what’s worse: that you were the only one who signed up for a seminar on dealing with loneliness, or that (I’m going to hell because) I totally just laughed. You definitely have a knack for finding the humor in a situation (or I’m just a sadist?)

  2. Apparently I’m the sadist for signing up for a “How to Deal with Loneliness” seminar. Come ON. All I can say is desperate times call for desperate measures.

    And please laugh, because if it wasn’t funny, it would be really, really sad.

  3. Oh my. This is a Charlie Brown moment of Chicagoian proportions. I am feeling the pain. Wow. WOW. Life sometimes puts us in these moments, doesn’t it??!??!

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