Thursday, November 5, 2020

Ask Zarine #7

 by Sara "Zarine" Jessop

Dear Madam Zarine

It has been quite a long time since we have all gotten together in our normal questing and feasting fashion. I miss everyone terribly as I had just become accustomed to this new land and culture. Which means it will be even more amazing and joyous when we all gather again! But I am starting to get to my wits end. I have completed all of the tasks I have wanted during this separated time. Improved clothing, weapons, and trinkets. Even taking up journaling. What would you recommend to do to pass the time?


Bored And Crawling Up The Walls


Dear Bored,

I can completely sympathize with your problem. At first I was quite content to stay at home and finally have some time to myself. Constantly entertaining others is quite rewarding work but it can also become a bit tedious. You know what's more tedious though? Listening to Sven and Miguel argue over soup seasoning for the forty-seventh consecutive day. Yes, my household has become stir crazy and they are all acting like fools.

Did you know, my dears, that 'stir' in the term 'stir crazy' is slang for 'prison'? Well, if you were using your recess from normal life to study the etymology of phrases to use while dispensing free advice maybe you would have. Learning new things is a great way to pass the time and as someone who will need to listen to you all on a regular basis when things are once again routine, improving your vocabulary would be a fantastic place to start. As someone who has to read what you all have to say while we are socially distancing, grammar would be an even better place to begin.

Since you mentioned journaling I assume that you like to write. There are many places where your prose could be useful. The folks here at The View are always looking for content and accept all sorts of features in a variety of mediums. You could start your own publication if you desire more freedom, though I warn you with too much freedom comes much postponement of actual work especially if you are easily distracted. I find that having clear goals for writing can help you procrastinate less, which is why I like a combination of writing for multiple publications with varying degrees of expectations and deadlines.

While the above are great suggestions to help battle your ennui (which is pronounced like ahn-wee by the way, you uncultured harlequins) they don't do a lot to battle the loneliness caused by isolation. If you don't live in a home full of vibrant and entertaining people like I do you may find yourself craving social interaction. And even if you do, you might find yourself craving it with different people than the ones with which you have been sequestered. I suggest finding a way to still be social but from a distance.

Have you considered having a pen pal? I know what you are thinking, 'pen pals are for school children'. Well, my darling, you are wrong. Letter writing is an art form, my dears. It is also an excellent way to get to know someone new! Someone should start a pen pal program, like a matchmaking service for aspiring letter writers. Maybe I'll start one if the boredom becomes too much to bear.

You mentioned that you are new to these lands, and what better way to learn more about them and it's people than by helping me with my new project. The Public Information Society is always looking for folks to add to our archives. Many people seem reluctant to gossip lately so we could use a social, friendly person to convince them to do so. Perhaps if they don't like writing and you do, you could offer to write down their information for them. You'd be getting to know people from a distance and helping out with an ambitious new project that could use some more hands.

There have been a number of successful socially distanced gatherings in The Realms in the last several months. We seem to have found a way to project our voices and even our images across great distances. I have no idea how this is done from a technical standpoint, but I'm sure it's some kind of magic. There is one coming up in just a few weeks. The annual Black and White ball will be happening, presumably from the respectable distance once should stand from their dance partner. I wouldn't know, I've never been one to maintain a proper waltzing distance. But while these gatherings may be different than we are used to, they are nevertheless a way for us to maintain some sort of normalcy in a very abnormal time. I plan on attending and you should as well. If nothing else, we should support the folks who are trying their best to alleviate our boredom.

All of this seclusion can be hard on folks. Even introverts need some outside interaction from time to time and can struggle with long term isolation. Those magical means of communicating I mentioned previously have gotten far more advanced in recent years, presumably due to running out of the elves who used to deliver all of our communication. Find some friends to communicate with regularly, and make sure to have a trusted group that you can contact if you are having a really tough time. Visit the Realms Tavern and have a chat with other folks who are likely just as desperate for interaction as you are. You never know who you might meet there.

Just remember, you are not truly bored out of your mind unless you randomly cause a scene on the town common. Shouting obscenities, posting controversial opinions on the job board, removing other people's postings or just tacking your own directly on top of theirs, digging through the trash pile for last years arguments to rehash, and my favorite; reminding people that we should all just get along in the way most likely to cause an altercation. You should try it, it's great fun... I'm just kidding, please don't. In fact, stay away from the common. There isn't a lot of sense there.

I hope that some of these suggestions were helpful. Even if they weren't, reading it took up some time out of your already self described monotony, I suppose. I am nothing if not a reliever of people's dull and uninteresting lives, after all. Happy to be of service.