Until recently, neither Frank nor I had a lot of hobbies. We'd do normal stuff like hang out with friends, read, go to the gym, watch TV, go for walks, and eat, but didn't do anything in an organized way that I would describe as hobby-like.
We both wrote, but that's less a hobby than something we'd both do for a living in a magical world where money didn't exist. For me, working, writing, relaxing, and just generally staying alive took up pretty much all of my time.
But lately, both of us have started these little hobby-ish projects: Frank is learning how to brew beer, and I've decided to try and grow some heirloom tomatoes (I love those things, but at $3 a pound I almost went broke eating caprese salad last summer.) Both of us have gotten into cooking in a way that is more cooking for cooking's sake than preventing starvation. We're attempting to start a literary magazine with some friends. After much cajoling from my mother, I've started making this hippie homemade cat food for the cats, and I've been packing my lunch in a special little bento box. I've got plans to take a class this summer, and do an art project, and maybe even start a little dinner party club with my pals.
What I'm wondering is, is does this make us old and lame? Are we the late-twenties equivalent of some guy shuffling around his garage in a bathrobe and engineer's cap, tinkering with his Lionel train set? Does this indicate that we are bored and bourgeois, too settled into life?
I hope not. In a way, our new hobbies are all versions of things we already did: eating, drinking beer, bringing lunch, eating some more. Perhaps, as we get a little older and a (very) little more secure financially, we are starting put more care and thought into our day-to-day routines.
I also think that as we get increasingly comfortable with each other, we get less and less embarrassed to suggest stuff like tomato growing and beer brewing. At this point, if Frank thinks I'm a freak show for feeding people food to the cats, he's at least somewhat implicated in the weirdness.
Stuff that might seem depressing and old maid-ish if I were single--packing my bento box, for instance--isn't as creepy with Frank around. It shouldn't be that way, but for some reason it is. In a way, I think that that is one of the major societal advantages to couplehood: being allowed to do stuff that single people can't for fear of never getting laid.
It sounds dumb, but there's a freedom that comes with being committed to someone. You don't have to worry so much about dying alone in your sad old lady apartment and having your cats eat your corpse to keep from starving because nobody finds you for two weeks, so you don't worry as much about doing things that might creep people out. Who cares if some guy from work is creeped out? He doesn't have to sleep with you.
It feels strange and anti-feminist to think that way--presumably, one should feel that kind of freedom with or without a partner--and yet I kind of do. Maybe I shouldn't over-think it. After all, my little tomato sproutlings make me so happy. My cute little bento lunch makes me so happy. My organic cats make me so happy. So if this is being old and lame, well, I guess that's what makes me happy.