I'd like some company.
August 13, 2010 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Socialise me!

Finished my degree and my kids grew up. Watching TV doesn't cut it. I surf the net too much.

Find me some cool people to hang with.
a. interesting/fun varied social conversation (at least some of the time)
b. my age group (at least some of the time - 44)
c. no sexy time (I'm married, well, WOW widow) but definitely mixed. Flirty is fine but swinging singles is out.

I know you're going to ask about my interests, but I don't want to limit the answers by telling you what I like when you may come up with something totally novel that I never would have considered before.

Bonus points: I'm located in Ipswich & the Gold Coast, Queensland and can get to Brisbane with some effort. I've been to a meetup (hey guys!) but was a bit of an outlier in terms of age, and took myself off at an indecently early hour.
posted by b33j to Society & Culture (21 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Book club maybe?
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:01 PM on August 13, 2010

Climbing gym. You have to have a climbing partner. A surprising amount of non-20-somethings.
posted by salvia at 5:04 PM on August 13, 2010

Best answer: Find a meetup group? If you can't find one that you like, maybe you can start one?
posted by xm at 5:20 PM on August 13, 2010

Astronomy club?
posted by Faraday Cage at 5:34 PM on August 13, 2010

Cooking class?

posted by Nickel Pickle at 5:44 PM on August 13, 2010

Is there contradance in Australia? Start a marching band? Start a mutual aid and cocktails society where you go to each other's houses and perform fixer-upper tasks and drink cocktails? Dream up a club you wish existed and start it!
posted by jennyjenny at 6:05 PM on August 13, 2010

Knitting club? My local community centre has one that meets once a week. Swimming group? Hiking club? The book club is a good idea. Classes in something you're interested in is good too. Become a docent at a museum/historical site.
posted by deborah at 6:09 PM on August 13, 2010

Social dancing! Dance communities are often very welcoming to newcomers--there will be classes to help you get the basics down, and people are generally very friendly, in my experience. Social dancing offers a structured activity and social opportunities at the same time. Plus you'll get exercise, learn a new skill, & have a chance to express yourself creatively. I'm partial to swing dancing, myself. These folks seem to have info on that. And here's an organization that offers info on all kinds of dancing in the area.
posted by aka burlap at 6:30 PM on August 13, 2010

Best answer: Take up a sport. I'm partial to badminton. Or maybe a bowling league, which allows for plenty of socializing time. One of my cousins joined a softball team. Another friend of mine started a women's soccer team. And yet another woman I know is on her company's baseball team. You get to meet other people in a range of ages, and often once you've gotten to know each other, you hang out at the pub together after practices/games.

Join (or put out a call for) a trivia team if any pubs where you are do pub trivia challenges.
posted by flex at 6:46 PM on August 13, 2010

If you consider 'being social' related to 'building community,' then the contents of this poster are entirely relevant:
Turn off your TV
Leave your house
Know your neighbors
Look up when you are walking
Greet people
Sit on your stoop
Plant flowers
Use your library
Play together
Buy from local merchants
Share what you have
Help a lost dog
Take children to the park
Garden together
Support neighborhood schools
Fix it even if you didn't break it
Have pot lucks
Honor elders
Pick up litter
Read stories aloud
Dance in the street
Talk to the mail carrier
Listen to the birds
Put up a swing
Help carry something heavy
Barter for your goods
Start a tradition
Ask a question
Hire young people for odd jobs
Organize a block party
Bake extra and share
Ask for help when you need it
Open your shades
Sing together
Share your skills
Take back the night
Turn up the music
Turn down the music
Listen before you react to anger
Mediate a conflict
Seek to understand
Learn from new and uncomfortable angles
Know that no one is silent though many are not heard. Work to change this.
To this list, I would add "volunteer."
posted by lover at 6:47 PM on August 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

I bet the 501st has a group in your area. All geeky groups have plenty of people over 40, and the conversation is always varied.

Take up a martial art? Volunteer at a festival. Join a bowling league. Do you have bowling in Australia?

Learn to throw pots or build furniture. Cooking classes. Marathon walking clubs. Get on the board of a charity. The museum docent thing is good, too - especially a living history one.
posted by SMPA at 6:58 PM on August 13, 2010

Take some pottery classes and join your local pottery guild - lots of older men and women in there, all different backgrounds. Bonus - making pottery :)
posted by lizbunny at 9:44 PM on August 13, 2010

Buy a horse.
posted by fshgrl at 10:32 PM on August 13, 2010

Couchsurfing. Make a good profile, think about hosting people, otherwise just look at travellers near you and message people you find interesting and go for drinks with them. Pretty automatically, you also meet their local contacts/hosts who remain available after your travellers depart. You might also be an outlier age-wise, I don't know.
posted by themel at 11:51 PM on August 13, 2010

Response by poster: I appreciate the answers but it seems a lot don't meet the criteria of interesting conversation (they might be interesting, but there's little conversation or vice versa), mixed company in my age group. For example, I can not see how a 44 year old horse will provide me with conversation. A women's (sporting) team would probably be fun, but no mix, and how much converation? 501st - a star wars convention group: Interesting conversation?

I see potential in volunteering for a festival or getting on the board of a charity but don't those things just focus on that - rather than broad conversational topics? I mean, you get together for the purpose of X, you take the minutes, you plan the thing, you go home? I do that stuff at work already.

If I wasn't a woman with a 17 year old daughter, couch hosting would be interesting.
posted by b33j at 1:21 AM on August 14, 2010

Go volunteer to work on the upcoming general election this November 2. You will probably have to contact your local County officials, in my state it's the County Auditor that handles elections. This will be a short term assignment of one day, but most states have early voting so you might work weekends or days for as much as a month before the election.

Try to get an assignment working in your own precinct, at the place where you normally vote. Usually they try to assign you to your home precinct, since you would know your neighborhood and your neighbors. And this is the reason why I suggest you do this: you will meet almost everyone in your neighborhood. You won't have much time to interact with them on Election Day, but they will remember you if they encounter you later.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:18 AM on August 14, 2010

I see potential in volunteering for a festival or getting on the board of a charity but don't those things just focus on that - rather than broad conversational topics?

The point with these and with the other recommendations is that they are vehicles for meeting new people. You go to your festival/horse-riding lessons/sports event or whatever, get to know people, and then meet them outside that context if you like them.

There is no requirement to restrict yourself to communication during the actual event.
posted by knapah at 4:30 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

For me, volunteering with a group that had its ear to the ground about everything that went on in my area about [bicycling / ham radio / some topic I cared about] would not just be interesting but also would make me feel much more part of the community as a whole. I'd be the first to know about potential plans to install a bike trail! And then my fellow board members would invite me to ... an art opening of their photos of bikes ... etc.

But actually, I think "card club" is the standard answer to this question.
posted by salvia at 7:43 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

For example, I can not see how a 44 year old horse will provide me with conversation.

Well a 44 year old horse would be dead so that might be a problem. But ownership of a younger horse would introduce you to horse people, possibly the most diverse, convivial and talkative group of folks on the planet. People of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, creeds and backgrounds own horses so you never know who you'll meet.

I grew up riding and now that I live n the city I don't ride much and I miss the people the most.
posted by fshgrl at 5:37 PM on August 14, 2010

I know you don't want to delve into hobbies and such, but you really should. Your interests are other people's interests too, and that's already a starting point for friendship and future activities to get you out of the house.

I've been focusing on photography (oh, god, pardon the pun) because it's a hobby I really enjoy. I use it to meet other photographers.

Maybe you're thinking "but my hobbies aren't really social things." Maybe they can still serve as a better starting point for meeting people than you realize.
posted by 2oh1 at 12:06 PM on August 15, 2010

Response by poster: It's not that my hobbies aren't social things (they are, and I'm looking into them). It was more, I didn't want to say "I'm an introvert" and have someone rule out little theatre or Toastmaster or Apex, Rotary etc...
posted by b33j at 2:29 AM on August 20, 2010

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