anneli rufus
loners unite! (well, sort of.)
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I grew up near the beach in Los Angeles, which by my definition is a definite lonerland. First of all, the city is huge -- and by contrast, small towns are the worst places for loners to live, with their comparatively nosy/friendly/curious residents. And LA's car culture, despite the true horrors of smog, ensures that a large part of every day will be spent all alone in a hermit-cave on wheels.

An only child, I played alone a lot. Other kids came knocking, but I usually avoided them, preferring solitary pursuits: poring over Ripley's Believe It or Not!, gluing plastic eyes and pipecleaner arms and legs onto seashells, doing the voices of Barbie and Ken and Skipper.

After leaving home I went to college and graduated with an English degree from UC Berkeley, a gigantic university where a loner could easily blend into the crowd but where people are very serious and expect you to have serious opinions on things. That is, if you get roped into conversations with them.

I was lucky enough to marry a fellow loner -- these are not easy to meet -- then became an author of books on a wide variety of subjects. I am also a journalist whose works have appeared in a wide range of publications from to Tropical Fish Hobbyist to Psychology Today.

2009 anneli rufus