At one point in my life I was an Extrovert. At least I think I was. There is a significant amount of evidence to suggest I might have been a badass Extrovert as a youngster. I’m not that anymore, though and the only explanation is that my inner Extrovert was ambushed, tortured for several decades and killed by my inner Introvert. The war happened so slowly that I really wasn’t conscious of it. It took one well-timed meme on Facebook and I was suddenly confronted with the reality that I’m a total and complete Introvert.
Under normal conditions this isn’t a problem. We work and live at home so there are entire days where I don’t need to see anyone. It’s lovely.
However, this past month has been filled with occasions where I needed to leave my dark cave and intermingle with other humans.
Mim and Kevin got married on December 23rd and I was forced to dress up and smile and shake hands. There were a few awkward moments when my brain locked up and I was concerned I may need to run. Like when Kevin’s Dad introduced himself as Kevin’s brother and I looked at Kevin and then at the guy in front of me and what I wanted to say was, “Get the fuck out of here! You’re too old to be his brother!”
And then conflicting thoughts started:
Maybe their parents had too much love for just one kid and by the time they realized it the first love-child was already in his twenties. It happens and I’m not judging. In fact, it’s lovely.
Maybe they have different mothers but the same horny father. This, too, happens and it’s nothing to be worried about.
Maybe the older one fell out of the sky as a baby, making a huge crater in the middle of Russia, and then crawled for months without food until a nice farm couple found him and raised him as their own. And then he realized he had super powers and logically decided to become a reporter with the Daily News as a cover for his Super-ness. Maybe I’m standing here with Clark Fucking Kent! What does one say to Clark Kent? What’s the etiquette? I hope he doesn’t expect a curtsey because I am way past the point where a curtsey is a curtsey but rather an awkward slow fall to the floor. But he’s fucking Superman – he can just pluck me up and put me back on my feet again like nothing ever happened. And, I bet he can really get the lid off a pickle jar in a hurry, too. He probably doesn’t even shout about how I managed to get the lid on the pickle jar so tight that only Superman can get it off because he IS Superman so no harm, no foul.
Fortunately, for both of us, Kevin’s Father correctly identified the emotions racing across on my face and took pity on me.
And then there was the woman who looked me up and down and decided I didn’t meet her standards. So, I frowned and looked her up and down and decided she didn’t meet my standards. Apparently, she’s not the kind to back down so looked me up and down again. I retaliated with another look up and down but with a bigger frown. And then she did it again and I did it again and then The Viking decided he should break up the war before someone’s face got stuck in a sneer for eternity.
When it came time to dance I was happily sitting at my table, minding my own Introverted business and suddenly Kevin showed up. I said that Mim promised I wouldn’t have to dance. He said he didn’t make any such promise and if it would make me feel any better he wouldn’t twirl me around. I said that was probably the best idea he had ever had in his entire life. That scenario was full of terrible possibilities, most of them ending with me on my back, my dress up around my ears and my Spanx letting go.
I ended up in Emergency again, on Christmas Eve. And the second Emergency waiting room was packed with only two seats available – one squished between two guys and one beside a lady, but her husband’s wheel chair was blocking access. My Introvert didn’t even pause. It said “Fuck this shit! I’ll stand in the hallway!” But then the lady noticed me and recognized my Introvert because she said, “Come over here and sit beside me, dear.”
I loved her in that moment.
The ultimate test of my Introverted-ness came when we hosted a Julefrokost (a Danish Christmas Feast) on the 30th for my kids and my ex-husband, Stanley and his wife, Mildred. Stay tuned because that’s my next post.