UGH!!! My Introvert awkwardness reared its ugly face again over the weekend while at a friends wedding reception.
Tim and I headed out for what would be our first evening away from the baby. Let's just say Tim was a lot more comfortable with the idea of missing her bed time than I was. I've held that little peanut of mine every night for the last 7 months, while she falls asleep. I did not want to miss a night (and I didn't, she waited up for momma.)
In a meager attempt to help ease the worry of leaving my peanut, I partook in my first adult beverage since before I was pregnant. We're talking roughly two years since my last mixed drink, beer, shot, or any other means of becoming shnoggled.
I should point out that I was never a big drinker. I never went through a party phase like most teenagers do, and I've never blacked out from a hard night of too many fuzzy nipples or sex on the beach mixed drinks. Just was never my scene. Especially the hugging the toilet part. I hate doing it when I'm legitimately ill so I sure as hell am not going to purposefully put myself on my knees in front of the porcelain throne.
Anyways, I was a bit tipsy after not even half my mixed drink so by the time we made it to the dinner table, I was chatty Kathy. A little drinky poo and suddenly I feel like being friends with everyone at the table. None of which I knew. The poor women sitting next to me mentioned she worked in the NICU in Kentucky. She asked if we had any children; oh boy.
Let diarrhea of the mouth commence.
Poor thing just asked a harmless question and probably expected a quick and painless answer. Nope. She got the whole story about our fertility struggle and how Shelby babe is our rainbow baby.
I vented about it being my first night away from her and how I was not so secretly hoping she would stay awake until we got home. I told her about Shelby recent sleep issues and how I wasn't sure I could do fertility treatments again should we decide to try for another baby. I sounded insane. I sounded as though I was talking to a lifelong friend instead of someone I had literally just met and would likely never see again.
What I should have done was drink several more concoctions in an attempt to not remember how I talked that poor girls ear off, but that would have most certainly landed me in the bathroom. Thankfully, we didn't stay long. Two drinks down the hatch, dinner and we dashed home so Tim could watch the fight and I could snuggle my babe before bed.
Reflecting back on the conversation I'm pretty positive, at one point, I even told her I was a textbook definition of an Introvert, unless you gave me a drink or two, while I gestured at the chatty Kathy potion sitting in front of me.
I repeat: UGH!!!
To the women who sat next to me, if you read this, thank you for being so sweet and I'm so sorry I bagged your ear off!
You can dress me up, but you can't take me out.
Anyone who knows me knows I am not a fancy person. I rather slink into a pair of comfy leggings and a cotton t-shirt than schlep on a pair of dress slacks and suit jacket. I don't mind wearing a dress...if it's a Maxi dress or equivalent, but you're not likely to find me in a fitted "sexy" dress.
It's not that I dislike dressing up, I just find that being dressed to the nines often means I'm going to spend a lot of time being uncomfortable. Shifting a bra that doesn't want to stay hidden or hiking up pants that don't sit comfortably unless you plan on being completely stationary. (I have a bubble butt so pants rarely fit the badonkadonk while remaining fitted around the waste. I ALWAYS get the dreaded gap where you could slide a small pillow between my back and the pants. OBNOXIOUS)
Anyways, I was having a particularly good outfit day, the kind of day where you feel like you should find someplace to go, someplace worthy of your outfit even though you really don't have anywhere you NEED to be. I decided to stop at Wegmans for a few odds and ends. I happened to see someone I went to high school with, though thankfully I don't think she saw me.
I should have been happy simply for the fact that I ran into someone I knew while looking somewhat put together. Normally I run into my entire graduating class when I haven't slept the night before, my hair looks like an entire family of rats made a nest in it, and the bags under my eyes are dark enough to make someone think I had been on the losing end of a fist fight. Not today, today I looked good. Until I saw her.
Perfect hair, makeup that looked like it was applied professionally, and an outfit that was clearly peeled from the centerfold of Vogue Magazine. It was simple yet gorgeous, and she looked amazing in it.
I. Looked. Atrocious.
I quickly shimmied down the aisle squeezing my cart handle like it was going to offer me some type of protection. Like I needed protection. It's silly, I know.
I've been in a place in my life where I feel like changes are necessary. Not that my outfit preferences are going to change, I'll likely always be a comfort over style type of gal, but I've sunk into this routine of someone I said I would never be. I always told my parents I could never work a 9 to 5 office job, doing the same things day in and day out. I need variation. I need the freedom to live without working to live. I know that's a tall order, but I'm almost 30 and I feel like continuing to mosey down the same path is only going to lead me to look back and be super bummed out.
What does this have to do with rocking a not so stellar outfit and running into an old classmate? Honestly, it has less to do with the outfit and more to do with an internal disappointment. I want to be comfortable, confident with who I am and where I am in life when I casually bump into someone I know. I don't want to feel like I need to avoid saying 'hello' to avoid talking about what I do for a living (not that there’s anything wrong with marketing) or what I've been up to since graduating. Though, I will proudly tell anyone and everyone that I am a mother to the most precious and beautiful little girl (I'm not bias or anything.)
As I've been told countless times, I need to stop comparing myself to others. I have walked a somewhat tumultuous path the last several years, and I need to give myself props where props are due. I also need to remember that goals aren't obtained overnight. They take time and if I’m taking steps towards the changes I need to make, I should be pleased as punch.
Oh. And maybe I need to think about upgrading the leggings and t-shirts...maybe leggings and sweaters. You know, since fall is coming! ha ha!
It’s 6:30 in the morning and I’m snuggled on the couch with my little peanut giving her, her first bottle of the day. She’s staring at me and trying to grab my nose. It’s a peaceful morning; the sun is shining, birds chirping and the morning news is streaming through the boob tube.
I’m looking at my beautiful six-month-old daughter thinking of all the possibilities her life could hold. My heart is bursting with more love than I ever thought possible, but in the background I hear the news anchor talking about a car driving into a group of protesters. My attention turns from the big, beautiful, brown and innocent cow eyes staring at me, to the TV.
Just like that the optimism I felt for my daughter’s future turns to fear.
I often find myself pondering the direction this world is taking, especially while we were trying to conceive, but the reality of the chaos and uncertainty hits way too close to home now that we have a child. How am I supposed to send the most precious gift I have ever been blessed with, out into this unforgiving, hate filled existence that we call society?
The innocence of childhood is over far too quickly and more often than not the very hands that destroy it are our own. We birth pure innocence and we, as parents, are often the first to destroy it.
We are not born with hatred in our hearts. Hatred and intolerance are learned behaviors. They are flaws instilled and taught to our children by the very hands that gave them life, the very hands that birth innocence take it away. We taint our children when we speak ill of others simply for being different or for having views that are not identical to our own. Whether it’s done inadvertently or purposefully, it’s unforgivable and disappointing.
Identifying as Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Islamic, Atheist, Hindu, or any of the other 4,200 religions that exist in today’s world, does not change the true; we are all the same. We all live with beating hearts that push blood through our veins and anatomy that lies identical to that of our neighbor. Where the variation occurs and where the trouble begins is our brain. Our ability to manipulate our thoughts to fear the unknown, the misunderstood or what we can’t or are not willing to understand, is where we fail as a species.
Our desire to be supreme, to be all knowing, to banish all those who do not share the same thought process or beliefs, is what’s going to be our demise. Not nuclear bombs. Not Islamic terrorists or KKK radicals, but ignorance. The inability to co-exist with acceptance; that's what's going to kill is. What IS kills us.
I refuse to raise my daughter to fear the world. To fear people who are different than her. I will teach my daughter to be accepting of those she does not understand. I will teach her to keep an open mind and be mindful and respectful even if she does not understand why. I will teach her to love.
I want her to see the beauty in every person. To know we are all hatched of the same mold whether we agree what that mold is or not, it does not matter.
I am not Catholic. I am not Jewish. I am not Atheist. I am accepting. I am human and I will teach my daughter to be just the same.
So, tomorrow morning I will wake up, scoop my little bundle out of her crib, and tell her of all the beauty in the world. Of different cultures, different people, and all the beautiful things we are capable of. Then I will wish, pray and hope she never has to experience the true ugliness of the world. I will hope violence and brutality never touch her life. I will wish and pray that we as a society begin to teach acceptance and tolerance for what we do not understand before it's too late.
My daughter will be part of a better, more accepting world. I need to believe this.
First, a definition if you will:
Opposite of extrovert. A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.
Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to "recharge" afterwards. The word "Introvert" has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.
Shelby and I decided to pop in for a visit with Gammy and Gampa on Saturday afternoon and while we were there they asked me to answer a series of questions. They didn’t tell me what for, just to answer honestly and without thinking about them too much.
I have a pretty close relationship with my parents, but I’ll admit I was a little nervous when they wanted to ask me a bunch of questions and wouldn’t tell me what for. Then the book came out, “Quiet; The Power of Being an Introvert” and they asked the first question; at that point I knew it was okay to breathe again.
Here’s the real shocker…I’m an introvert.
I did NOT need a test to know that I am for-sure, without-a-doubt an introvert. Always have been, always will be.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve grown more accepting of my keep-to-myself nature. My younger, dumber self would try to force social situations hoping with a little “practice” I’d be less of a social outcast and more of the social butterfly I thought I should be. The truth is I’m a moth. A big, brown, boring moth. Not the enormous kind that hangs on the screen door and terrifies you when you go to let the dogs out, but more the cling to the spider web in the corner of the porch hoping to somehow wiggle free before Charlotte comes to eat me, kind of moth.
I’d waltz through the door thinking “this time will be different, I’ll make more of an effort to small talk and make new friends.” Fast forward 20 minutes and you would find me petting, baby-talking and becoming besties with the resident cat/dog/lizard or just staring blankly at an inanimate object.
In large crowds, I would (and sometimes still do) feel so uncomfortable I would shut down. I’d find a corner, or otherwise forgotten section of the house, and spend the evening there until it was time to leave. I’d only chit-chat with those who approached me and mostly out of obligation rather than desire. By the time, I’d make it home I’d be emotionally drained and would feel like SUCH a loser.
I may be an introvert but when I do meet someone that is willing to look past our likely bizarre first encounter, I latch on and I latch on completely. I’ll drive to the other side of the world and back to help a friend. I’ll give the last $10 in my bank account to buy them a meal. I’ll set aside my desire to vent and allow them all the time to gab my ear off about the travesties of their life. But you know what always happens? I always end up getting “played.”
I'm that crayon color you think you like but after coloring a solid piece of the picture with me you decide I'm ugly and practice your free-throw into the trash can.
I’ve had girlfriends who I thought would be lifelong comrades But then I'm smacked in the face with the truth stick when they tell me they “don’t have time for a sick friend” when I'm out of work and on disability with debilitating pain. I’ve had “best friends” who can’t even make the time to come to my bridal shower/baby shower or even meet my daughter. I’ve had “best friends” who don’t even care enough to support my passion for writing; who have never taken the time to pop onto this blog or read parts of the book I’m working on. I’ve had “best friends” who act nothing like a best friend should but who expects me to bend over backwards for them.
I always find a way to justify their behavior. I’ll get mad and stay mad for a bit, but eventually the anger subsides and a simple text message or phone call is all I need to forget the past and start up where we left off. I never learn. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time, I’m just stupid and apparently so desperate that I can't see that they are never going to be the kind of friend I want or need them to be.
It’s for these very reasons that I do not, and really have never had close friends. Every time I open myself up to the possibility of a close friendship, something happens and the friendship dissolves. I’ve gotten hurt too many times and it’s made me even more hermit like.
I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the company of others, I do, just on a smaller scale. My husband loves feeling like part of a group. He couldn’t even make it 10 days after the birth of our daughter before I found him watching a documentary about a rare species of monkey only found in China. I sent him back to work after only 6 days. He hadn’t even been hunkered down in the house those 6 days. He had gone bowling, shed hunting and even out for a drink whereas I had not left the house and I was perfectly content.
So where am I going with this book of a post? I received a text message over the weekend that solidified my intuition that had been right all along. I have realized that no matter how many times I forget and forgive a selfish person will always be selfish and they will never be the type of friend I need or want.
The point of this post is to simply put in words that I have learned my lesson, finally. I won’t be making the same mistake, yet again. This socially awkward introvert knows now who and what is most important in her life and should there be messages or phone calls in the future to the same tone as those of the past, I will say thank you, but no thank you.
There is no Lorali to my Rory, or Goose to my Maverick. No Thelma to my Louise. I'm more of a loner, a Edward Scissorhands or better yet, Robert Neville, at least he had his trusted German Shepherd as a companion.
Today’s writing prompt from the magical book of “300 writing prompts,”
You have been given $100 on the condition that you must spend the money all on yourself. What will you do with it?
Well, I’d likely go to the store, pick out a few articles of clothing that I think I like and then hem-and- haw about actually going up the register and buying them. It’s a bad habit I have. My husband finds it annoying, but it’s a flaw I just can’t seem to kick and, well, he’s lucky I'm not one of those gals that drops $300 on a purse or "apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur..."
I don’t get my nails done, I’ve never had a pedicure and I dye my own hair at home. I gravitate to the clearance rack in any store like the positive end of a magnet to its mate. I simply cannot fathom spending $30 on a single t-shirt. In fact, a lot of my clothes come from consignment or second hand stores (for everyone who just made a face, I'd say 80% of the clothes I find there still have the original tag on and I pay one third the original cost. AND everything is washed (obviously) before it's worn.)
The fact is I ABSOLUTELY HATE spending money on myself. I will gladly stroll into a store and drop a couple hundred dollars on Shelby, my husband, or the fur kids, but to buy a $10 shirt for myself, you must be out of your mind.
I rationalize that, that money could be (and no doubt will be) spent on something much more important or pressing. Electric bill, water bill, gas bill, the mortgage, groceries, home repairs, the dogs medicine, you name it almost anything qualifies as more important or worthy of a few dollars than anything I could buy for myself.
BUT, if I absolutely had to buy something for myself I’d buy…wait for it…BRAS!!!! A good, supportive bra for a 34DDD is $50 + so I would get myself two new over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders!
Today, today I think I officially lost my marbles. I caught myself day dreaming about stuffing hot peppers up my boss’s nostrils after slicing the ends off.
SnapChat MUST have read my post from yesterday and decided to add this filter to the roll call of silly masks today!!! SCORE!!! Just need to snip those ends off!!!