When I first discovered I was more of an introvert and proclaimed this to my friends, they laughed. And I don’t blame them because I have known them for more than half my life and it takes me that long to get comfortable enough to be myself.
When I only know people for say, 20 years, I don’t know the boundaries. Can I call you my bitch and you won’t be offended? Can I make blow job jokes? Can I say “fuck” in front of you?
These are the tough questions. And these are also why I tend to avoid people so as to save as many awkward silences as possible.
1. I sometimes hide upstairs in my bedroom to cuddle cats while my kids have their friends over.
2. I have turned my classroom light off and locked my door on my prep to avoid socializing.
3. I have gone to Bikram yoga just to have 90 minutes of silence.
4. I skipped my kickboxing classes two summers ago and went to Starbucks to read instead. To hide it, I still wore my workout clothes.
5. I am writing this while in the middle of a splash park with my kids so I look busy and unapproachable.
6. I have gotten migraines just because I was stressed about going out that night.
7. I used to travel alone once a year just to recharge and be anonymous. Glorious Saugatuck weekends in the off season.
8. I only started running so I could have alone time. I am super slow and don’t care.
9. I have lied about having plans rather than go out. But in my defense, sleeping is a plan.
10. I always want to drive so I have an escape. And control.
11. When the doorbell rings, I have crouched down and crawled like a ninja in my own home to avoid detection.
12. I will put off making phone calls for weeks to avoid talking to strangers. This is partly why I am now 19 months late for my mammogram.
13. I drink just about every time I finish a post because otherwise I’d never be able to let others read these. Tonight’s delight is a Bloody Mary with a beer chaser.
I enjoy company and friends, just not all the time. I wish I was the “cool” house where I entertained endlessly and hosted large barbecues and dinner parties, but it’s just not in my DNA. I’d have to sleep for a week after to recharge.
So maybe in another 22 years, we’ll be good like that. I’ll make dick jokes and you’ll laugh, I’ll call the other team’s coach a douchebag and you’ll nod in agreement, and I’ll make pussy jokes while petting my cat. Until then, I’ll keep it strictly professional.