I have mentioned before that I am an introvert. And someday I might write a poignant post all about the angst, the depth, and the beauty of introverted people. But not today. Today let’s just bask in the awkwardness, shall we?
I have a friend (that is noteworthy for an introvert) who is tall, gorgeous, and totally extroverted. And in some weird way we are perfectly matched as we journey thru life. Like, bizzaro-world matched. We both have four kids and her oldest two are boys and youngest are girls, just like me. We both adore our husbands and have the same approach to faith and family. We are both utterly shocked and at a loss when we see our daughters throw wild fits and we are both pretty, “Yeah, whatevs” at seeing our boys being boys. We have the EXACT same sense of humor, and I adore her. Our friendship has been able to blossom and grow because we communicate almost exclusively thru text messages. Written communication is usually an introvert’s best manner of relaying information. I just feel better thinking carefully thru my thoughts before committing them to a moment. I prefer knowing I did my very best to convey an idea, before thrusting it at another person. And texting just works best for both of our crazy, busy lives. I love these messages, because I know we are about to commiserate in face-palming recognition and growth as we parent and do other grown up type things, or I know that we are going to volley a barrage of messages that will have us both in stitches. Sometimes I look back on some of our texting convos and find myself giggling weeks later. It’s just the best.
We have danced around getting together for a girls’ night (read: wine and margaritas) for a couple of years now, but one of us has always been pregnant. Finally, we found ourselves both, uh unencumbered in the womb area and she was having a birthday party. SWEET!!
Wait. Did you say, “party”? Like, other people you know and like will be there?
More introvert background: I can be a lot of fun with a group of people I know, but put me in a room full of strangers and you probably won’t realize I am there. Even if I provided you with photographic evidence, all you would see is a sweaty person with pit stains looking like a deer in the headlights lurking over in a corner. That’s me. So I normally decline/am-too-pregnant-for such gatherings.
But, I really love this friend, and really wanted to be fun and thought, “I’m gonna do it! This is a mind over matter kinda thing, and it’s time for me to get over it!” And I knew half the people there, and the other half were so sweet and fun. We, of course, started with small talk, because that is what normal type humans do. An introvert struggles in this area. For myself, I literally can not think of a thing to say that is light and airy and non-committal. I see others socializing like butterflies, floating gently from conversation to conversation, whilst I am like a freaking june bug, smacking into conversations trying to think of um, weather or something to say to be a part of it, instead of standing in a corner, and also desperately trying to stop my brain from mentioning the picture my husband just texted me of the rat he just shot.
Internal dialogue: “Do not show these women the picture of the rat… Dangit. Too late. Gah, and you just HAD to say it was the second rat he shot today? ok, but Do NOT tell them about the giant spiders. Fine, but please don’t mention how your children try to feed flies to the spiders. Ugh, no! Wait, why are you mentioning the snakes outside your house? Holy crap, Amber, put your phone away! They don’t want to see video of the giant snake…”
All of this happens like an out of body experience for me. I am above watching it unfold, knowing I need to stop it, but completely unable. Those poor women.
And then there was the charades game.
Charades immobilizes me. And it did. Finally when I was asked to act out “pole dancing” and almost threw up, I decided I should probably call it a night. I went home and slept like the dead for about ten hours. The next day, I was trying to figure out how to apologize for being so dang awkward and instead we laughed as she recounted the article she had just read about how to love your introvert. I am so thankful for her accepting with a giggle her goober friend. So thankful, in fact, we should totally do it again sometime. 😉
Our oldest boy is playing coach-pitch ball, and one of the moms (a stranger) said something about not knowing how the heck I did it with my herd of kids. And then I started talking.
“Well, sometimes my Type-A-ness really takes a beating.”
Then I realized that I may not have enunciated clearly enough, and that perhaps my word spacing was off…so I kept talking:
“Um. That may have sounded weird. I was saying I have a Type A personality. And sometimes that has to take a backseat…”
I felt like she was looking at me kind of funny, and like I said, as an introvert, I really feel compelled to clearly state my point…
“You do understand I didn’t mean to say ‘anus’ right?? It’s just, well, back there I said Type A-ness (REALLY clearly enunciated this time around, oh, and now other people are listening. What started as a quiet casual convo between two women has quickly become a spectator sport.) and I don’t think I spoke clearly enough. So I wasn’t actually saying ANUS (WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF GOODNESS, DO I KEEP SAYING IT???) I was saying TYPE-A-NESS. See? Not ANUS.”
For further understanding:
or this handy cartoon:
As a fellow introvert, I can completely idenitfy with what you have said. Especially my preference for email over phone calls. I had known that but you helped me understand why. This is another great piece of writing. Do, keep it up.
My hubby is an introvert and it’s taken me a long time to learn how to treat and interact with him. Thanks for reminding me of some charicteristics of them. 😃👍