No, that does NOT describe me, but it’s a good starting point for this post.
Yesterday was my grandson’s ninth birthday, and just like every year, his parents hosted a big family party. We usually have it at the lake, but after three solid months of warm-to-hot temperatures, the weather shat the bed and we got rain showers. Luckily, his great-grandparents have a lovely home not far from there, so we ended up taking the party to their place. They have a huge yard, a patio, and a barbecue, so there was something for everybody while my daughter and son-in-law grilled burgers and chicken.
Now, I always start out dreading these things because as much of an extrovert as I am, I do not like being in large crowds where I cannot control the ebb and flow of input. That’s why I favor the parties at the lake: if I feel overstimulated I can just go for a swim. My usual strategy is to hang out with Will, Mandy, and Mike exclusively, or join a small group that’s out of the major traffic zone and stick to them like glue until it’s time to go home. But for some reason my chosen companions were right in the middle of everything, mainly because the eight of us were the only women—and we talked amid the happy shouts of children and the hustle and bustle of people going back and forth to get food.
Seated in a comfortably padded Adirondack chair, I found myself marveling at the commingled smells of barbecued meats, lavender, and fresh vomit (my younger grandson had gotten too excited and lost his lunch in the juniper bushes). I also noticed with some amusement that Will, who used to be really shy, had gravitated to the larger men’s group and was talking cars with obvious gusto, for which I was grateful as the ladies had launched into that perennial favorite topic, childbirth experiences.
I will, of course, spare the reader from the gritty details of that discussion. I just think it’s amazing that while I never look forward to these events, I wind up enjoying myself almost every time. No one would ever know that I’d rather have my teeth cleaned than go places where I don’t know many people and there are bright lights and noise I can’t get away from. No one would ever even guess that I’m not the brilliant conversationalist I play on TV <cue the hysterical laughter>.
But I’m glad I went. Every time I face down something I don’t want to do and do it anyway, I feel like I’ve won a small victory. Even if it’s something that no one else finds uncomfortable.
Now if I could just get rid of my issues with the telephone…..