We're staying the night down in Steinbecktown, and classically, I'm hiding in a half-darkened room, away from everyone. This is how I met my husband. He was reading The Sneetches aloud to the Elevens & Susie at a New Year's Eve party hosted by some friends of mine. He didn't really know anyone besides his small renegade group of friends who had crashed the party a couple of hours after midnight. So, they sat, in the corner, having plundered Tim's Dr. Seuss collection. From across the room, I saw them and thought to myself, "Now, that's something I would do!" So I went over to listen. And B thought, "Hey, who's that girl?"

But I'm not as introverted as some. I can carry myself through most social occasions, making small talk and schmoozing like a pro. But inside, I am becoming more and more tired until I have to slink away, on the pretext of a trip to the bathroom, or to 'look something up', or, like Raquel, 'to get something out of the car.' And I'm gone for hours. Usually reading, or in this case, writing. I loved nursing G because of this, and I'd always contend that God invented nursing for tired introverted bookish mothers. "G needs to eat!" I'd say, and we'd go off to some solitary place, book artfully stowed somewhere. One of the Harry Potters came out when she was only 5 or 6 months old and I stood in line at Bookshop with all the rest of Santa Cruz, quivering en masse with joy & expectation. I think it was Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince. Anyway, I read almost all of that whilst nursing G, and I almost gave myself carpel tunnel holding that massive tome with one hand. And it was worth it.

Now B is an extrovert. Not a raging extrovert, but the difference between us is pronounced. And we are comical together when we're tired. A few months ago we came home from church and both agreed that we were totally wiped out, just completely tired. I slunk to our room to read and take a nap. I came out a few minutes later, to make tea and there was B on the couch, going through the phone book, calling people and making plans! I think he actually had the phone on speaker phone when I came in, and said to me, "Honey-I'm talking to _________, when can we get together with them?" Which only elicited silent & frantic hand gestures from me, mostly of the hand slicing across the throat variety. But I appreciate so much how he can sort of carry us through a lot of social situations, and I end up with people I never knew I liked, even loved. We introverts have a big capacity to love people and have meaningful relationships, just on a smaller, one on one level. And I think B is gleaning this from me. (Not that extroverts lack that love, they have it in spades. But maybe have the tendencies to spread themselves too thin? I don't know. Any extros want to explain themselves?)
But meanwhile, I feel like such a weirdo. A total fruitcake. Like Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, or Heathcliff on the moors. I think I'd definitely be a cat in some other animal life, somewhere between the 'crawl under the bed when company comes' type and the 'sleep on the couch and let you pet me' type. Just don't expect me to do any tricks.


Jon said...

i can't help you there. i'm following the path of my father and grandfather and slowly becoming more introverted as the years progress. so i sympathize with you more now whereas several years ago i would be handing different phone books to brad.

Mum said...

I really like what you have to say here. The fact that you understand these things, not only about yourself, but B. makes for a much more harmonious life for you both, to say nothing of G. I like the comment you made one time about being "an introvert with good social skills", which is so true. People love you, partly because you really focus and listen to what they have to say.

Its good that you took to reading at such a tender age( yea, Miss Woolsey!) as it has been a very
renewing occupation for you and a very sensible addiction of choice.

I continue to marvel at your fabulous "thingness"

Colleen said...

You are not a weirdo or a fruitcake, and you are in good company. Even I, who tends to be much more on the extrovert side have made excuses. The best was when i was really sick. I would tell people my stomach hurt and go hide in the bathroom at parties to avoid conversation. I don't think that I can really speak up for the extroverts, I think that I am in the "neither" category. But it is a good thing that somehow you are able to have us over when you muster up the energy to be around people, because we do really like being around you. XX The other

Camille said...

All I can add at this juncture (speaking as an extro) is that I am so grateful for intorverts, (heck, I married one) and for the lessons I've learned from you all. You mentioned naps-- before I started hanging out with Dutch, I almost never napped, and now I am discovering the pleasures of the afterwork-nap, the mid-morning nap, the evening nap and sleeping in past 10 AM. Its fabulous, and I am sure my blood-pressure is lower.

rosa said...

naps....mmmm......I'm off for one right now!

sarah said...

Ahh...how i love the introverts. It's slightly comical between Mike and me-he is a raging introvert, I am definitely an extrovert. I am becoming more moderate and balanced as I age, but definitely still the extroverted side, I think.

I am not sure how to explain extroverted relationships. I wish I could come up with something witty right now, but I'm still kind of asleep.

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.