“My idea of everything going smoothly on an airplane is…
…that none of the other passengers try to talk to me.”
~ Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Yesterday came along and I thought I was in sheer misery. Okay, I’m being dramatic. But I sure was not a happy camper about the situation that I was in. Nope, I didn’t have a flat tire. That was last week, and the week before that.
Yesterday was a different kind of unhappiness. Yesterday, I had to mingle. That’s right, it was “forced mingling” amongst other people, which I didn’t much care to take part in.
Ya see, maybe like some of ya fellow bloggers, I too consider myself to be an introvert. I’d very much rather write about my life, than to talk about it. Or to talk to others, period. That’s probably why many folks prefer to send texts, rather than to actually call a person up to speak with them, no?
Well, yesterday, I was at a location in which I was required to stay put. Let’s just say that I could not leave at my own free will, until I was given authorization to take my leave outta there. I bet you can already tell from reading this far, that the situation really stunk for me. It was sheer patootey.
And so, I was feelin’ all grumpy inside. To pass the time, I made myself actually do some chatting with the folks around me. I asked some questions, I admired their kids, I admired their dogs, and I tried to endure the hot outdoor sun with a smile on my face. But inside my head, I was wishing to goodness that I could get into my vehicle and skiddadle outta there already, so that I could go back to my personal life, where I didn’t have to fake being happy, having to chat with the folks around me.
I know, I know. Yes, God calls us to be “a light”. To be someone of good cheer and loving to all.
Well, I would like to state that I do at least try. I even got up once to walk to the other side of the gathering and had made myself chat with the folks on that side of the group. I admired what they were doing and complimented this and that about ’em. But because I am fully aware of my having a very lousy ability to make small talk, I gave up trying to do so with that side of the gathering after about 10 minutes. Before my fakeness of being pleased to be there got a little too fake-looking upon my face.
So I went back to my spot again and sat down. I smiled at those around me and tried to think real hard of what else to say to those around me. I wondered if I should probably just get up to go grab me a buncha candy and be chomping on them for awhile, so that I could make myself look “busy” at eating them for some minutes.
Just when I thought I couldn’t bear another hour of being present at the mandatory event, its “meal time” came around. Oh, great. I knew it was gonna happen and sure enough, it did. Someone had sat right in front of me at the table I was sitting at by myself, because this person thought that I might need a “friend” to sit in front of me, so that we could eat together.
Because I didn’t want to embarrass this person (and because my mouth was full from already being in the middle of eating my first bites of the chow), I held myself back from saying that I preferred to eat alone. I would like to state here sumthin’ that might be big news to some folks:
Not everyone wants to eat a meal with others. Some folks (like me) prefer to eat alone.
My reasons for preferring to eat alone:
– Very often, I’m the last one to finish eating my meal at the table, no matter whom I’m eating at the same table with. So because I’m a slow-eater, I prefer to focus on trying to finish my meal in a timely manner, but at my own pace.
– I’d rather not talk with my mouth full. But just about 100% of the time, the other person who sits themselves in front of me, thinking that I need an eating companion (out of pity for me), asks me countless questions as they’re also eating, that I have to try to answer with my mouth full.
– Now I have to make uncomfortable small talk as I’m eating, rather than just sitting there (in misery).
Koreans have a saying that goes sumthin’ like: “Eating with others makes the food tastes better.” May sound similar to “the more, the merrier” saying. Well, I am writing this post to make this info statement to folks out there who might agree with that saying wholeheartedly. I would like to declare here that that is not the case.
Not every person prefers to eat their meals together with another person. And not every person prefers to make small talk chit-chats with those sitting or standing around them. Because ya see, there are some folks in the world who may be like me. A person who prefers to be, eat, and sit alone.
Therefore, for those of ya who personally know me, I would like to make this request: please do not sit in front of me if you might see me sitting at a table alone at a particular event or gathering. Because most likely, I am not there voluntarily, and am just waiting for the signal (or the polite timeframe) for me to make my exit.
Thank you and very much grateful for your understandin’.
Currently readin’ ~
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott