Believe it or not, I can be incredibly shy. My co-workers always found this amusing because I would talk up a storm to them and I had no problem with doing what I called “kamikazee photography” during Freshmen Orientation. I’d walk up to students and ask them if I could take their pictures and, sometimes, if the situation warranted it, I’d crawl around on the ground to get a good shot. I also taught history, which meant standing in front of a group of 30 or so students and talking to them for roughly 45 minutes. But that was my job…no pressure, I knew what I was doing and, to an extent, it’s like putting on a show. But this is real life!
In social situations, however, I rely heavily on my husband. Parties make me nervous and nine times out of ten, I will bail at the last minute. If it’s something I have to attend, I do what I call “four corners” – I start at the entrance and then I cross through the middle of the floor to the opposite corner, follow the wall to the third corner, cross the middle of the floor to the fourth corner, stop at the food table and then make my exit. I know, I’m insane, but it works for me…
So why am I telling this long story? Because I had to go to an impromptu high school reunion for my husband’s class tonight and I was incredibly nervous and uncomfortable. All these people were my husband’s friends, they had all of these memories that I didn’t share, this history. I was fine as long as my husband was sitting next to me but then he wandered off to talk to a couple of friends and there I sat, at the table. Alone. I went to my go to distractor – my BlackBerry and I tweeted that my husband would pay. I ended up leaving for about 10 minutes (went to my mother-in-law’s and figured that wasn’t much better).
When I returned my husband introduced me to two ladies I had never met before and reintroduced me to a third that I had met at an earlier reunion. These ladies were so incredibly funny. They had me laughing so hard I could barely hold any liquids. By the end of the evening, I had made three new friends and not once did I feel awkward or uncomfortable. Nor did I feel the need to escape.
I want to thank my new friends for making me feel welcome and including me in their jokes (even when they had to go back and explain the histories behind the jokes). You guys rawk and I can’t wait until the next get together.