Is it wedding season? I’m not sure. Maybe everyone around here decided to get married in the Fall because it’s likely to not be a 100 degrees outside; there might even be a breeze. I’m not insulting the weather. Tropical climates suit me because I’m always cold, as if I shutter from the inside out.
In New York, my excuse for not leaving my apartment most weeknights was that it was too cold, too windy, to snowy.. Really I was just happier playing records & singing to myself on most nights. There was also no one I knew who wanted to get married. That suited me, too.
Now, before you whip out your labels- I don’t hate the idea of marriage. I am truly very happy when (some) people get married. It’s the actual event that makes me uncomfortable.
In the past, I’ve said it was because “I’m an introvert”, “I’m sensitive to energy”, and “I never learned smalltalk”. Only the last one is really true. I look like a confused puppy when someone starts talking about the weather, or asks how my parents are doing, or my personal favorite- “How have you been?” “Since when,” I wonder “I haven’t seen you since high school.” Where does one start? The day just after graduation?
The other reason I am awkward (at best) in social situations is because it takes me a phenomenally long time to fully absorb anything anyone is saying. I mean, there are the words, right? Then, there’s body language, energy, the moon, the stars, the changing tides… By the time I’ve decided how I feel about what’s been said, I’m already under my covers, in my underwear. Stranger still, is that I’m also that person who will text you five hours later about something you’ve already forgotten you said.
I also don’t know how to ‘work a room’. The whole thing looks exhausting, though admittedly, I’m enamored by those that can. My game plan at most weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and such, is to find one (hopefully interesting) person that I can corner for the whole night. If I’m engaged in what appears to be an incredibly in-depth conversation about the mating habits of the monarch butterfly, then maybe I won’t have to speak to anyone else.
That sounds terrible, I know. It sounds like I just hate everyone. Actually, the inverse is true. I care about each person so much that I am overwhelmed by the thought that I may not giving adequate attention to each individual that I rather speak to no one at all.
My final and most offensive character trait is this- if there is music playing, all my attention will go to whatever sounds are emanating from the speaker, guitar, wedding singer, or digeridoo. If my spirit deems the music worthy, then I am spending my time fully entertained by the shapes appearing in my mind. It’s worse still, if I think the music sounds like fornicating cats. Then, my mind, body, and spirit are solely focused on one thing- getting out of earshot by any means necessary.
“But, Kristen, you are a performer,” you protest, “you teach & speak to large numbers of people every day.” I do. And that’s a valid point. I’ve thought about this a lot and I think it boils down to the fact that there’s some level of control in a performance, teaching a workshop, or a class. There’s a beginning and an end, which I find liberating. I can commit beforehand to exactly two hours with the promise of escaping to my room to read, or do a number of other strange rituals, which is another post altogether. There’s also a foreseeable topic, so I can prepare before and even anticipate questions. AND in almost every case, I get my say in the music, so no problem there.
If this were a thesis to prove that I am not in fact an introvert and really just a strange individual, then I think I’ve made my point. But, like most theses it would be thrown in the back of a university library never to be heard from again because no one cares. My intention, then, is this- I believe there are other truly bizarre people just like me. If you’ve made it this far down the post then I suspect you are one of those individuals. And to that, I say- “Welcome! My fellow weirdo!” I hope you feel better knowing it’s not just you. Let’s not get together. In fact, I promise to never invite you to any event filled with pomp and pageantry. Promise to do the same for me.