an introvert on the rack

lunch 2

Today is our son in law’s birthday. I have a son in law (Mr Boy) who is 40! That is what happens when you are a child bride and have your first child at the age of 21, before you know it you have a 40 year old son in law! (Daughter1 has just turned 34).

They hosted a small luncheon at a local bowls club where we were treated to a lovely barbeque lunch and birthday cake, as well as the chance to play barefoot bowls and listen to the Sunday jazz session. Mr Boy has lovely friends so it was a very pleasant few hours.

It is a strange sensation becoming the “older generation”. At 55 I don’t consider myself “old” but with the passing of Mr FD’s parents, my Dad and a few other elder relatives it does seem that we are the elder generation at family events now.

There is a certain status one achieves. There is certainly a tone of respect from the “younger” generations. What I enjoy the most being a closet introvert, is that there is less onus on having to be a social butterfly. If I want to sit quietly in the corner no one thinks anything of it. I can be a wallflower to my heart’s content.

I did have one moment where I channelled my more extroverted sister and conducted a conversation with one of Mr Boy’s close friends in which I initiated a conversation with a line of inquiry to discover his occupation as a way to appear friendly. My sister can work a room and by the end of the event will have the life story of just about every attendee, discovered at least two long lost relatives and make such an impact that she will receive Christmas cards from complete strangers for the next 12 years. It comes as no news alert that I, on the other hand, am more your bah humbug  introverted type who finds being nice exhausting.

However, in this instance I took one for the son in law and embarked on a “Oh I have forgotten what line of employment you are in” as if I had ever known with one of his friends.

This was where the flaw in my plan became instantly evident, for he replied,”I work for AKX” as if I should be immediately aware of what AKX stood for. More acronyms followed. He worked in JSR and met Mr Boy when he worked in the CFV department. On and on it went and I could garner no further hints as to what he did or where he did it. Nothing he said seemed to align with what Mr Boy did as a food technologist.

I looked from Mr FD and Son who sat on either side, mute as stone. The cavalry was not coming. Later, I learned that Son knew exactly what the gentlemen did and for whom, for which I informed Son that he should not consider it likely that he shall inherit the Wedgwood collection (jasper blue).

Through a process of generic questioning I learned that he had worked there for 16 years, after arriving from England. He worked with very nice people, many of whom had been there for a long time. It got to the point where I had to admit that I had no idea what he was speaking about as I wasn’t familiar with the industry acronyms or jargon, or start on a line of questioning that could lead to learning the colour of his boxer shorts, when the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow arrived.

“I didn’t have a background in computers but did some work with excel and that led to…”

At the mention of software, things clicked for Mr FD and he took over the conversation. I gulped the last of my glass of wine and came up for fresh air.

Let that be a lesson to you, never go against your natural instincts.

Telling an introvert to go to a party is like telling a saint to go to Hell.”
― Criss Jami

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6 thoughts on “an introvert on the rack

  1. Sometimes sitting quietly on the sidelines and listening to other peoples’ conversations is the safest way to go. Sometimes that can create problems too – like when one of the other people says something really stupid and you snort. Loudly. At which point, exiting is probably the best answer.

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  2. My husband is always amazed at how people will tell me all their problems when all I say is ‘Hello”- my social engineering is something which seems to come naturally. I really think people want to talk about themselves and are hungry for someone to listen to them. Here in the states, young people seem to have lost a great deal of respect for adults – teens being the most rude and obnoxious.
    Great piece.

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  3. Nothing wrong with being introverted! I am an “out” introvert which I feel gives me an excuse to forgo small talk and either A)have an interesting in-depth conversation or B)take a sudden interest in the weather outside and go for some fresh air. I laughed at your description of your extroverted sister working the room. Some people are just magnets for others.

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  4. I’m glad I’m not alone when it comes to parties. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost all my social skills. Crowds make me nervous. What makes it worse is that I “blabber” when I’m nervous–great for first impressions! LOL!

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