Saturday, August 04, 2007

I See New People

Some of you may not know this, but I am a relatively shy individual. My background in theater notwithstanding; aside from the fact that I speak to a hundred plus semi-adult humans everyday; ignore for a moment the mere possibility (almost certainty I would bet, judging from this blog's traffic) that I know, and thus have met and gotten to know, you. I really don't get very excited about the prospect of meeting new people, making small talk, finding similarities in our likes and dislikes, getting to know them (UGH!). Monkey, on the other hand, just loves meeting people. She is genuinely curious about them. She asks questions, she makes conversation. It's something she likes to do. Me? Not so much.

Now, I know that without meeting and getting to know people, I would have not gotten the opportunity to know and love any of you fine folks (except for any of you that I may not actually know, but again, someone like that actually reading this--chances are minuscule). I know that without human interaction, life is simply not that exciting for any length of time. I know that every day, I interact with people and, more often than not, I enjoy it.

I remember the first time I met a good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless--even pseudonym-less--a first). Monkey dragged me out of the house to meet he/she and his/her partner (look how clever I am being). I was really not looking forward to it. I hemmed. I hawed. I sat there after we arrived, and I did my best to join in on the conversation. I tried to be interested. I tried to give and take in the flow of the evening. Ultimately, the evening ended, and as we drove home, it was clear that we would spend time with that couple again. Was I jazzed about that? Well, not completely, but, I figured it would eventually be okay. And it was. Relatively painless in the end, too.

So, why this dread? I don't know. It probably goes all the way back to school days. I hated the first day of school (I find myself still getting a bit anxious about it, even as a teacher). It was always hard for me to make new friends. So, I just kind of hung around the fringes until someone came over to me. Which they always eventually did. But I never have been one to rush headlong into a new acquaintance. Go figure.

Why all this psycho-babble? Monkey has invited some new people over for dinner. I know nothing about them. Never met them before. I am reticent. Not looking forward to it. I'll do my best, and it may turn out that they are great people, but going through the door is just the hardest part for me.

In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. Many worse things could be heading my way (and most likely are in the future--it's just the odds), but, this is what's on my table right now, and I don't really love the way it smells. It's like Brussels sprouts. However, like the good boy that I try to be, I will close my eyes, hold my nose, and clear my plate. In the end, I just may find that I like Brussels sprouts.


monkey said...

But, you *do* like Brussels Sprouts. And I’m not referring to the euphemistic ones you discussed. The real ones. You like ‘em. And, I think you do like the euphemistic ones, too. Thanks for playing along.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to hear how it went! How were the brussels sprouts people?

Today I've had some social interactions that were somewhat anxiety-provoking and evoked some strong reactions, so I'm trying very hard not to project, to go off, or otherwise make this about me. I guess I find that how people interact (or not) is interesting, and especially for more awkward interactions I find myself wondering what might be happening in the inner world of those involved. Funny how I tend not to necessarily think that as immediately when the interactions are smooth and genuine. I guess it's my WTF? process.

I am sleepyheads so I go now.