An Introvert’s Mother’s Day

As I believe I’ve mentioned, Mother’s Day to me is a big deal. I don’t give a hoot about Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, or any other Hallmark holiday. Mother’s Day, however, I am dead serious in its execution.

Why? Because as an introvert, I need my alone time. Time to regroup. Time to let my thoughts sort themselves out in the quiet moments of boredom. Guess what NEVER happens during parenthood?  All of those things.

Now I am a lucky woman because I have a husband who understands me. Understands my need for alone time. I usually get a chunk of time, if we have it, to myself each weekend. Problem is, with kids comes obligations, responsibilities, and birthday parties, oh my God, the birthday parties. Not to mention baseball practice, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and dance practice.

So what I ask of Mother’s Day is simple: No responsibility.  No one to need me.  I know, one day I’ll miss it, but now in the throes of life with youngish kids, STFU.

Parenting is tough for an introvert. We crave alone time. We like our routine, our schedules and control of our daily lives. Again, none of these things happen when you have children. We like the quiet. We hate meeting new people. We hate new, unfamiliar situations.  Parenting makes you experience these things all the time. And I have two people looking up at me to show them the way. Show them how to navigate social situations. Guess what I don’t do well?  All those things!

When placed in new situations, I am an awkward, stumbley mess and am usually overwhelmed by my surroundings. Add two kids to that unease who say and do whatever they feel like and I can no longer hide along the wall where I’m most comfortable. I have to jump into the fray, figure out the lay of the land, and do so dam quick, so I can assure my kids that contrary to my inner self’s musings, people are good.  You should want to interact with people, make friends, be a productive member of society. Not, like me, dread the sound of the doorbell. All of this is exhausting to an introvert.

Fortunately and unfortunately, my son is my mini me. He’s fine without people. He’s social and likes people, but given a choice, he’d be reading. Ha! No, I’m kidding, he’d be playing a video game. It’s me who’d rather be reading. When the two of us are together, it’s awesome. We each take a chair and experience togetherness doing our own thing in the same room. Relax, I push when needed, but I also understand my introvert kid doesn’t need to be on the go all the time.

Dog       005

Now my daughter craves interaction. She’s an extrovert to the fullest. While I wouldn’t classify her father as an extrovert, I’d say they are similar. G needs people, loves them and wants to spend time with them every single second. Her dad, while not needing people as much, still enjoys entertaining and spontaneous get togethers. I would rather hide in my room or binge watch Grey’s Anatomy. This is why we are a good match. He makes me come out of my shell just often enough so that I don’t become the hermit cat lady and my family and friends still know what my face looks like and that I can be in fact a very sociable nice person. If he didn’t push, I’d be Martin Mull on that episode of the Golden Girls. (For non-fanatics and those under 22, Dorothy friends a man who hasn’t been out of his apartment in 20 years because he was agoraphobic.)

I feel like I’m getting off track. Basically, I take this one day each year to unleash my full introvert potential. I am like the fun aunt to my kids. I love them, laugh with them, and do the fun stuff, but when the hard responsible part comes up,  for today only, I get to hand them to their dad no questions asked. I get to go back to my book, or my mid-Mother’s Day nap. One day a year, there’s no mom guilt for how I’ve failed them. No feeling lazy for not wanting to pick dandelions with them. Every whine, every request, every need is answered with, “Go get your dad.” And it’s awesome.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I even love the responsibility and the hard parts. It makes me a better person. It makes life worth living. It brings fullness to my life. But today, just today, I get to see the greener grass on the other side.  Just for 24 hours.  And you know, it’s actually too quiet in here…

That's better.

              That’s better.

The Bitch Face

Original Article Here

I am a victim of Bitchy Resting Face. YES. And to be fair, these girls actually don’t have BRF in my opinion. I think they had to work pretty hard to look mean. I, on the other hand, just look pissed off normally.

I have tried different looks over the years to make me seem more approachable. One was growing out my hair.  Apparently short hair makes me look even meaner.  This may have worked if I hadn’t constantly pulled it back into a tight ponytail because I hate the feeling of hair on my neck. This caused my giant forehead and huge Dumbo-like ears to become my defining feature. Not a good look. Just ask my stylist who, when I begged to cut my hair short again, made me promise on my first-born that I will wear earrings and wear makeup EVERY DAY. For the most part, I’ve held up my end of the bargain, but on the days I don’t, you can bet I’ll see the most popular girl in high school at Costco, which doesn’t really bother me, as she didn’t know who I was anyways. These are also the days I get my picture taken. Constantly. For no reason.

Anyways, this is a big issue to have when desperately trying to fit in in high school. I remember wondering why for the life of me I could not make friends in my catholic high school after spending the first 9 years in public school.   Take a fish out of water, combine with BRF, my introversion and the acute inability to open my mouth to make initial conversation with another human being, and I was out of luck.  High school was a character building experience to say the least.

I was the most lonely my freshman year during my Intro to Typing class, which, unbeknownst to me, was an elective only seniors chose. I was seated behind what must have been the senior plastics of their day and desperately wanted to be included in their conversations on a daily basis. One day, one of the cool guys (who is totally probably fat and sad now, I wish I could remember his name) turned around to ask me a question. I looked up from my typewriter (yes, you heard me) to listen and he backed away with his hands in the air saying, “Okaaay, nevermind, sorry didn’t mean to bother you,” and then proceeded to snicker at the girl next to him about “what pissed her off?”    That’s just my face dillhole. I was LISTENING.

One of my biggest pet peeves that happens from having BRF is people are constantly telling you to smile. Life’s not so bad! Cheer up! Whaaa? I wasn’t unhappy, nor was I looking at you, so please be on your merry way. OK, maybe I am a bit of a bitch.

One of our building maintenance guys thinks it’s funny to call me “Smiley.” He doesn’t know me, nor has he had more than a 5 minute conversation with me, but this doesn’t stop him from judging my unhappy appearance and feeling free to comment on the state of my face. I don’t look at him and out of the blue go, “Paunch!” No, cause that would be rude. Smiley, however, is apparently funny.

My question is, what do these people want from me? A shit grin on my face at all points in the day in the off chance someone is looking at me? Not gonna happen. For me, apparently my smiling is so rare that when I do smile, people make a big deal about it and insist on me telling them “what I’m so happy about,” to which I oftentimes cannot explain without sounding like an idiot.

To sum up, bitch face + introvert = not very likeable 1st impression.  Sorry, it’s just the way I look.

Bitch

Bitch

No bitch...but maybe a tad crazy.  I can never get it right.

No bitch…but maybe a tad crazy. I can never get it right.