It’s not you, it’s me! Grab a pillow. I’m about to make you very sleepy!

Today is a good day, because the only events for which I need to leave my house are: Get Gas and Take Kids to Piano Lessons. Get Gas is normally paired up with Create Gas Station Cherry Vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper, and Piano Lessons always means One Hour of Knitting. So, despite the fact that I need to put some work into our downstairs office (we’re getting a new water meter tomorrow!), my day will be broken up with good things.

Speaking of knitting, I’m on the edge of starting one of these for myself. The shawl in the photo was knitted by Tempe, and I believe I need one in black. With beads. I’ve been all over the place with knitting lately, mainly because I have less than six things on my For Other People list. I didn’t knit one thing for myself during 2011. I’m going to try to make up for that this year!

My book club is now reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Have you read it? I really need to spend less time watching Cary Grant movies and more time reading. (I attended our book club meeting yesterday, and had read only 50 pages of the book. I actually had the audacity to blame Cary Grant for my inability to finish it. This is unacceptable.)

Last week I mentioned that I feel a huge wave of introversion coming on, and I received a few messages that offered up some introversion high fives. Thanks for that! To explain a bit further where I’m coming from, we all know that I deal with a bit of anxiety in social situations, and my cocksure shoes can carry me only so far. My introversion is separate from my social anxiety. My introversion nearly always results from me starting to feel a bit flummoxed by others. (I know! If you can’t relate to this, it sounds so ridiculous! I get that!) The gossip bores me. The not-so-genuine laughter tends to affect me the way a perfume counter affects me. I start over-analyzing the intentions of others. I could go on and on (and on! et cetera!). When I start feeling this way, there’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting on my couch by myself and knitting. Or sitting at my computer by myself and pumping out some freelance work. I still shower and wear clean clothes, but I tend to not leave my house or answer the phone, and I’m 100% content to simply be alone. I know. This entire paragraph is sort of bananas. It gets better: I also avoid grocery stores that don’t have self-checkout lanes. AND, I’ve been known to leave a grocery store if the self-checkout lanes aren’t open! If I worked in an office, I would be the lady who cries in the parking lot because she can’t stomach the thought of water cooler banter. (I used to be that lady. Lady. Why does Lady look so odd to me right now? Lady. Lady. Lady.)

I’m hoping that when this particular bout is over, I’ll have a lovely lace scarf to show for it. And a new water meter! Let’s talk about something else!

Oh no! This is no more interesting than that: After one week, I’m 2.5 pounds into my ten pound weight loss gig. How do I do it? I just do it. There’s really no other way. Move more, eat fewer cookies, drink water. Sure, the Weight Watchers notebook comes in handy so I can remember just how many Ritz crackers I’ve eaten (ten is fine. an entire tube is not so great.), but I refuse to actually attend meetings (I do love the meetings) unless I’m at my goal weight. (I’ve given Weight Watchers a lot of money. If I’m at my goal weight, I don’t have to pay.) I realize that sounds sort of backwards, but it works.

Harper had her first basketball game on Saturday, and during the game it really hit me that Harper and I are the same person. For the past several days, I’ve been encouraging her to try harder both at practice and at the game. I’ve said things like, “Don’t worry about making baskets. It’s a team sport! Concentrate on passing and dribbling and blocking the other team! Give it 100% so you can walk away feeling awesome about how your team played!” During the game, she spent most of her court time playing with her hair and distancing herself from everyone. She had the best time sitting on the bench and drinking water. Afterwards, she reported that she was really nervous.

Perhaps I should teach her to knit lace.

Oh no. You’re bored, and it’s my fault. Hrm. I’m looking forward to having Chinese food on Wednesday! Also, I’m going to be watching North by Northwest this evening! (Ack! See Paragraph 3!) AND, I’m going to try making spaghetti squash! (I had some at a friend’s house last week, and it was incredible.) Lace shawls! Lace shawls!!!

Edited to Add: A huge thank you to Robin for sharing this article. It sums it up perfectly. PERFECTLY. I need a shirt that says, “Hell is other people at breakfast.”

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30 thoughts on “It’s not you, it’s me! Grab a pillow. I’m about to make you very sleepy!”

  1. Oooh, my favorite “Lady” reference is here:
    (also, he said “weiner” and that still makes me laugh).

    That scarf is lovely. I made a really beautiful lace shawl and I never wear it. It’s very delicate, and has teeny green beads, and though I love it, I just don’t know how to put it with an outfit.

    And, if you’re happy with your introverted days, then have at it! Sit by yourself! Knit! Don’t talk to anyone! (I don’t have those kinds of days. I don’t even know what I’d do with myself.)

  2. I totally understand! I have those times too. The older I get the less social I tend to want to be. I can’t wait to see your new shawl and I wish I didn’t live so far and I would join you for some Chinese.

  3. I was knee-deep in Henrietta Lacks at this time last year, and loved it. A bit hard to start, but once the narrative gets rolling, it’s a sleepless-night-inducer.

    You’ve read “Caring for Your Introvert”, right? The introvert I married considers it required reading for his extrovert wife.

  4. The Henrietta Lacks book is in my “To Read In the Middle of the Night” pile. Unfortunately, I cannot stop Googling random baby issues in the middle of the night, so I won’t be getting to it for a while.

  5. Lady, I totally Get You on the introversion front. Being home alone is pretty much my favorite. It’s not that I don’t like people, but sometimes I just want to not be around them.

    I read “Henrietta Lacks” a few months ago. I found it equal parts fascinating and boring. By which I mean, it was worth reading but I to make myself read it.

  6. Well, contrary to your expectations, I found this really interesting! I’m definitely an extrovert now but had some social anxiety issues when I was younger. I remember those concerns particularly manifesting themselves when I was forced to play team sports. I was just SO NERVOUS about letting everyone down! Maybe that’s where Harper is coming from.

    Also I love spaghetti squash. I bake it with lasagne-type ingredients (mushrooms, onions, garlic, basil, tomato sauce, cheese) and it is divine.

  7. I never realized until I started working out of the house how much of an introvert I really am. All I want to do at the end of the day is get home to my house and stare at a wall. And I work in a yarn shop! My job is fun (usually)! Sometimes people want me to go out to dinner after work and they do not understand how exhausting it is to be around people all day. And for me, it’s not social anxiety at all, I just prefer to be alone (husband and dog not withstanding).

    I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks around the time we had to put our dog to sleep because he had an inoperable brain tumor. BAD TIMING.

    Haruni was totally fun to knit, with the exception of 2 rows that almost made me pull my hair out. Here is mine:

  8. My prescription for a more happy state of being is increasing extroversion (even if I’m inclined not to) and less neuroses (by saying ‘no’ a lot.)*. Oh yeah, sure, it’s that easy.

    *and no cowbell at all

  9. I sent you that other introvert article right? It talked about how loud noises and things can be painful for introverts. I totally related to that. Sometimes it’s hard because I live with the worlds biggest extrovert, a drummer for gods sake! Anyway. Henrietta Lacks = awesome. Xo

  10. My supermarket entrance opens into the produce section but I walk to the whole other end of the store to the dairy aisle and shop backwards to the produce. This way, if I run into someone I know I only have to say hi to them once and I don’t keep running into them throughout my entire shopping trip. My mother rolls her eyes at me but I don’t even feel bad about it.

  11. Introverts unite! Um, virtually… because being in a room with a bunch of new folks is not fun.

    Really though, I envy those that work at home. When my introversion is strong – which is has been lately(I think stress brings that on) – I can barely manage to get out the door and go to work. It’s not like I work in customer service, I work in a cube where I often go all day without having a conversation with others unless I venture into the hall to get water or for a bathroom break. I’m thinking of applying for telework authority this year. I’m not sure I’m motivated to work efficiently at home – but I know that some days being able to work from home would make me less stressed.

  12. Whoa, I can’t beleive you haven’t had spagetti squash yet! It is fantastic and SO EASY, you will wonder why you never did. Good sweet, good savory. Also, I avoid the self-check out line like the plauge. But maybe becasue I am usually too busy herding children around to swipe things. (I am not an introvert).

  13. Is that the Nightingale shawl? If so, that is one jacked up pattern. But Tempe’s version is BEAUTIFUL, and it looks like she didn’t jack hers up like I did mine. We’re all jacked up shawls, all the time over here.

  14. I totally get the introvert in you (though it seems odd to me because you are so interesting. I wish boring people stayed home instead of interesting ones). I am the same way but my problem is I love people. My dream job would be fly on the wall. I like to hear them talk but don’t care to talk much myself because I will spend the rest of the day repeating the conversations in my head only I will sound so incredibly stupid I will wonder why they didn’t just slap me. In my remembrance of these conversations, they are looking at me like I am speaking Greek through one of three heads sitting on my shoulders. My husband says this in my imagination but my imagination is not that good. So yeah, I get it. Home is better.

  15. Yup! another introvert here. My husband is an extrovert, so you an imagine us after church on Sunday! HAHA. I also like to be at home, I wish I could knit. I crochet, but I get ADD about it and can’t sit still long enough but for one or two rows.
    I love Spaghetti Squash! In the oven though, not the microwave. Any toppings are good, but I also like it with just butter, salt and pepper. Well look now, my comment could also put you to sleep.

  16. Yeah, I’m with the introverts unite front (we don’t have meetings, though). My best friend is an extrovert, though she claims to have become more introverted in recent years. Maybe, but while I think of staying home and not having to go anywhere as heaven, the idea fills her with dread, so … she’s still an extrovert. She needs people; I put up with them.

    Pretty shawl!

  17. I am a such an introvert. I needed the day to myself today just to recover from my daughter having some friends over yesterday. They were well behaved and played without conflict and I was exhausted. Just to have that many people in the house was a little overwhelming. I only left the house for drop off/pick up, and cocooned myself in the whole rest of the day.

  18. I am an extrovert, my husband is not. Us extroverts love you introverts just the same! No worries…you are who you are. {{hug}}

  19. My favorite thing about that picture is that the sofa looks clean. I will drop off fresh Cary Grant movies for you this week. Don’t come to the door. I will text when I am safely away.

  20. Oh, Angela. This post is a good example of everything I enjoy about coming to your site. It’s funny, honest, intimate without being over-sharey, and inviting.
    I am a natural extrovert. When I enjoy something, my first thought is almost always, “This would be more fun with people I love! Who can I convince to join me?” — but with that said, even I go through phases where answering the phone is like walking into a vat of sewer waste, and I just want to read read read read and sleep a little and maybe watch some tv. It’s good for the soul to reconnect to itself sometimes, if that makes sense. (Now, I actually avoid the self checkout lates like the plague for two reasons: a) I almost always try to go to fast and it gets tripped up and says “please place the item in the bag” and I’ve already placed hte item in the bag and then the lady has to come and clear it and then I want to punch someone b/c I’ve seen people in the real lines leave faster than me! and b) I want to help the people keep their jobs so I try to keep the people busy. Although I get really annoyed by baggers who insist on putting only 3 things in every plastic bag even though I brought my own nylon envirosax…but that’s another rant for another day).
    Anyway, speaking of reading (which I was, I swear), I *did* read Henrietta Lacks and found it fascinating (but only after the first third of the book), so stick with it. Also, if some of the science gets a little confusing, just skim it.
    Finally (finally!), I am thinking about doing WW again too. I have done it four times before, before I got married and after both babies, and again for our 10th anniversary trip to Paris. Now I’m really overweight (like 35+ pounds) and I’m trying to get up the courage to go back. So I like that you said that.
    Have a great day, Angela.

  21. Loved that article – thanks for sharing the link. As a freshman in college, we had to learn about existentialism, the core belief of which is: hell, is other people! As a full-blown card-carrying member of the introvert club, that little nugget of knowledge has come to mind so many times in my adult life, and once I understood the true meaning of being an introvert, it all made sense. Yeah…..Existentialism? Happening all the time here, not just at breakfast. The internet was *made* for such as us, no?!?!

  22. A friend of mine was just talking about “The Immortal Life …” so what a coincidence that you should mention it. I read the author’s bio and then got sidetracked by the fact that her mother can walk and knit at the same time. (Watch the Jane Pauley interview.)
    As for introversion, Yes. But I also get lonely and stir-crazy if I get too much of it!

  23. I am so incredibly glad you wrote this. I often (most of the time) feel like I am the only one who has these exact thoughts about being alone. In fact, most of my social time is spent with a running commentary in my head (I hate this. I hate this. I hate this.) and a desire to flee back to my cozy nest. I think it is normal for some people, but oh the internal shame of being an introvert.

  24. Oh, Beloved! “Hell is other people at breakfast”
    That should be on my family crest.
    (Right Lisa?)

  25. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test several times over the years (they’re very fond of MBTI at my place of employment). I registered just barely over the line into Extrovert range when I first took it right out of college. Now I’m firmly on the side of Introvert. My favorite quote about Introverts vs. Extroverts is, “I’m thinking as fast as you’re talking”.

    My book club is also reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I’m about halfway through and loving it!

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