Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

There are things you know about yourself, and sometimes these realities are brought home to you in a dramatic way by a very trivial occurrence.

Yesterday I was sitting in my car outside of the yoga studio reading a book. Why read a book in the car outside of a yoga studio? Simple: I get home before Zane and SRH (by about 10 minutes). I snatch up some yoga clothes, and I try to leave the house before they get there. That way, we don’t have any of that Mama, mama, don’t leave me! stuff that two-year-olds are prone to do when they don’t want you to have even one small minute to yourself…

Uh…so I’m sitting outside the yoga studio reading a book in my car because the studio doesn’t open for another 15 minutes, but I had to leave my house – let’s call it Mama-Alone-Time. So during Mama-Alone-Time a group of yogis begins to gather around the front door as they wait for the studio to open. They’re chatting. They’re laughing. They’re looking at me in the car like, Aren’t you going to come out and socialize with us?


As I related to SRH later, I don’t go to yoga to make friends, and I hate to spend my few precious daily moments of Mama-Alone-Time on people that I don’t know. (Of course, one could argue that I could get to know them if I bothered to get my nose out of a book and join the conversation).

I’m not antisocial, exactly. I just really like being by myself.

While I think that liking to be alone is a very positive attribute, there are definite drawbacks. It can make me a distant friend. I have trouble keeping in touch with people that I do truly love, and I’m sure I close myself off from a whole group of experiences due to my desire to be alone. I do feel a bit of guilt about this personal characteristic, to be sure. SRH and I had the following conversation on my way home from yoga:

Me: It’s not that they’re not nice people, I just wanted to read.

SRH: That’s okay, honey. You don’t get much time for yourself. They probably didn’t even notice.

Me: That’s not true. They kept looking into the car with nice friendly, “come on out here you” looks and smiles. I pretended I didn’t see them. I am a terrible person.

SRH: It’s not like you didn’t want to spend time with them. You just wanted to spend time by yourself.

Me: No, that’s the thing. I didn’t want to spend time with them.

SRH: (silence)

In most folks, this would most likely be appalled silence, but for SRH it was probably amused silence.

Me: I mean, I did want to spend time with myself, but really, I didn’t want to hang out with them. I don’t think I like people. Even nice, friendly, on-the-path-to-oneness people.

SRH: That’s cool.

The best compliment I ever gave SRH was You know why I love you? Because being with you is like being by myself. And I meant it.


Zooland said...

Hooray! I totally agree.

Zany Mama said...

Zooland -
It's really amazing that we ended up being friends, then. If both of us prefer to be alone and neither of us really like people, it must have caused a rip in the fabric of reality that we actually spend time together and like it.

lsig said...

As I've mentioned before, I went through a comprehensive Myers-Briggs evaluation about two years ago. I was surprised to learn the "definitions" of introvert and extrovert; it's about where you draw your energy. Introverts need to spend time alone in order to cope with life. It's neither shyness nor misanthropy- it's a basic need.

I was an English major, as you may recall- I read every day. I like nothing better than a good book. However, I'm also an extrovert- there's not one chance in a thousand that I'd have stayed in that car with my book when people were making friendly overtures. It's really fascinating.

mimma said...

The acorn didn't fall far from the tree.

Zany Mama said...

lsig -
By that definition, I am definitely an introvert. I may be the introvertiest introvert there ever was.

SRH and I laughed out loud at your comment because you are right, you would NEVER have stayed in that car. That cracks me up!

mom -
Are you saying that I'm a man who sleeps with women much younger than me and then doesn't take care of my kids? Because I think that's a very unfair characterization of me... Oh wait, you meant that I'm like you, didnt' you? Okay, I'll cop to that.