Somewhere, sometime, an introvert is watching you
Kim asked me to follow up the Jonathan Rauch introversion article.
My first thought: my thirst for lots of quiet time makes it possible to enjoy, maybe even prefer, a life spent mostly alone these days.
Secondly, I find watching and witnessing to be just about as much fun as participating.
When I was a kid, I loved listening to my parents' parties after I'd been sent to bed. Happy sounds filtering through the floor: Kingston Trio on the turntable, boozy adult voices laughing. In gleeful solitary noiseless early morning raids I gleaned the last mixed nuts out of little silver bowls. I snuck cold, heavily buttered, last-night's garlic bread off stained tablecloths. The only early riser those mornings: bliss.
At my grandparents' farm in Glen Rock I listened to my father and his brothers and brothers-in-law playing pinochle while the wives cleaned up after big Pennsylvania Dutch dinners. At school I watched kids play games on the macadam during recess; at home I monitored, from the next room, the sound of my brothers and their cronies playing "War" with little colored cubes.
In recent years I've finally discovered the joy of musical lurking: after years of playing the violin, that most extroverted of instruments, I started playing extremely bad piano in my 40s. Now I can boom-chuk in the back of the band from time to time, what a pleasure.
|You wedding party people probably never think about it, but the musicians are watching you. Off by ourselves, left alone if all is well, we're free to spin stories for ourselves about the goings on.|
I always make a guess as to whether the bride and groom will go the distance, based on the way they treat each other and everybody else (including the help). Sometimes I want to answer the question: "Does anybody have a reason why this wedding should not go forward?" with: "Hell yes! This is going to be a disaster!" Two examples:
My kids marvel that I would rather watch them play Monopoly than join in myself; would rather cheer dog-stick-throwers than throw sticks myself. It's not that I don't enjoy doing stuff (in fact after bowling once it was so much fun I went again this past Saturday!). It's just that -- it feels so magically safe and blessed to be in the PRESENCE of people having fun. Is this strange?
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