Obviously, I’m an introvert

April 2, 2020


Organization brings calmness.

“Throw me in the briar patch, I love being at home.” — Me, three weeks ago. 

Being on lock-down due to health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic sounded like a lovely retreat. 

Obviously — I’m an introvert. I love domestic life and was excited about hibernating to a world where I could bake pies, organize drawers and start my spring garden. I even laundered, ironed and folded an entire closet of table linens with great color-coordinated thrill, but found myself itching to tell someone about my Easter napkins matching my Easter dress, so I realized, I’m probably the kind of introvert who is slightly animated, easily excitable, and occasionally opinionated, which led me to learn a new term. 

An “ambivert” is someone who flips between introvert and extrovert qualities depending upon their mood and situation. They’re also called “outgoing introverts” or even “antisocial extroverts.” 

Obviously — I’m an ambivert.  I love good conversations with friends but can’t stand making mindless small talk. Walking into a room of strangers is no problem because I have great optimism I’ll find someone fascinating. But if it turns out to be a meeting of the Society of Sports Statisticians, I’d prefer to sit alone in the corner where I’d be happier eating little cubes of cheese on a toothpick. Even if it’s regular old cheddar. 

Salvation from pointless conversation.

A video conference with my church’s small group was the wake-up call that made me realize, “oh dear, I can’t stand all this alone time!” My husband whispered, “stop trying to hug the computer!” Home nesting was good at first, but I suddenly felt trapped and couldn’t breathe. I started taking my temperature every hour. 

Obviously — I’m an extrovert. An extrovert who has been locked away in homemaking hell. I don’t ever want to see another ugly apron or mop again. Why would anyone mess up their kitchen by baking a pie when you can buy a frozen one at Piggly Wiggly, or better yet, meet a group of friends for pie and coffee at a little café’?  I’m sick of the TV news, and shelling peas and churning butter are now pitiful memories. 

Finally, my husband found me in the backyard, lying on the ground. He wasn’t alarmed, because he knows I like to sprawl in the grass. It’s warm and smells good and I have a wonderful view of the clouds. He drew the line for me lying in the front yard because the neighbors kept calling an ambulance.  

“I can’t take this anymore!” I cried. “I have to be with other people.”  If I were a dog, I wouldn’t be a poodle, perched on a pillow in the parlor, I’d be a hound who needs a pack. I need my pack of hounds to go exploring, eating, hunting, howling and frolicking . . . all in a very ladylike pure-bred way, of course. 

Obviously — we’re all confused.  Part Betty Crocker and part dangerous prisoner, we’re a hot gumbo mix of emotions. Calm and confident, then angry and sad, with a dash of hope, joy and frustration. But no matter if we’re introverts, ambiverts or extroverts, we’re all in this together . . . separately. I recommend, allergies aside, a long sprawl in the warm spring grass, and maybe a homemade pie. 

This story first appeared HERE at AL.com and in the Mobile Press Register, Birmingham News and Huntsville Times.

Chime in and tell me how you’ve done during this new “alone time.”

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