I'm one of those people you don't talk to much, unless you're my family, a close friend or a mom on my listserv. However, this spring my hubby, fondly referred to as The Sicilian, and I decided we spend too much time at home (usually in the garage) talking to each other, the dogs and miscellaneous livestock. Homey, yes, intellectually stimulating...not so much.
So since then, we've been meeting people. A lot of these people are strange, but that's a different blog, but some are nice, regular people. It's nice to meet new people. It's entertaining in most cases and we've made some friends; people who come to visit which isn't the norm for me but it's hard too. It's hard for me to go meet new people. It's hard for me to make conversation, that light "how is the weather, you have how many kids, what do you do for a living" conversation. I don't do chit-chat. Why? Because I don't get out much and because of that, I live largely in my brain and not at dinner tables or social events.
It seems almost every time we meet someone, that person will ask if I've been to such-and-such or seen thus-and-so or travelled over there. My response, "I don't get out much". Women will ask if I've gone shopping at such place and my response...you got it. It goes on and on and people think I'm being witty and sarcastic which to some degree I am but the truth of it is, I don't get out much. Seriously.
Case in point: I'm sitting in my living room, listening to who knows what on the tv (I'm not paying attention). It's too cold to be in the garage where I can look out at my farmer view and listen to the birds making their bird noises, the dogs barking and playing, the goats doing goat things and the cows mooing and making that odd, unreproduceable noise they make when they're playing. Yes, cows play. I should have taken a bath and should have already gone to town (that's what we say out here in the provinces where it takes about 20 minutes to get to someplace that sells something you might need, quaint huh?). I need to go to the bank. I need to buy dog food cuz the puppies are looking at me with those mopey puppy eyes that say, "why are you starving us to death when we love you?"
I haven't taken a bath yet or gone to town yet because sometimes I can't. Yep, that sounds stupid but sometimes I can't. I can't get up off of the chair or the sofa and go do something productive. I can't go out to my truck, start it up and drive to the nearest town to pick up dog food or put money in the bank or buy the icky lunch stuff that The Sicilian takes to work. I can't.
I don't really know why I can't. I feel maybe I'm unmotivated but that's not it. It's not that I don't want to do those things, it's just....I can't. It's frustrating and people think I'm odd or a loser or anti-social (which isn't completely untrue) or whatever it is that people think but don't say out loud in my presence. Probably a good thing they don't actually.
My sister writes about me in vague terms in order to not draw attention or embarrass me. She's very good about that because she knows...she knows that it's not always easy for me to be "normal". She knows that I don't always answer my phone because I can't. It's not that I don't want to talk to you, it's that I can't answer my phone. It's that I can't take one more thing, I can't hear one more thing, I can't risk one more thing being wrong or stressful or someone saying something nasty to me that I can't deal with. It's a problem, but it's who I am these days.
Every day, several times a day, I log into Yahoo IM as invisible. You can't see me, you don't know I'm there. I watch who logs in and who logs out but I don't say anything because I can't. I might want to but I just can't. I can't carry on the chatty conversation that IM requires and those long pauses that take place when I can't think of anything to say make the person on the other end uncomfortable. So I just watch.
I receive over 100 emails a day. Every morning I make my tea and sit down at my computer to check my email. I scroll through all the messages looking for the ones from my sister and my step-daughter. Then I read the ones from my list ladies and after those are done, I read the jokes, etc from other people but some days I can't. On those days I look for my sister and step-daughter's messages, read those and then log off. Then I sit and wonder what the other ones say. I wonder who is having a good day, who got to speak to her kid, who is upset and may need what I may say to her, but I can't read them. I can't write back. I have to wait until I can and that may be in 3 hours or in 3 days.
I miss being me. I miss the time when the only major problem I had, besides crying more than other people, was not being able to go into a new restaurant by myself. Drive thru is great and no one thinks you're strange if you go to the drive thru.
My friends, most of whom I've never met in person, find me sympathetic, empathetic, practical, to the point, realistic and sometimes painfully honest and blunt. They don't know that I don't get out much. All they know is that I'm always there when they need someone to talk to. It may take a while, but I'm there. That's not so bad, is it?
But I wish I could go out. By myself. Being productive. Doing things other people wish, want or need me to do for them. Doing the things that I want to do. Visiting people, like my sister. I wish I could....but I don't get out much.