I’m really not anti-social.
It’s just that I’m pro-doing things by myself.
While I enjoy people to a certain extent, it’s simply that I enjoy them in small doses and preferably online where I can pick and choose my level of social interaction—and simply click away when they feel the need to tell the world their daily diet or post pictures of their feet.
But when I’m forced into a (seemingly fun) social situation such as a holiday party or drinks with friends, I can openly admit that I’m more charismatic and enjoyable than one may expect. It’s like a social spark is lit, and if encouraged I can shamelessly own the room until I leave.
There’s the catch—the exit.
You see, I never know how to properly leave a social situation, but I always want to go—quickly. There is about a maximum two hour window, at which point I’m like Cinderella running down the stairs towards her pumpkin carriage before the stroke of midnight.*
*Just sub in a pair of running shoes and a Chevy Equinox for the glass slipper and carriage. But when it comes to the cleaning and talking to small animals, me and Cindy are practically twins.
I don’t know how to tell people that I only want to stay for an hour or so, as I don’t think “most people” would understand. “Most people” look forward to going out for hours and socializing, whereas I tend to get a little too excited when I am relieved of any social obligation that might leave me held against my will for an undisclosed amount of time.
So I make excuses both as to why I’m not going or why I have to leave, simply because I think it’s easier than going and saying, “This hour has been fun, but now I would like to go home, wash off this coat of mascara, turn on the game and crash on the couch. I can show myself out.”
That just seems rude.
If it’s a large event with tons of people, I can usually say a polite goodbye to the host and slip out unnoticed at a time of my choice. If it’s a small event though, I have to plan my escape accordingly and have a contingency plan securely in place.
But it doesn’t even have to be an event. It can just be a normal visit to a friend or my grandma that requires some sort of half-truth about how I have laundry in the dryer or that I have to go to the store, simply because I always feel the need to bail at some point 10 minutes short of a socially acceptable amount of time.
In my defense, I do go to the store a lot, so that is a plausible reason.
While I know that making an appearance is often good enough—and I do usually enjoy myself for that hour or so—the stress of the exit execution often drives me to write posts about the stress of the exit execution.
See how exhausting this is?
I just thought you should know that if you ever invite me anywhere, you have about an hour of quality time before I’ll start looking like a claustrophobic cat. Depending on your tolerance for socializing with me, an hour might be just the right amount of time.
Anyway…well, this is a bit awkward.
I’ll just say this post has been fun, but now I would like to go home, wash off this coat of mascara, turn on the game and crash on the couch.
I can show myself out.