Friday, December 10, 2010

Reprise: Introvert, stepping out

I am using Fridays to re-run posts that originally published on the now-defunct DCMetroMoms before they disappear from the internets forever (scheduled to happen sometime early next year). This post originally ran on May 3, 2010. Oh, and you should know? Me, and book club? It didn't work out. I learned that I really prefer my books in the company of pajama pants, not talkative people.

I recently made a bold move. I joined a book club.
Okay, I haven't really joined, yet, so much as committed to joining. Although there is no real commitment, so it would really be more accurate to say I RSVPed in the affirmative to attend next month's meeting of an ongoing book club. Isn't that bold?

No? But what if I explained to you that I don't know anybody there? I know! It was very bold, indeed.

I'm a self-categorized introvert, though I don't know if my friends would apply the label to me. And that's the problem: if I'm with people who are already my friends I'm not introverted at all.

(Hi, I'm Robin, and I guess I'm a closet introvert.)

But walking into a roomful of people who all know each other, and none of whom know me? The book club meeting is still a week away and I'm already butterfly-stomachey about it. Was this really a good idea?
It came about innocently enough. My lovely husband was encouraging me, again, to go find some solitary pursuits. We have three kids and I have a full-time job outside of the house and he has a full-time job, too, but his involves lots of travel whereas mine involves none. He's always going somewhere and I'm always putting the kids to bed. Now, mind you, they're my kids and I like 'em and all, but conversing with adults about literature instead of rereading Llama Llama Mad at Mama for the one gazbillionth time in the evening had a certain appeal. And yet I didn't really do anything about the idea of a regular opportunity to avoid the llamas, but the idea percolated in the back of my head somewhere.

And then, one day there was an item on our neighborhood listserv about a neighborhood book club. We've lived here almost five years but our kids are not in the school system and I really don't know anybody beyond the neighbors I can see from my own property. The listserv message included an invitation to new members, and without even really being sure what I was doing I sent off a quick email inquiring about it. Then somehow an eVite to the May meeting appeared in my inbox and somehow I clicked that yes, I will be attending and somehow I'm going to gather up the courage to walk into a stranger's living room and do the very dangerous deed of discussing plot arcs and character development.

Or something. I don't know. I've never been to a book club before.

So I guess I need to steel myself to smile and not freak out about those weird moments when everybody is talking to somebody else and I'm talking to nobody.

I guess I need to remind myself to ring the doorbell with confidence, and walk in as if I wasn't feeling anxious and shy.

I guess...I guess I need to go read the book.

This is an original DC Metro Moms Blog post.
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