Sunday, May 20, 2012
I have always thought of myself as a shy person, but I keep having people tell me they can't believe it. This is an example of why I say that about myself...
I sing in a wonderful, friendly, inclusive, LGBTS chorale group. I love it, and I've had lots of friendly interactions with my fellow singers during rehearsals. Today was the final concert of our Spring season, with a "cast" party afterwards. It was set up at a cute, fun 50's style diner that serves typical diner food...greasy burgers, awesome milkshakes, cheese fries, that sort of thing. I'd decided before the concert that I'd order a diet coke with a shot of vanilla syrup in it. Yum! and not a terribly unhealthy choice. I was feeling proud of myself for that decision, and happy about a couple of really good concerts with the group.
After the show, as things are being torn down and cleaned up, people are milling around talking and laughing and introducing friends and family to people. I'm wandering around by myself, not talking to anyone, no friends or family there for this one personally. And I start thinking about the after party...Should I go? What if I go and am the first one there and no one sits with me? What if I go and lots of people are already there? Where do I sit? What do I talk about? All of a sudden I'm feeling about 13 again, shy and awkward and unliked, my company not sought out by anyone, everyone else seems comfortable and happy and socializing quite easily.
I get in the car, sit there a while thinking about it, check my phone about 10 times to see if I have any texts, and decide that I'll drive past the party and see if anyone is there. Maybe I'll sit in the parking lot and see who shows up. As it turns out, I drive right on past it, choosing to go for the safety of home and the family that waits for me there tonight. But on the way home, I keep having thoughts of food. (I truly am hungry. It's rare that I eat well on a concert day.) Maybe I'll hit a drive through and get a cheeseburger combo. Maybe I'll stop at the grocery store and pick up a box of cookies. There's a great ice cream shop. Maybe I'll pull in and pick something up to take home with me. Maybe it's a good night to order pizza. On and on it goes.
The thing is, underneath it all, I feel tears welling up. More than once I thought about turning around and going back to the party that I really do wish I could go to and have fun at. That vanilla diet coke sounds really good. But no. Home I go, trying not to cry, because that really Would make me feel 13, and pitiful. But what I really want is to be welcome among a group of likeminded friends, who would smile and invite me to join them for fun conversation. But of course that isn't going to happen. Because it never Has happened, so they don't know me well enough to do that. So I'm trapped, and I'm hungry. For a lot more than food.