Monday, December 17, 2012

People Really Are Different

At a recent airshow, as a pilot was doing tricks in the air, including stalling his plane and letting it plummet toward earth, nose-first, the announcer interviewed him, his answers broadcast for all to hear.

They were mostly “Yee HAW!” and “WOO HOO!”

“That’s something that either there isn’t enough money in the world to get you to do or you would do it for free,” observed my 13-year-old son.


Our family is divided between introverts and extroverts. My son and I, the introverts, are currently curled up in the living room, in our pajamas, me writing and him playing a video game.

Soon, our two extroverts, my husband and daughter, 17, will come bounding down the stairs.

“What do you want to do today?” they’ll ask.

“We’re doing it,” we’ll reply.

My husband and daughter get jangly if they don’t get out of the house. My daughter does that classic extrovert thing: seeing someone quietly reading, bothering no one, she will sit close, stare intently, then ask, “Whatcha reading?”

Introversion doesn’t mean you hate people or are shy. It means you enjoy being alone; it’s how you relax. Conversely, extroverts relax by interacting with people. That’s why my friend Megabel hates being home alone but loves throwing parties and why I like her parties but am ready for a nap when they’re over.

In my 20s, I had friends who liked clubbing. I did not. I secretly worried this meant (a) I was an old fart before my time or (b) my friends were so desperate for a romantic relationship, they were willing to put themselves out there, in hell, to meet people. It never occurred to me that they could be enjoying themselves.

Now I say, to each his own.

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