Monday, May 13, 2013

I like you

This afternoon at school pick-up, I saw a familiar face standing against the fence waiting for her son's class.  My daughter is in the same class, and I felt happy to see here there since she's a neighbor I know decently well.  We've hung out, watched each others' kids and get along.  It's comfortable to stand next to her.  I like her.

As I walked her direction, another face came into view, this one less familiar.  I know her but not even marginally as well.  She smiled at me.  I smiled back.  We nodded and had this odd moment of not being sure if we were going to stop to talk or not.  We said a brief "hey" and in a split second, I decided to stop myself from going to the comfortable place by the fence with my comfortable neighbor.  I turned towards the less familiar face, something that does not come easily for this introvert.

She asked how I was, so I answered honestly. 

"I woke up pissy today, and at work someone had stolen all my desk candy over the weekend and someone else was smacking gum close by, so my pissyness just got worse."

She laughed and ended up talking about her own work anxiety and how it expresses herself.  I said, "Well, I don't know you very well, but there's ways of helping with anxiety..."

She thought I was talking about booze when actually I was talking about anti-anxiety meds.  And other things, which I shall keep secret.  The point is that it ended up being this really great conversation, and tonight right after I'd put the kids in bed, I got a text from her starting with, "I like you!"

 How often do we adults actually hear those words from another adult, I mean, unless you ever met Fred Rogers?  I found it to be utterly endearing and wonderful.  And it only happened because I managed to make myself uncomfortable by talking to a less familiar person.  For an introvert, this can be painful, almost literally so. On the inside, I'm feeling a pull in my stomach, an anxiousness saying "Aw man! Do I really have to talk to this person? It hurts my head to do it! Don't make me!  My stomach hurts too! Can I just go stand over there by that fence?"

Glad that today I didn't.

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