My summer lineup is slightly wild. I have three projects to finish. I volunteer at an office. I’m in evening school, and I’m getting ready for grad school. And my extended family is relentless about planning event after event.
As I’ve talked about before, I find social events really hard. I went to one recently, and brought my dog. I didn’t feel like I’d be adaquate–that I’d offer enough just by myself. As the fiction writer Toni Cade Bambera’s character says in one of her short stories: “I don’t feature much chit chat.” I don’t play the small talk game well. I just sit there listening. My dog helps the flow by providing a topic, plus I have a beautiful being near me to admire when I feel nervous. My dog is relatively large. I didn’t realize she was shedding so much. The wind blew her fur from her coat. This led to people complaining about my dog, who is well-behaved, who had just been a great new friend for relatives young and old.
I then started thinking of ways to leave but “sorry to cut this short” just couldn’t make it out of my mouth. Luckily someone took me home. Family gatherings go on for hours . . . and hours. I’m a hellishly picky eater, so the shared food is often a challenge.
Now I’m thinking of all the events still scheduled this summer. My favorite activity is reading at home, or watching a movie. Summer reading is a natural joy for me. I’m going into the library field. I love a good book. I don’t love endless family get-togethers. Please take me home, and understand if I need to leave early, or can’t make it that day. It’s nothing personal (well, sometimes there are people I don’t connect with and/or don’t trust), I just need stress relief at home.