Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Bad Kind of Validation

Jon and I were out at a friend's Christmas party until late last night, and when I say late last night what I actually mean is 5 o'clock this morning, so you can imagine Jon's shock when he discovered me huddled in a chair in the baby's room and crying at 8am. Not only was I supposed to be sound asleep in our warm bed, getting more than 3 hours of rest, I definitely shouldn't have been hiding out in a nearly bare room where the only piece of furniture was the very chair I was curled up in. Understandably, Jon immediately thought something was wrong with the baby--Is he OK? Yes, he is fine. Are you OK? No, not really, but I think I will be.

I couldn't give him a better answer than that because I couldn't verbalize what was bothering me without crying harder and losing my words to gargantuan sobs. And looking back on it now I can see the melodramatic aspect and it embarrasses me, but then again, everything I do anymore is melodramatic so I should get used to it. What was happening to me was part sleep deprivation, part anxiety, and part recoil from feeling as though I'd been slapped in the face by a total stranger at the party last night. And again, it sounds really stupid and terribly dramatic when I say it, but the problem is I have to say it, or I'm afraid I'll never get over it. Plus, there's some psychoanalyzing to do here and I'm afraid my initial reaction will be to revert to my old hermit-like ways if I don't handle it right this moment.

So anyway, at this party last night, I was sitting in a crowded room where various conversations were happening all around me and I happened to notice one conversation in particular that was taking place between some guy I'd met maybe 3 hours earlier and another woman across the room. They were talking about nipple tassels and how she was so totally going to wear them to his Christmas party next year. And in typical guy fashion (though not usually when one's wife is sitting right in front of him, but whatever) he gets extremely excited and says she is definitely invited next year because she would be "a whole lotta fun", but immediately afterward he points to me and says, "But I don't know about her over there, she just seems too quiet." I wish I could convey the tone here so it didn't seem as though I was all up in arms about nothing, but in my mind, he told me, a total stranger and a tired, pregnant woman sitting in the dark corner, that she was too boring to come to his annual Raunchfest disguised as a Christmas party. I feel it was an absolutely insensitive comment given the circumstances, but I'm also (quite some time later) willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he was probably joking and more than a little drunk, mostly because my husband isn't usually in the habit of befriending assholes, but I really can't say for sure.

When I was finally able to turn the sporadic waterworks off and pull myself together for the day (around 5 this evening [more embarrassment]) I was still left with one question: why did I care? Why did it bother me that this guy, who is obviously my polar opposite, didn't want to invite me to the next topless party at his house? The truth was actually quite simple really, I didn't give a shit about the party. What bothered me was how he so blatantly, within hours of meeting me and in front of people I've known for years, validated a long lived fear of mine: I am boring. I am so fucking boring and introverted that I shouldn't be invited to any party, and even worse than that, he has now infiltrated my small circle of friends and it's only a matter of time before they stop kindly ignoring just how fucking boring I am.

It took nearly 20 hours of sulking, but I finally figured out that while it was his insensitive comment that started it all, it's my own hang up--my own fears--that have left me in a mess today. Now, if I could only figure out how to correct my boring personality without resorting to nipple tassels or flashing every camera that's pointed in my direction I may be able to get on with my life.