I see you sulking back to a corner of the crowded family room, volunteering to do dishes (your most hated chore) just to buy yourself 20 minutes of alone time in the kitchen where the noise is manageable and the conversation exists only between you and the dish drainer.
I see you sneaking away to walk the dog and braving the cold for 15 minutes longer so your brain can breathe without the constant drowning waves of laughter and battery of multiple conversations.
I see you telling your husband you’ll stay up late to wrap gifts because the promise of silence and wine sounds like the most beautiful gift since the baby Jesus, Himself.
Dear friend, I can pick you out of a crowd because I AM you.
Family gatherings give me anxiety and holiday parties fall into the ever-growing category of events I accept invitations to and then desperately grasp at possible excuses I could use to get out of the commitment.
But we press on.
We say yes and we show up because we love our kids and we want to please our families.
As much as we cannot make sense of it, we actually WANT to enjoy everyone’s company.
We want to laugh and make conversation, eat around the table without fear of judgement, and not feel like the entire room is caving in when someone sits too closely on the couch.
So, I see you, fellow introvert, and I give you the silent eyebrow raise of solidarity because coming over to make casual conversation might actually cause certain death.
I’ll meet you in the parking lot when we are both abandoning our casserole dishes because we don’t like them enough to risk being spotted leaving early.