Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Quantum Mechanics of Introversion

     It's a lazy summer Sunday morning, and I'm on my second, no third, cup of latte. I looked up from my laptop just a moment ago, and was startled to see my husband, Brad aka Oopsie aka Spartacus, still wearing the Chiquita banana sticker I placed on his forehead earlier this morning as a helpful reminder to carry a banana with him onto the golf driving range so he can replenish the potassium he'll lose while he's sweating away, hitting "eggs" under the early July Georgia sun. In our household, bananas seem to be the forgotten-about fruit, even though everyone likes them. While we were waiting for our respective coffees to brew, I noticed the half dozen now-perfectly-ripe bananas I'd purchased at the natural foods co-op the other day, with their "I'm organic!" lasso-label still intact, all six of them quietly corralled inside the hand-carved wooden bowl we received as a wedding gift from a colleague of mine. When I was a kid, we wore those blue Chiquita stickers like bindis, proudly, with the special kind of enthusiasm that only children seem to have for such rituals. Without objection, Spartacus stoically donned his label. Although he ate his banana before he left, discarding the sticker unceremoniously along with the peel, he certainly didn't seem to mind his brief cameo appearance as Funny Boy.
     Last night, we were sitting in our neighborhood pub, recovering with some grub and a pint of Guinness after surviving an hour-and-a-half long wild goose chase through Middle Georgia, during which we navigated winding, desolate country roads in order to attend a BearKnuckle show. BearKnuckle, the blues-influenced psychedelic-grunge band that my sons play guitar and bass for, had secured a paying, last minute gig at a Saturday night auto show. Spartacus and I have learned over the years that hastily arranged musical events, shrouded in fuzzy, sometimes incomprehensible, details are de rigeuer for life in rock and roll. To say we were ill-prepared for this journey would be an egregious understatement. We had no idea what we were about to get into. Aside from initially being provided with no venue name, along with an incorrect street address, we also received some squirrely instructions via text messaging to disregard our GPS once we came to State Road 155, directing us to head south instead of north. Thirty minutes, a close call with the fuzz, and a llama farm later, we determined something was amiss. Between the wisdom of Spartacus's Nuvi and my iPhone's Google Maps app, we tuned in and turned on, looping back to the exit where we'd made our fateful wrong turn. Long story short, we ended up making it just in time to see BearKnuckle perform their last song. They sounded terrific! We all had a good laugh about how Spartacus and I circumnavigated the globe to get to this gig, but I could tell the band really appreciated our efforts to come out and show them some love.
     Anyway, once we got back to the 'hood (yes, we really do live in the 'hood), the trauma from our odyssey melted into an amusing conversation about our former lives as "singles", specifically with regard to how we handled the dreaded "morning-after" confrontation. Being a true introvert, Spartacus can only tolerate small quanta of togetherness with anyone, male or female. It's not that he's antisocial; he just enjoys his "down-time" from human interaction. Clingy, dependent women never stood a chance with him, no matter how hot they were, and I'm sure he unintentionally broke quite a few hearts. As we sat there reminiscing, I realized how lucky I am to be his gal. He forfeited 48 years of bachelorhood to marry me, and for someone who prefers living in solitude, that's a major sacrifice. He's certainly been a good sport. As for me, I try to keep him engaged in silliness and levity, which is probably why he didn't object to wearing the Chiquita sticker. By now, he's used to my spontaneity, my weird little world of wackiness. As different as we are, we play well together. The night ended with us lying in each other's arms, watching an old rerun of Saturday Night Live, contemplating the origins of the words, "doo doo" and "dookie." He contends that "doo doo" is a Northern term because he'd never heard "dookie" until he moved to Alabama from Michigan. I grew up using neither term, so I really couldn't comment with any authority. All I could do was laugh.
     I woke up in a great mood today, partly from remembering last night's wayfaring debacle, the unexpected llama-sighting, and the ridiculous doo-doo/dookie debate, but mostly because it's hit me that the man I call my husband is such a good friend. Even though we are both extremely independent and relish our "no people" time, we always have time for each other. We are both loners at heart, him much more so than me, each of us unique studies in the quantum mechanics of introversion, the physics of which we've successfully manipulated to accommodate our individual principles of uncertainty. I guess you could say we're wavy particles, sharing a similar frequency. Is there an equation for that?
Spartacus, pensively studying his videotaped golf swing whilst sporting the Chiquita eat-a-banana reminder.

Last night's BearKnuckle show, where we were fortunate to catch the very last song after being lost in the country for over an hour. Too bad I didn't get pictures of the llamas we saw...

14 comments:

  1. I really think a person is either born an "innie" or an "outie". It would appear than a person can try hard to change or be changed, but when the lights go out, we are we are.

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    1. I'm with you, Steven. I think we can adjust without having to overhaul our basic natures.

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  2. I'm definitely an introverted person which commonly has been mistaken for being quiet and shy with no brains, until I open my mouth to clarify matters.(then all hell breaks loose)

    It's also amazing how much you get to see and hear in different environments being introverted because people don't even seem to notice you sitting around at times, whilst they chat about everything under the sun. I just fade in with the wallpaper I guess.

    When I was younger I wished I was more social/chatty bubbly and outgoing with an abundance of friends but that really isn't me. I've just learnt to be who I am, and that's an introverted person with some brain cells.

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    1. Rumpunchdrunk, you're right about introversion being mistaken for shyness (or stupidity)...there are outgoing introverts and shy extroverts. I experienced the same kind of wishful thinking as a teenager, that I could magically transform into one of those people who can strike up a conversation with anyone. Although I'm not necessarily a wallflower, I definitely enjoy observing with more limited interactions...being the "life of the party" is someone else's job!

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  4. Great post, as always, Kris, colorful and lively. I'm an extreme extrovert, love to talk and be around talkative people. I'm a loner and very independent, love to go my own way, but whichever way I go, you can bet I'll run into some friendly stranger and have a heart-to-heart talk.

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    1. Thanks, Marty! You impress me as someone so warm and open-minded...I can imagine that you have no trouble making friends wherever you are. After reading the comments on this post, it's becoming clear that one can be a loner, and also be either introverted or extroverted.

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  5. Kris, the “banana sticker” reminder you put on your husband’s forehead gave me a good laugh...and a good idea...lol! Your sons are in a blues-influenced psychedelic-grunge band?! (Your sons are the blonde ones in the pic, right?) Well, I’d love to hear that if I’m ever out your way in Georgia! I am more outgoing than my husband, although I’d say I’m rather in between being introverted and extroverted. Like your husband, my husband relishes his “down-time” from human interaction. He’s not pleased when I want to invite neighbors over for a BBQ or dinner, and I love that interaction and social time. However, I’m pretty much a loner too, like you. I like my quiet “alone” time too. So I wonder if I can be an extroverted loner or a quiet extrovert (I enjoy people but don’t like to draw attention to myself). That your husband is such a great friend is fantastic! Would have loved to have seen pictures of those llamas too!

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    1. Madilyn, You and your hubs sound a good bit like us. I definitely enjoy social activities with our friends more than he does. Based on the responses I've received on this post, I think it is possible to be an extroverted loner or a quiet extrovert, as well as an outgoing introvert. I SO wish I had taken pix of the llamas, but it was getting dark, we were starting to panic, and I had to pee! Will send you a link to BearKnuckle's site...they are working on an EP ;-)

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  6. I love to hear about couples who are such great friends and share such fun together. Couples who laugh together stay together - perhaps laughter at others and ourselves releases some of our toxins?? Keep smiling - and keep those stickers handy! :)

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    1. Thanks, Melody! I agree, couples who laugh together and people who are able to laugh at themselves are better able to "beat the odds." I hope you are having a wonderful summer so far.

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  7. No matter the troubles, I always find an unexpected llama sighting can set things back on the right course.

    Enjoyed the story and may your son one day become a rock god.

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    1. Just as we need "more cowbell", we need more llama sightings! Glad you enjoyed the story, PBS, and hopefully, one day, I'll be the mother of legendary rock gods ;-)

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  8. I always find an unexpected llama sighting can set things on the correct course again. Enjoyed the post.

    May your son become a "Rock God"

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