I have social anxiety.
Or you could say I am antisocial — or we can drop the fancy vocab and spit it out and just admit that I really generally hate people. Large quantities of them, anyway.
A Modest Proposal: Eat the Babies.
Maybe I’d like people more if they came in small, specially-marked packages, but current-day, overly-crowded Planet Earth only offers the bulk aisle for our shopping needs. A nice plague or zombie infestation could help weed out the population, but I’m fairly certain that would be a sick request on my part, so we’re gonna move on now.
Enjoy the Silence
In order to better ignore talky-talkers while out mixing with the public (for example, in waiting rooms, banks, or libraries), I typically bring my own reading material everywhere I go. Now, of course, it’s easy — who doesn’t have Kindle on their smart phone? There was a time, though, when reading still meant paperback novels, and that book format is what I still most often pull out of my purse. A book never needs to be charged, and just feels more comfortable in my hands.
Why You Always Gotta Be Talking to Me?
But I seldom get to actually read my book while out and about among the masses. All those people I want to ignore? Yeah, they won’t let me. Suddenly I’m like the most popular person on the planet, and I always wonder where they were when I needed them to notice me back in high school. Apparently, a book is like a neon arrow pointing down from the sky, spelling out the words, “Bug Me!” Either that, or I have a tattoo on my forehead of which I’m unaware which reads, “Andi-Roo Wants YOUR Attention Now!”
Take Care of You.
- —Oh, I wish I’d thought to bring a book! I’m so bored! Is it good?
- —What are you reading? Is it good?
- —What’s that book about? Is it good?
- —I read that a long time ago. Do you think it’s good?
- —Are you a teacher? (No, for realz, I’ve been asked this on several occasions!)
While carrying on all these various discussions, do you suppose I got any actual reading accomplished? No, nah, man. So much for avoiding the maddening crowd.
Weirdos. (Take this quiz to find out if you’re one!)
Some people like conversation with strangers. Gwen Bell, for instance, is an avid people watcher and loves getting into exchanges with new people. But her job pretty much revolves around talking — as her Twitter tag used to indicate before she switched to solely Google+, “I solve communication problems.” That’s like the exact opposite of me. Gwen tries to find the value in everyone, which is a virtuous goal that I admire greatly. But I am no Gwen. Obviously!
How do I politely tell people to go away and leave me alone? I would like to sing a refrain from one of my favorite songs ever, “I am a Rock” by Simon & Garfunkle : Click here for Youtube video
I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship;
friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
But that would just be rude, right? Besides, I totally DON’T disdain laughter and loving. Case in point: I absolutely LOVE laughing at people. *BAM*
So what kinds of things am I currently reading? All sorts:
For my educational science fix— on CD in my car:The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined— by Steven Pinker
For my contemporary fantasy adventure fix — on the table next to the couch:1Q84— by Haruki Murakami
For my epic fantasy adventure fix — on my ipod in the kitchen:The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two— by Patrick Rothfuss
For advice while working on my novel — on my desk:
Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screen Writing You’ll Ever Need— by Blake Snyder
— by William Goldman
To make me feel smart for reading non-fiction — on my bedside table:I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59— by Douglas EdwardsAs you can see, I read across the board. Except romance. That would just be a waste of time. No petals gently unfolding for me! I am not even one single shade of grey, much less Fifty of them!