Announcement: Some clients find it hard to understand the concept of writers having real lives. I just told somebody I’d be available to add a link to an article today. Somebody went ahead and put in the request for a change yesterday, when I’d said I wouldn’t be online. So when I came online the system had automatically deleted the request. Sigh. I had planned to work in that link today, instead of spending time drawing out haters and encouraging fellow introverts at a teen-oriented web site. I will not be online sixty hours a week this week. Sorry.
It doesn’t mean I don’t liiike youall any more. It doesn’t even mean I don’t need some payments for some existing writing that have become past due. It just means that, in order to move, as planned, to a location nearer home where I should eventually be more available online, I have to spend some time moving objects around in the real world. And I can’t even commit to a schedule; this all depends very much on weather.
Categories: Food (Yum), Poems, Social Problems. (Without the rant about Social Problems this post would be too short. With the rant it’s too long. Well, you’re free to go directly to the link and ignore the rant.)
This web site likes bush beans, and, when we buy beans in tins, we also like Bush beans.
From Elizabeth Barrette:
I actually think this article offers some good suggestions…if it’s read with a mature understanding. The story I shared, encouraging said mature understanding, triggered all sorts of displays of hostility and conceitedness from extroverts. Go on and out yourselves, haters. I’m concerned solely with sending empathy vibrations to all the wonderful young introverts out there. Yes, I’m seeing evidence that youall are reading my web site; thank you (for reading), and you’re welcome (to continue reading).
And, if any extroverts are reading this…yes, I did say that self-accepting introverts learn to love youall, if we do, more in the way we love dogs than in the way we love our close friends. Try not to take it to heart (she says, feeling really chuffed by the hatespews from people who might otherwise have gone on representing themselves to Christian students as friends and mentors, and who are So. Not. Helping.). You do, as a matter of scientific fact, have different and in some ways inferior brains. But most introverts I know love our dogs (and our friends’ dogs).
What appeared to be the site’s official resident troll called my comment racist. Because I identified the annoying person in the story as a White girl? Well, she was…and there are reasons why that fact sticks in my memory: (a) I’m legally White myself, so entitled to mention other people’s Whiteness if I feel like it; (b) I am in fact biracial, and at that school, where all but two of the other summer kids appeared to be either White or Black, I was constantly and excruciatingly conscious of it; (c) the precise way in which she was considered funny-looking is an irrelevant detail that should probably have been left out, but it was a White way, and (d) I was especially aware of this on that day because I’d already been overtly harassed by one of the Black teen-trolls. That’s a different story, so there was no need to specify that this was the attack by the White girl, but that’s how I remember it and how I wrote it. I was tired at the time.
A better thing to call the adolescent Priscilla in the anecdote would have been “clumsy” or “adolescent,” which of course I was…only a year or two ahead of the dateless girl. However, where my anecdote failed was that people who didn’t go to church schools apparently didn’t get the picture. That child was not interested in actually being kind to me. This was not just “My date didn’t show up either, so would you mind very much sitting next to me while what I have in the way of friends snog and I try not to cry from self-pity”; it was a gambit that sucked me in because I mistook it for that innocent, “My date didn’t show up either” type of thing. She was interested in trying to boost her own social status, from which extroverts get their self-esteem, at my expense. And yes, as distinct from things like my brother’s recent death, which made me feel primarily sad, and the culture’s sick attitudes toward young women, which made me feel primarily righteous, this petty little incident where I walked into a social trap did make me feel exclusively, unrighteously, helplessly and childishly angry, at the time.
I wanted to share that–with strangers? yes, y’see introverts are not necessarily shy–because I’m quite sure that the arrogance of “I don’t actually like you, but I’m donating a little attention to you as an act of charity because you’re such a pathetic loser” would paint a target on the back of anybody who takes that approach to an incipient homicidal maniac.
Actually being friends with the ordinary, nonviolent, non-psychotic, harmlessly lonely young people who are out of step–gifted/backward, tall/short, fat/skinny, mature/baby-faced, rich/poor, pimply, clumsy, sickly, dealing with an unusual amount of emotional anguish at an emotional-anguish-ridden stage of life–is of course a good thing. It may be what some of them need to stay off drugs, and to grow up to be the wonderful human beings nature intended.
It cannot be faked…I’m feeling frustrated, at the moment, because I am all in favor of actually appreciating people who are likely to be “less popular” in college. Before working overtime to become “Queen Bee of a Popular Clique” I was one. And so were the friends who made up that group, which was what made it such an awesome experience for us and so infuriating for the extroverts who were welcome to hang with us but just didn’t fit in. Instead of any “Wonderful Me, Pathetic You” garbage, or even our previous year’s “I had a friend I really liked but s/he’s not around this year, waaail,” about a dozen people reached across the demographics and found enough in common to be friends. Which happened to include that we were earning our own money and could therefore afford to have enough fun to make the children of rich, indulgent parents realize that they weren’t the only Popular Clique in town.
So I agree that the clumsy geek in your class may be the richest and best looking person at your class reunions, and if you like him, you may live to be glad that you became his friend before he was cool. Which is a valid reason to become his friend, if you get the chance.
If somebody is just hanging onto life while the post-traumatic stress of past bullying fades (the way I was in middle school), that person may not want a friend–yet–even if that person likes you later on. If somebody is out of step because he or she genuinely is different from you–maybe the one musician in a crowd of tin-eared scientists as in The 400 Eels of Sigmund Freud, etc.–then that person may feel obliged to be kind to you, but not accept you as a friend. Even if that person eats lunch with you, s/he will be continually reminded that you are at best a nice associate, but not a real friend. And if somebody just feels like an adolescent social misfit, “here’s a crumb of attention from Wonderful Me to Pathetic You” is guaranteed to exacerbate that feeling…and if the person receives the wrong kind of “help” and develops a violent psychosis next year, guess who’s likely to play a leading role in his or her pseudomemories.