Yesterday I had to attend a work related function, a sort of trade show type thing. Dozens of tables were set up with various toys and games and it was my job (and the job of a hundred or so other toy folks from around the NW) to walk around playing the games and chatting with the representatives so that we could go back to our respective bosses and share our opinions about what games our stores should carry. (That makes me sound important doesn't it? Believe me, I am but a minor cog.)
As I was walking around chatting with representative after representative, I felt so very awkward. I don't know if I looked awkward or seemed awkward, but it occurred to me that even now, at almost 35 years old, conversation and small talk doesn't come to me easily and when I'm with a large group of people I still feel like a social freak. I feel like I have to work really hard to be as normal as the rest of the room.
All my life I've always classified myself as 'shy' mainly because that was the label everyone else gave to me. But as I've gotten older, I really don't think that label applies and I'm starting to wonder if it ever did. I consider shy people to be people who are afraid to talk to others. That's not me. I'm not scared of people and I'm not afraid that I'll look silly or say something stupid. Simply put, I just don't always have something to say. Even if the conversation is about something I know a lot about, it's sometimes hard for me to put the right words together to express how knowledgeable I actually am. By the time I sort it all out in my head, the conversation has moved on. The words are there, but somewhere between my brain and my mouth, they get stuck. I wonder why this is?
Jay, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. He always has the words and will say them to anyone and everyone. Because of this he sometimes (completely innocently) talks for me or over me. Or before I get a chance to. I certainly don't blame Jay for this. It's his personality and he can't change it anymore than I can transform myself into a Chatty Cathy. But it's frustrating. When we're out together, there are times I feel like his sidekick. Or a minor character in The Jay Show. And I don't want that. I think everyone wants to be the star of their own show. It's just that my show, unfortunately, happens to star a mute who mostly wants to live in her own head, and no one wants to watch that.
Does anyone else feel this way sometimes? Often?