Decidedly un-hermit-like

By Mir
July 22, 2013

Wooooo, I’m a social butterfly! (Now everyone who actually knows me gets to laugh and laugh and laugh.)

Okay; fine. Maybe I’m not a true social butterfly, but I am pretending to be one, and I haven’t had a nervous breakdown yet, so I guess it’s working. It’s true that I have somehow developed an enormous cold sore inside my upper lip (sexxxxxxxay, though invisible to anyone who isn’t inside my mouth) (you do not belong inside my mouth) which I am 99.9% certain is from the STRESS of being AROUND OTHER PEOPLE, but to non-hermit-y people this may sound ridiculous. I can assure you that it isn’t, though, because I am just that delicate of a delicate flower and this is the sort of thing that happens to my delicate self in response to normal life events. It is SUPER FUN being me.

It started last week with a girls’ night out dinner, which was long overdue and great fun. We talked and laughed and ate lots of delicious food and had a blast. That’s not stressful, right? Except then a few days later we had a houseful of people.

This houseful of people wasn’t stressful, either, except in the way that people are stressful to me because I’m a freak. I love people! But I also love just being a hermit. So there were a lot of people here and it was tons of fun, except afterward I needed to sleep for 12 hours to feel human again. That’s totally normal, right? Don’t answer that.

[Sidebar: Party food math is complicated, particularly here in the south. Otto did the whole, “I’d like to have some colleagues over and we can just get some beer and order some pizzas” thing, and I said fine, and then we went to the store and bought three bags of potato chips, some veggies, a case of beer, and a 6-pack of hard cider. We had a modest gathering of folks which included one adorable baby whom I managed to kidnap briefly (we took a stroll around outside and he kept resting his fuzzy little head on my shoulder, starting to doze off, then whipping his head up and peering at me like, “WAIT! I have no idea who you are! This is WEIRD!”) but was not allowed to keep. A good time was had by all (I think) BUT at the end of the evening when everyone had cleared out, we had TWO cases of beer, a couple of bottles of wine, 5-of-the-6 ciders (apparently I was the only non-beer drinker), most of a vegetable tray PLUS the veggies we bought, an entire leftover pizza, ingredients for ice cream sundaes, and at least four bags of chips. I do not understand. I think every person through the door brought enough food and drink for four other people, and then everyone ate and drank rather modestly, and now we have to have another party to use up the leftovers but what if at THAT party people bring even MORE stuff?? Conclusion: Math is hard.]

The day after our little gathering here, we went to a party at someone else’s house, and Otto was all, “Two parties in one weekend! You are a WILD WOMAN! Are you okay?” And of course I laughed and told him to shut up, but I really did want a nap (or six). We did bring a bunch of food to that party (math is hard!) as well, and when it was time to go, I was all, “JUST LEAVE IT HERE. QUICK, LET’S LEAVE BEFORE SOMEONE HANDS US MORE FOOD.”

I also decided to start wearing my contacts again this weekend, to sort of prep my eyeballs for contacts-wearing later this week, because in my everyday who-cares-I-hide-at-home-mostly life I just wear my glasses. And the thing about me and contacts is that there is a very fine line—and corresponding tiny window of time—between “I can hardly feel them! This is fantastic!” and “GET THEM OFF MY EYEBALLS! SHARDS OF GLASS!” So that may have had something to do with our hasty retreat from that second party, too, because I was doing fine and then BOOM I really needed to go home and take my contacts out and rub my eyes for a while. (Rereading this, I do not understand why I ever wear contacts. Vanity is stronger than discomfort, I suppose. Beauty is pain!)

This week I somehow have things to do and places to go every since day until I leave for BlogHer on Thursday, at which point I’ll have three days of Being With People and Wearing Appropriate Clothing and whatever back to back, after which I shall doubtless come home and collapse into bed with a severe case of malaise. Because people! They tire me out.

In related news, it turns out that eating lots of potato chips “to use them up” doesn’t actually impart a lot of additional energy to a person. Weird, right?


  1. Kim

    I, too, am currently in the “I can wear contacts for about an hour and a half” category. But sometimes it’s really convenient for that hour and a half. So, vanity.

  2. Mandy

    People are exhausting. Have you discovered Introverts Are Awesome on Facebook? We are. Just not in large groups.

  3. Mary K. in Rockport

    Will potato chips just keep in their bags until next summer’s camping trip?

  4. Brenda

    If I have a weekend where I am scheduled to hang out with friends every day, I feel like I need another weekend to recover from my weekend. 2-3 days in a row is pretty much my limit before I’m desperate for a night at home. This past week I had a party Thursday night, a play on Friday, and a play on Sunday. But Saturday I was a total hermit and just stayed home and did exciting stuff like listen to an audiobook and put together a puzzle, which means I feel fortified enough to have dinner with friends tonight and tomorrow night. Sheesh, I guess maybe I’m more social than I thought!

  5. RL Julia

    As a person who wears bifocals, my limited contact wearing to begin with is now compromised with not being able to see anything close up (to say, read). Of course, since the whole point of wearing contacts is so that I am not wearing glasses (and the fact that I am cheap), thus far, I have refused to go to the drug store to get a pair of reading glasses. So I just stare off into the middle distance a lot.

    • 12tequilas

      RL Julia: there are some really cute readers out there. I got my Vera Bradley ones from a Hallmark store, and there are lots of online choices too.

  6. Katie in MA

    That stressful math class Chickie just aced? That was totally Party Hosting Math for Southerners, wasn’t it? ;-)

  7. Rocky Mountain Woman

    I know exactly what you mean about Party Math. I usually have a few different parties over the Holidays and usually end up with enough food and wine to last until early spring!

  8. Bob

    Laura and I both like cider, Strong Bow being pretty much the standard by which we judge them (which, btw, comes in 2-liter bottles from Sainsbury’s – as we found out to our delight a few years ago when over there).

  9. Brigitte

    I took a Myers-Brigg test once, and on the introvert/extrovert section, every. single. answer. came down on the introvert side.
    I love being a hermetical SAHM, and still feel like I see too many people every day!

  10. Valerie

    So you recharge your batteries in solitude. If you are going to wear make-up, and contacts, and appropriate clothes and be around people for BlogHer, you might need to plan on specific recharge times. That way the delicate flower that is you will keep blooming delicate blooms. You’re pretty!

  11. Gaylin

    I often go home after work and have a 2 hour nap. 8.15 hrs of answering phones, being polite to people, listening to crap I don’t care about and actually doing my work – enough already. After a 2 hour nap, I am totally ready to be at home by myself with a book, some tv and then go back to bed.

    Life is hard. Nap often.

  12. Kira

    I…do not understand this “too much food” you speak of. Would you like to borrow some of my sons for a nanosecond? Max just wandered by, having a “snack” that consisted of a chunk of meat. There is never too much food. Never.

  13. Caz

    This is the point where you let the kids have a party of their own. The chips and veggies will be gone in 4 seconds with a house full of teens… I remember my Mom couldn’t keep enough food in the house when my bro and I were between the ages of 14-17.

  14. Kati

    I am SO GRATEFUL for this post. I’m a high school teacher who spends almost my entire summer holed up in my house to decompress from having all my students on me all day, every day. I love what I do, but it is incredibly draining to be “on” at least 8 hours a day, then spend another 20 hours a week planning my daily performance.

    All thiw means that im not really into a packed social schedule, especially during the usually crowded fall semester. I have to explain to my husband on a regular basis that I’m not depressed or mad; I just need solitude to counteract the exhaustion of having such a public profession. (My students seem to exclusively work at my grocery, favorite restaurants, and movie theater.). So nice to know I’m not the only one who appreciates hermitude.

  15. suburbancorrespondent

    I love being around people, but I always need at least an equivalent amount of time to recharge before the next people encounter.

  16. Lady M

    I’m so glad that you’ll be at BlogHer this year – I’m looking forward to seeing you! (And yes, I’m totally lame in that I didn’t realize you were speaking at Voices of the Year – congratulations!)

    • Mir

      It’ll be like my first BlogHer, except this time I’ll be expecting to run into you! (And I’m one of the honorees, but I’m not reading. But thank you! If you want to hear me talk, come to the Politics and Activism track on Friday morning.)

  17. Tenessa

    I have sensory issues with my eyes. Such that I wear glasses because my barely there astigmatism makes my eyes feel completely the wrong shape like at some point someone swapped my eyes for theirs. WRONG EYES! I could NEVER wear contacts because I would climb out of my skin trying to get them near my eyes. I have a very hard time with eye drops as it is physically painful for me to have the droppers near my eyes. I have many oddities that I classify as issues with my eyes.

    So. I totally get it.

    ps. I am a hermit, too, and I find too much social interaction to be a serious hazard to my health both mentally and physically.

    So. I totally get it.

  18. Pip

    I get the hermit-forced-to-socialise thing! This week went/is going:

    Saturday – Surprise visit/lunch out with my father, evening barbecue with ten people and my dog, who tried to cut off my feet with his lead (one loop round the ankles then ran off towards my friends – it looks like I was taken prisoner and chained around the ankles)

    Sunday – Extremely Inept Tennis with my dudez (the female kind of dudes. they’re still mine, though!)

    Monday – Ooh, just a normal work day

    Tuesday – Figured I ought to attend the dress rehearsal for my theatre group’s production and lend support, as I had missed every other rehearsal. Then was dragged to the pub.

    Wednesday – Weekly visit to see my brother, sister in law, and baby nephew. Visit may not exceed one hour, sister in law will only grudgingly speak to Mum and I because mum was a little pushy six months ago and we are Not Forgiven.

    Thursday – Swimming with my dudez. The same dudez.

    Friday – off to pay several hundred pounds for some photos, because I’m mad and want a really nice picture of my dog (and fiance and self, but mostly the dog)

    I just want to sit at home with my fiance and dog and watch copious amounts of Bones whilst seriously contemplating studying for my degree but not actually doing it! Is that so much to ask?


  19. Madge S

    Reading this post made me think of this:
    It’s a guide to understanding introversion. From what you (and some of your commenters) describe, it seems to be fairly accurate!

  20. Daisy

    True confession: I am scavenger. If someone has leftover veggie trays, I will take them home to make soup or feed my rabbits. I have no shame.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest