Somewhere in my early high school years, I took one of those personality tests... or maybe like a battery of them, it seems like there were a lot. My mama was doing career counseling and rescue work in the inner city and I read every book anybody ever left lying around, which is one reason I know some very disturbing urban legends that I have spent the last 20 years trying to forget. The thing is, I did all this personality testing and figuring out what color was my parachute and whatnot and determined that I was what was known as a "Sanguine-sanguine", otherwise known as "obnoxious". I was the ultimate extrovert, never met a stranger, etc.
Then I had children.
I think I'm still good in a crowd. I like almost everyone I meet and feel equally comfortable talking to groups and individuals. I can find a laugh in any situation and if I've got an audience, I will keep going waaaay past a reasonable cutoff time and wake up with a hyper hangover. The majority of my time, however, is spent with miniature humans who are relentless conversationalists that see me as a constant source of entertainment as well as a referee and human trampoline. Before my eyes are open, they are talking, asking, whining, and breaking me down. I have never been more fulfilled and exhausted. I get it, this is a blip in time, my time with them and I'm thankful for it. I love them deliberately. But sometimes I really, really want to be somewhere else for a little while.
The poor MOG got kinda tricked, because when we were dating and newlyweds, we were inseparable. We did our grocery shopping together, stood in line at the bank, got jobs at the same companies. And then, somewhere along 3 kids, I started needing a little recharge time, where no one was talking to me or touching me or, you know, in my sight. It perplexes him, because he spends his days with people who consider eye contact non-essential for meaningful relationship and then comes home ready for Extreme Togetherness Time (conversational, get your minds... sheesh) and I am ready for a Motherhood Dash where I take the minivan off a bridge. So I consider it a sign of his true love and attempt at understanding that my big present every year recently has been a 24-hour vacation, all by myself. Last year I never got to use it because of R2's illness, so we scheduled it for this summer.
Thanks to a couple of generous friends, my hotel room and some meals were paid for, which was amazing and left me with some cash for snacks and thrift shops. After eating some substandard Indian food, which was still interesting, I stopped at Target and bought strange mommy-only snacks, like a little shrimp tray and a chocolate bar with beef jerky in it. I moseyed around the library like a senior citizen and then took my books back to the hotel where I laid very, very still in the silence and read. I would never call myself an introvert, but it felt like a human battery-charge, just being so very alone. After a few hours, I struck out in search of some thrifting and tried to walk slowly and remember I had lots of time. Once it got dark I got some Greek food to go and ate it in my room while I watched a funny movie and did my own pedicure to save some cash, which ended up being a Bad Idea. I'll be wearing close-toed shoes for a week or two, I'm just saying. Then I read some more, until midnight when I took Zzzquil and forced myself to sleep in till 9, even though my brain was rioting at 7:30. I did some more reading, watched a sad movie, checked out of the hotel and had guacamole for lunch, because I could. I spent the rest of my time at thrift stores and Half-Price Books and then came home to a happy reunion and a house that was much cleaner than my usual work.
Somebody give the Lord praise, and also my husband.