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A Little Zen

I have a problem.
When kind, loving, caring people (usually that I don't know well) ask me to join them at their home for a holiday meal, my inner Grinch/introvert snarls into action.
With a look of what is probably pure horror plastered on my face, I vomit some fabulously delightful response like,"Oh god no! I'd rather be alone. Stand around and make total crap banter with perfect strangers for hours?! Thanks but no thanks."

I don't say that exactly, but close.
It usually goes like this:
Kind person: What are your plans for the holidays?
Me: Nothing! (said with joyful glee and a big smile)
Kind person: Oh, come to my house then! - completely missing the glee (how can they?!)
That's when the ungraciousness starts.
Feeling trapped and tangled in the extrovert's web, (Ahhhh, get it off me!), I start flailing and thrashing about verbally. Hurting people's feelings.


I am definitely missing a Southern chromosome.
Why can't I think those things, but say "Oh, that's really so very lovely and kind. Thank you so much, but unfortunately I already have plans."

Oh the other hand, people need to stop being so insistent, thinking everyone else needs to be with people during the holidays. That's what YOU like/want to do.
And don't go getting all defensive and thinking I don't like you, or your family. I'm sure they are wonderful people, because you are.
Pay attention please: IT'S NOT YOU. It's me.
Some of us really, really don't mind being by ourselves. Really.
We are not lonely or suicidal.
We are introverts.

Okay, I'm off to practice being gracious AND sincere (even trickier!).

I am a rock, I am an island


  1. Actually Kim we are a lot alike in that I really would rather be by myself instead of attending these family get togethers. I usually do it but that doesn't mean I feel good about it. I spent half a day in Durham yesterday at the VA getting my hurting right leg looked at and now they think I have a pinched nerve causing all the problems and will be getting an MRI done soon. Also gave me some special meds that are supposed to act on nerve pain so time will tell. As an afterthought I guess you might feel like I do about this whole time of the year wishing it was already past. Too much attention to gatherings for Thanksgiving & Christmas and of course spending way too much money. Have a great day.

  2. If the invite were genuinely about you it would be offered throughout the year. If it is about them and how they can pat themselves on the back and brag to others about how many they had over ... blah, blah, blah ... then who wants to be another bulb on their fake tree?

    I really don't see you as an introvert. If you mean someone who doesn't want to take part in cyclical get-together's where you have to leave your real self at home in order to partake ... I see that as noble, honest and true to your very core. You are offering yourself as a gift to all who want to partake.

    Gee sounds like the One this Season is supposed to be celebrating. Remember who He loved to dine with. He will be sharing every precious moment of this sacred time with you as I am certain He will with me. He delights in you, as do I.

  3. Well Manxsters - I am no more gracious at other times of the year. :/
    Honestly, it's just that I'm a one-on-one kinda gal. Even when I do know people, a large group isn't my cup of tea. I'm done in about 10-30 minutes.
    I think people are being kind when they issue the invite and I need to practice my kindness in refusing.
    And thank you for your kind words about me :)

  4. Gracious and sincere. That's my girl! And you are NOT invited over for Thanksgiving :)

  5. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease come for Thanksgiving dinner with me!!! I'm only 3,000 miles away!
    (That will save me from driving 1000 miles round trip in 4 days to the pit of California!!!) AGHHH! ;')

  6. Oh. My. Goodness. Someone else just like me! Someone else understands. Whew. I am the same, exact way.

    For a zillion years, Tom seemed to always have to work on either Thanksgiving or Christmas or both and so people would invite Naomi and me over but oh! Having done that a couple times we both decided home by ourselves waiting around 12 hours for Tom to get home was *better*. It was fine.

    And I so don't like parties any time of the year, either.

    Great post! ...Debra