Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I'm Not Sure What They Don't Get

So tell me, is it the sole purpose in an extroverted person’s life to make those of us who are NOT miserable? I’m thinking so.

I was at a dinner last night, one with a lot of dancing, drinking, and carrying on. I don’t dance nor do I drink. And for the record, I did not want to go, but it was for my husband’s job, so I went and I made sure I had a nice time so he wouldn’t have to deal with the whole bitchy wife thing. I found people I could talk to while he did his thing, I made sure I found people who could make me laugh a lot so he woudn’t feel like he dragged me out and I was miserable. It was important for him that I have a nice time, so I did what I could.

The older I get, the more withdrawn I become. It is what it is… I like me, I have no desire to change. For anyone.

People seem to be cool with the fact I don’t drink, but they have real issues with the fact that I won’t dance. I used to dance, but for 14 years, we would be places and I would say to my husband, “Ohhh! Let’s dance” and I would get, “No. I don’t like this song.” He didn’t like any of them. Ever. Weddings, family parties, anywhere, he never liked the song. I never got to dance. Within the last 2 years, my husband has started hanging out with a lot of people who dance… a lot. Salsa, ballroom, whatever, they all dance. We go places now and he’ll say, “Let’s dance” and I flat out tell him no. I haven’t danced in so long, that now I feel self conscious and really, I just don’t want to. So I don’t.

I take so much crap for it. People won’t leave me alone. I had this tall sultry woman my spouse knew come up to me last night and say something about dancing with my husband. I misunderstood her and said, “Oh! You can go dance with him! Have at it!” and I cheerfully waved them towards the dance floor and she said, “No, no, no, I wanted to know why you aren’t dancing with your gorgeous husband.” I found that to be pretty damn nervy. I went stone cold and said, “I don’t dance. Feel free to dance with him if you’d like. I think he’d like to be out there.” She walked away.

It is not as if I would get angry if he danced with other women. It doesn’t bother me in the least. He can dance with any and every woman in the room. I don’t care. I really don’t. I’m not the jealous type. I know ultimately he goes home with ME and sleeps in MY bed. There was a tall beautiful metropolitan exotic Asian woman who flew in from NYC with some of my husband’s colleagues. All the men were dancing with her… some of them dirty dancing with her. If he had wanted to be so bold… I would have said, “Go for it!”. Doesn’t phase me.

I’m not punishing him. I just don’t feel like I should have to do something I just really really don’t want to do. To me, it’s a big enough compromise on MY part that I attend these events. I mean for years he didn’t want to dance, and I didn’t force the issue. And he IS NOT forcing the issue. He only asks once, he doesn’t harass me, he’s not a jerk. I always tell him there are a lot of lovely women out there, he can dance with anyone he wants, it just won’t be me. He’s cool with it. It’s the other people who aren’t cool with it and it’s really starting to piss me off. They need to back the hell off.

And I don’t get this whole obligatory spouse crap. I have to do this social crap with him far more than I like. People give him SO MUCH crap if I don’t go. If I’m not there, he immediately gets, “Where’s your wife? Are you REALLY married? Why doesn’t she come with you?” and… here’s the kicker that gets to me… it’s even when he’s out of town. Like I can just drop what I’m doing, abandon my kids and fly with him to all these places he goes so I can hang with people I don’t really know, don’t want to know, and have dinner with them to boot. We have children, not dogs. If one of us is traveling the other must be home with them. You don’t kennel children.

I would make a terrible wife of a politician. I can’t do this stuff. I’m not cut out for it and it really does make me miserable. If he ever decided that his calling was a public life, like in politics, I’d have to leave him on the grounds I didn’t sign up for that. Seriously. Some people are extroverted party, love to be around other people, feed off the energy of the room, kind of folks and some people just aren’t. And for some reason, those of us who just aren’t, are considered freaks by those who are. I don’t get it.

And this isn’t a rant about my spouse. He’s not a jerk. It’s about all these folks I encounter… Blech. From the people who won’t leave me alone about dancing (men and women alike) to the folks who carry on about how I don’t join them in New York or I missed the last cocktail party or whatever. I want to tell them to back off, butt out, and get a clue. I have three kids. I don’t globe trot and party. I have responsibilities. I'm on the verge of cutting them off at the knees.


Blogger Sissy said...

Let's just say I 100% agree! Sucks to know that this continues later in the years for me too! Let me know if you find a repellent for these people

8:21 PM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

Short of shooting them in the head, there is no repellent. And Sissy, it gets far far worse, my dear. Far far worse.

Morrigan can tell you the latest.

8:24 PM  
Blogger _Jon said...

I never liked dancing.
Even when no one was paying attention, I always feel like everyone is watching me.

9:20 PM  
Blogger TNT said...

I love to dance and have had the exact same reaction from Harv. "I don't like that song, that band, that..." Always something.

However, I would still hop out on the dance floor if he would ever say yes.

You sound seriously stressed Bou. I think when your charity work is done, you need to have a girls night out with Tammi and/or LeeAnn!

10:42 PM  
Blogger Tammi said...

"Some people are extroverted party, love to be around other people, feed off the energy of the room, kind of folks and some people just aren’t. And for some reason, those of us who just aren’t, are considered freaks by those who are."

Not all of us darlin'! I love you Just. The. Way. You. Are.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Pammy said...

No, Bou...they don't get it. And, they never will. Don't waste your time trying to explain it. You're doing what YOU want to do and how you want to do it. You're your own person. And, that's something to be VERY proud of.
To be perfectly blunt, screw 'em.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Please don't take this as a criticism, Bou. It really is just an observation, and may be way off, so you can just ignore as you see fit.

Okay, caveats are done, so here's my observation: It appears to me that you may be unconsciously "getting even" with your husband (since he went for years begging off on dancing).

Now before anyone sets the dogs on me, I'll admit that I am male -- so have mercy on me!

I have been married to a wonderful woman for 26 years now -- but she doesn't do the dance thing. I have some mixed feelings about that: when I'm feeling a little selfish, I allow my feelings to be hurt by that (especially earlier in our marriage); but when I'm looking at it more rationally, I'm okay with it and I don't take it personally.

I don't badger her, but I do give her the option to dance.

Oh, and I really can identify with your feelings about the social obligations of some careers! Blech! My Lady and I are fortunate in that we have very little of that to endure . . .

I really enjoy the peek into your life that your blog provides . . .

8:38 AM  
Blogger Sissy said...

I talked to Morrigan... I know the rest of the story ;-)

Good luck with the DT!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Graumagus said...

Woo-Woo, Blogger is being generous and letting post a comment today!

I hate it when people ask me to dance.

Because I can't. I can't move in rythm to save my life. Instead of dancing I kind of irrythmically lurch about, always a half step ahead or behind.
It's a curse.

3:55 PM  
Blogger David said...

WTG Bou. Contra one commenter, nah, you're not getting even, you've grown up.

Parties? If it floats your boat. Not my thing. I don't go. Didn't even go (or drag my wife when she didn't want to) when it was "job related"... unless I wanted to go to a party, a rare thing.

Well, parties are fun in one regard: getting to watch all the folks making asses of themselves. Amusing. I'll give it that. Doesn't matter what the venue or the crowd, parties of any and all stripes are just ways for folks to posture, prance and, more than not, ultimately "phony up to the bar."

Any group larger than 12 is a mob.

Throw in dancing, which I enjoyed when I was an adolescent (dancing in our culture is after all mostly just adolescent mating ritual no matter what what age the dancers), and all you do nowadays is close off conversation.


But hey, that's me.

Other folks have other reasons for not participating in various aspects of parties. I can respect someone who says, "Dance? No thanks. I've grown up."

(Not that I'm asserting that you do say or think that, although it might be an interesting line to try. *heh*)

Not something I have to deal with any more. Although I've lost tons of weight and it's now a lie, I can always (assuming I ever get trapped into another party, let alone a party where folks are "expected" to dance) I can always use the old excuse that my knees won't take it... (But I'd probably use the more curmudgeonly "No thanks; I've grown up.)

5:04 PM  

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