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The older I get, the more withdrawn I become.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.