As a highly social extrovert, a refreshing evening for me would be to have 100 of my closest friends over for a BBQ. The more the merrier. And, I could do it 2-3 times a week. Seriously. In fact, I’m such an extrovert that I once planned a vacation by myself intending to bike, hike and sunbathe in the quiet beauty of Breckenridge, CO. Well, that was stupid. After a total of one day I was out of my mind, drowning in solitude, wondering why Starbucks had not yet invented the Prozac latte! I have never done that again, not even for a weekend. I need people! If you’re also an extrovert, you get me.
When deciding on a goal for myself for having neighbors over for dinner for my Eat Play Thaw experiment however, I wanted something sustainable as well as something that my husband could live with. My husband Jim, or ‘Jaz’ as his dad nicknamed him years ago, is an introvert. And when you’re married to a fantastic man – who happens to be an introvert – you maintain very respectable boundaries around social time. Especially social time with new people.
It’s a simple equation, really.
For extroverts, it’s:
New people + frequent social engagement = all there is to love about life
For introverts, it’s:
New people + frequent social engagement = a trip to the sanitarium
OK, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But if you’re an introvert you know that a lot of social time can take a lot of energy (rather than be energizing). Introverts are NOT socially inept. In fact, they are often brilliant leaders, thinkers, highly creative, and have the amazing capacity to actually think about what they’re going to say before they say it (said the extrovert, sheepishly). Some famous introverts include Paul Newman, Abraham Lincoln, J.K. Rowling, David Letterman and Eleanor Roosevelt. Yup, all brilliant. Just like my Jaz. Just look at this beautiful path and arbor he built for me where there used to be a mud bath.
So, out of my absolute love and respect for my husband, having neighbors for dinner at our home once a month is a goal that works for both of us. I have great appreciation for his support of my endeavor even though it will siphon a good measure of energy from his tank. My husband, Jaz, is truly in the top 5% of all husbands. Integrity. Honor. Commitment. Fun. A great husband and father.
And, you know you have it good when a man loves you not only when life is rolling along easily, but displays a love that can even endure…. yes, I’ll say it – pregnancy gas.
What I’m about to tell you is a true story. Every. Single. Word.
In the summer of 2004, after 3 years of difficult infertility challenges, we successfully passed what’s known as the magic ‘10-week mark’. We were pregnant. We saw the heartbeat. Yippee! At the 12-week mark, however, the “yippee” turned into “the Lord God have mercy” as the good pregnancy hormonal “flatu-fairies” declared war in my intestines (please tell me I’m not the only one).
On a particularly ‘voluminous’ evening, we had just gone to bed when I looked over and saw my husband green around the gills. He had his laptop open and I wasn’t sure that I didn’t see him searching divorce lawyers on the internet. A few seconds after some flatu-fairy battlefield ‘shock and awe’, he turned to me he said, “Baby, I think if we could measure the parts per million on that one I think it would technically be a solid instead of a gas! Good Lord!” As his eyes began to water and I debated whether to get up and get him the Ipecac, he lovingly said “baby, I just can’t take it” and got out of bed and left the bedroom muttering something about how “it should be bottled and sold to the military to smoke out Bin Laden.”
As I could barely stand it myself I took no offense. I thought he was simply heading out to sleep in the guest room, until I heard some suspicious activity in the garage. What was he doing? I found out 5 minutes later.
Jaz walked back into our bedroom wearing a full industrial grade respirator, complete with charcoal cartridges! As I busted out laughing, he hopped back into bed, gave me a cursory “goodnight,” rolled over and “click.” Lights out. Clean oxygen secured. No more needed to be said.
He slept with the respirator on for most of the night.
My man, Jaz. He’s all that.
And, because he’s all that, once a month social dining is just fine. I’ll protect his need for limits, for quiet, for small groups over large. He’s an introvert, and a dang funny one.
So, there it is. Feel free to share, tweet and otherwise send this to someone who just needs to laugh today. I have no shame. I’m an extrovert. ;o