We've been noticing lately how people (adults mostly) can't take no for an answer without taking it personally or trying to sway me out of my answer. The thing about us is that we would never not help someone if we can. If you are having a book signing, we'll be there. If you need support while you win a race, we'll be there. If you are painting your room and can't pick colors, we'll be there. If you need a ride to the airport, we'll take you. If you're having a birthday party, one of us might be there. I say one of us because I hate parties and nobody seems to ever get why. Well, that's not true, my 9 year-old nephew gets why. We were recently invited to a party but I didn't want to go and this conversation happened:
Karen: Auntie Linda is not going to the party.
Nephew: Oh, not good in crowds?
Nephew: It's cool.
If a nine year old gets that without any judgment at all, why can't adults? One great thing about the book coming out is that we've been busy many weekends doing signings or classes and I haven't had to lie to get out of going somewhere. See, about 15 years ago, my cousin was having a bar mitzvah and I didn't want to go. I knew it would make my Nana sad if I didn't go just because I didn't want to go and endure all the fake hugs and weird looks from relatives who didn't like my purple hair. So, I told her I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled. There was nothing wrong with my wisdom teeth, but as soon as everyone boarded the plane for the bar mitzvah celebration, I got a horrible pain in my jaw and yeah...not only did I have to have my wisdom teeth pulled, I had a raging infection that left me bedridden for a month. After the Wisdom Tooth incident, I decided lying about why I couldn't be somewhere wasn't for me. And, after the Not Good In Crowds conversation with my nephew, I knew I had to start saying the truth when responding to people about parties...at least for the fun of testing their responses. It's a sunny and warm holiday weekend here in BBQ City and the invites keep rolling in:
Friend: I am having a Memorial Day BBQ on Sunday and we'd love for your and your husband to come!
Me: No, thank you!
Friend: No thank you? What the hell is that?
Me: I don't really like parties, so no thanks.
Friend: What are you talking about? You are smiley and funny and everyone likes you.
Me: Yeah, and that has nothing to do with it. I don't like parties.
Friend: Yes you do! You and your husband were at other friend's party a few weeks ago!
Me: But I didn't have fun. I don't really like parties.
Friend: You'll like MY party
Me: Why, will there not be any people there?
Friend: No! Everyone will be here. Just come, you'll love it!
It's one thing to tell a 2 year-old to try pudding because you know they'll like it. I'm 37 years old. I know what I do and don't like. Why is it so hard for people to let other people just be themselves? If I invited someone to a party and they said they really don't like parties, I'd be really happy to know that about them. Really happy. I'd thank them for letting me know and I'd let them know that they are welcome at my party if they want to come and I will not at all be offended if they don't want to come.
It gets worse. People get really pissed when I tell them I don't like driving at night:
Friend: I'm having a little get together Saturday night, you should come- we're having chocolate fondue!
Me: That sounds so good and if it were during the day and it was not a party, I'd be there!
Friend: Oh are you busy at night?
Me: No, I just don't like driving at night. I always get lost then get a flat tire.
Friend: But it's funny when that stuff happens to you.
Me: Yes, sometimes it is funny but not when I am alone and not when it is dark out. I hate driving alone at night.
Friend: You are being ridiculous!
So....well...yeah. I'm thinking I should just stick with I'm having my wisdom teeth pulled.
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