A Day in the Life of an Introvert

This is an account of a fictional but pretty typical day.

7:40 am: 

I stop for coffee on my way to work. Since I stop there frequently, I know the baristas.  At least, I know them by sight, and they know me (and my drink order!)– as far as I know they don’t know my name. I walk in and see that it’s the dark-haired girl making drinks. I only know her name because randomly they wore name tags for a couple of days. The dark-haired girl’s name tag read “emily.” I like her–she’s nice.

But do I rejoice that I will get to talk to her? Nope! Instead, all kinds of thoughts are running through my mind: When should I say hello– right when I see her? She looks busy. Should I say my drink order at the register, or do I assume that they remember it when I hand them my reusable mug?

I overhear another patron asking emily about her vacation. Do they know each other outside of the patron-barista relationship? How, in interactions that last a few minutes a day, did they get to the point where they know about each other’s lives? I don’t know how to do that– I can make conversation, but it’s restricted to the niceties and talk about the weather. Which, granted, in Minnesota is actually an interesting topic, but still.

At any rate, I have cordial but superficial interactions with the dude and the dark-haired girl as I go about getting my coffee. They make excellent coffee, which is an introvert’s best friend.

8:15 am:

I get to work and get settled in, and open up my email. There it is: a message from Auto Forward, with the subject line “Fwd: (612.XXX.XXXX) 01:18 Voice Message.” It’s a voicemail. Oh, crap on a cracker, I think as I put in my headphones to listen to it. As I listen, I evaluate whether I can justifiably respond by email instead of calling the person back. Maybe the caller will leave an email address in their message, thereby giving me permission to respond by email. No such luck. Or, maybe it’s one of my students, who has questions that require web links or attachments?  Nope, it’s a parent–strike two. Even worse, they don’t specify their questions in their message– it’s just “I have some questions about the Montpellier program.” So there’s no chance I can just call and hopefully leave the answers on their voicemail. No, there is simply no way around it– I am going to have to have a phone conversation.

As I pick up the phone and dial the number, I can feel my heartbeat speed up and my body temperature rise. Why! I know I will have the answers, and more often than not, the parents I speak to on the phone are pleasant and thank me for answering their questions. This is the case today– the mother I speak to tells me I’ve been very helpful and thanks me for my time. There’s no rational reason to be nervous, but there’s just something about this method of communication that causes me stress. It’s infuriating.

A Good Day

This morning, I slept in, then I woke up, took a shower, went to look for some underwear to put on, and realized I hated all my bras and most of my underpants. I hate spending money on that stuff, so I always put it off until they’re all stretched out and misshapen and uncomfortable as heck. This morning, I decided I was sick of my bras riding up and my underpants being generally uncomfortable, so I threw away almost all of my old ones, and went to Target and bought all new ones. I don’t buy expensive underwear, at least not for every day wear, so it cost me under $100. Not too bad.

At Target I also got a cup of coffee at the Starbucks there. That was good except the guy who works there always says, “Thanks a latte!” It annoys the crap out of me. The first time it was kind of cute and funny, but I I’ve heard it many times since then, and I hate feeling obligated to force out a chuckle to be polite. Ugh.

But that was pretty much the low point of my day. When I got home, I put on a lovely, new, comfortable bra and sat down to work on formatting my thesis. I wanted to watch TV in the background, and nothing much was on, but Robin Hood (the new movie, with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett) was on HBO, so I put that on. I’d heard mixed things about it, but I ended up really liking it. I missed the very beginning and didnt pay complete attention to it, but I became interested and when I was done formatting, I just sat and watched it without doing anything else– something I rarely do!

She Knows Me Well!

Woaaahhhh, something totally weird just happened!

I’ve been thinking on and off all afternoon about going to get a coffee at the Starbucks on campus. I had pretty much decided against it, when one of my coworkers told me she was thinking of going, and asked if I wanted to go. So then I decided that yes, I would go. But then we remembered that the Starbucks closes at 2, and it was like 2:02. Bummer. So, obviously, we decided not to go.

Well, literally about 5 minutes later, someone came back to my cubicle to tell me I had a visitor who had brought me coffee!!! It was my friend M, who goes to grad school at the private college that’s just down the road from my office. She’d brought me an iced mocha!!  Soooo sweet, and total strange coincidence! And I love that she knows what my Starbucks beverage of choice is.