We had a new couple visit our small group last night. As such, we proceeded with all of the niceties that one would engage in with visitors.  Including The Introductions.  You know how it’s done- going around the circle with the perfunctory “Hey, my name is X.  This is my dear husband.  I have 2.5 beautiful and accomplished children.  And I work in a great job slash love every second of being a stay-at-home-mom.”  Okay, so there is nothing wrong with that.  And those kind of introductions are totally necessary at times.  But last night? It seemed all too shallow for me.

I blame it on my personality.  Because I’m an introvert (which I swear I didn’t realize until I married an off-the-charts extrovert), and we introverts don’t do small talk well.  I mean, I can do it.  After all, I did survive years of sorority rush.  But I don’t love it.  I’d much rather delve deep quickly.  I might not be great at shootin the breeze, but it takes no time at all for me to get personal and awkward.  Surely, this is a flaw in and of itself.

Anyway, back to the introductions.  We were moving quickly around the circle, and alas it was my turn.  I froze.  For some reason, in that moment, it all seemed so ridiculous.  I mean, does anyone really even care about our occupations and how long we’ve been married?  And does that sort of introduction even say anything about who I am?

I kind of love how AA does things with the whole “Hi, I’m Bob, and I’m an alcoholic” deal.  Because just cut to the chase.  Unfortunately, it isn’t entirely socially acceptable to extend my hand to a stranger and say, “Hey, I’m Catherine, and I’ve got issues.  Let’s chat.”

So, anyway, it was my turn.  I didn’t share my occupation.  Or even that I’m a hot mess (overtly at least).  When my turn came around, it went something like this:

“Well we’re Catherine and Matt.  We’ve been married 8… no, 9? 8?… uh, I think 8 years.  We have 3 kids and, well, I’m tired.  I’m just so tired.  I’m really tired, y’all.”

I cut myself off there.  And with that, I didn’t know if I should laugh with the rest of the group or cry in my exhaustion.  I think I did a bit of both.  I think they got the point though.  That we’re not perfect.  Some days, I don’t even know who I am anymore or what in the heck I’m doing.  And those dark circles under my eyes?  They’re there for a reason.

If the new couple doesn’t come back next week, everyone can blame it on the [tired] introvert.  But at least I offered a proper introduction.

2 Comments on cutting to the chase

  1. YESSSSS. I hate small talk, it is an inconvenient trait in a pastor’s wife. I am always one who would rather overshare and cut the crap and get to a real relationship. Go, girl!

  2. Oh I love this. Love it love it love. I wish people meant it when they asked “how are you?” and didn’t just expect a “fine, how are you?” back. Sometimes I do respond with a real answer…and I can tell it scares people.

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