“This is one of those things,” he said. I wasn’t sure what he meant but I cocked my head to the side, inclining an ear, offering him to explain why the piles and piles of dishes in the kitchen were one “one of those things”. “Whenever I see this,” he continued, “I think, man that was a good night.”
I shared his enthusiasm, in a way. Because of his remark though, I didn’t hesitate to pass over the sponge and soap. “If you’re so jazzed about it, you do it,” I laughed. But truly, I do know what you meant, darling. These stacked plants and balancing cups were filled with food, with coffee, with wine — food that we made here in this kitchen with our own hands. There was probably jazz music floating through the house. I’m sure I pushed the cat off the counter a dozen times while I attempted to make hummus *hopefully she didn’t get a taste … no one wants cat tongue to have been in their snack*. And these things, this coffee, this food, sat in the bellies, on the laps, and in the hands of people, people who we love. It’s possible that before they arrived I was a bit in a frenzy, wondering what they’d think of the paw prints on the walls, the stain on the couch, or the dust in the corner. I may have distracted myself at first with stirring, pouring, or wiping something. I usually give myself just barely enough time to pull myself together as they walk through the door. To pray a silent plea that I would be able to put aside my self-centeredness. Sometimes God answers and by the time the early-comer (whoever they are) pops into the kitchen for a “hi,hello,howareyou?” I’m unaware of the mess I’m making or the things I haven’t done yet. Unaware enough to be completely present, utterly at ease.
We’re introverts, it’s true. The test … it said so. I do know that we never regret the days when we draw the curtains, put on a faux fire, and seldom move from the couch or utter a word. But I also know I LOVE people. Everyone, really … even the ones I don’t. I love that they’re all so different. I love that some connect while others don’t. I love that some like brussel sprouts and others are repulsed at the thought — how very intricate a God would create such intricate beings. I love what we all say about the God who created us. I even love awkward silences … you know the ones: that person has never been to your house before and neither of you particularly enjoys small talk. So you wait a while with a silly smirk and hope some topic interesting enough to last the night comes through the initial fret of disconnect. By the end of the night, you’ll probably be belly laughing and perhaps you won’t even remember what you were afraid of.
So thank you enneagram, Meyers Briggs, and all you other aptitude tests for the information … but don’t put me in your box.
And sometimes the fact that we deeply enjoy people gets in the way of our introvertedness, our desire for solitude and quietness. But who cares? There’s just no better feeling than being around people who make you feel at home and who feel at home around you. The tiredness afterward is even some sort of bliss. And I guess the dirty dishes aren’t so bad either. When we lock the doors after the lingering conversationist has put their shoes back on and wandered on to the rest of their evening, I grunt and grumble at the mess we’ve made. Leave it to my husband, the pessimism to my optimism and the liveliness to my tiredness, to show me it’s just another lens with which we can look at the beautiful life we live.