I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it would appear that I am losing the few social skills I possess.
For example, two days ago I walked into an eyeglass store in the mall and a nicely dressed, very pleasant employee immediately approached me and said, “Thank you so much for coming in! We have so many great fall specials going on! Now what can I help you with today?”
And then I turned to her and squawked, “Me needy glasses, yo.”
The reason I’ve apparently lost my ability to communicate is because for the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent my days in near isolation. After I drop the boys off at the curb at school, I then head back to my house where I spend my day trying to write. And by “trying to write,” I of course mean eating peanuts, watching ugly babies on YouTube, and loudly reenacting highlights of my high school prom with my cat Dickens. (Trust me, it’s how all of the Pulitzer Prize winners do it.)
However, it’s obvious that all of this alone time is starting to make me a little strange. Like last week when I went to volunteer in Jack’s kindergarten classroom and his teacher said, “Jack tells me you’re doing a lot of writing! How’s that going?”
And I said, “Oh, let’s just say that after spending so much time at my desk, I totally know why most writers become insane alcoholics. Not that I am! Insane, anyway. At least not yet! Ha, ha, ha! Oh, God, I’m so lonely.”
(Embarrassing, yes, but at least that got me out of volunteering for the rest of the year.)
Last night, after I jumped on my husband as soon as he walked in the door, he finally suggested that I make some changes to my routine. “I think it’d be a great idea for you to get out more,” Chris said after I regaled him with a breathless 10-minute long recap of how I was able to remove a pizza stain from my shorts. “I mean, did you talk to anyone today?”
“Of course I did!” I answered. “I talked to TONS of people! Like this morning I spent five minutes talking to Larry, and then this afternoon I spent three minutes talking to Little Dude. Blah, blah, blah! So…much…talking!”
“That’s good, but who are Larry and Little Dude?”
“Hello? Larry’s the guy who cuts our lawn and Little Dude’s that garbage man who’s missing an eye and two fingers? The swarthy guy who smells like whiskey vomit? Anyway, they’re both really great conversationalists, and I know Little Dude may not look it, but he’s very knowledgeable about foreign policy. And, um, landfills. What? What are you doing? Why are you emailing my mother?”
So as of today, it looks like I’ll be trying to have at least one lunch date a week with someone who doesn’t live in my house. I think it’ll be a good thing for my already shaky sanity and my rapidly disappearing social skills, but I just hope my cat and my garbage man don’t miss me too much.
After all, I know how lonely they can get.