I’m not good with people. That may sound funny, but it’s true. I’ve been burned one too many times. And, I take from my dad – I lose patience in stupidity quite quickly. And I have a hard time hiding when I’m annoyed. I try. Well, I’m trying. I am.
Those little quirks make it hard for me to feel welcome places. I know I’m not a good conversationalist. I know that I can be awkward. I know I’m not good at making friends. So, I’m always judging myself harshly. I always think that I’ll say something stupid. And I’m very, very, very bad at small talk.
That is why, I’d much rather spend the evening doing nothing with someone I’m comfortable with – than trying something new and exciting with someone new. And why I have a very small circle of close friends.
My favorite person is my cousin & best friend, Principessa. We are nine months apart and grew up very close – and have grown closer in the past two years. I am ‘auntie’ to her little girl and spend lots of time with them both. With her, I am always comfortable. I don’t feel the dread of saying something wrong. I’m happy and content. She doesn’t make me feel stupid or unimportant because I don’t have kids. She values my thoughts and opinions and is readily available to give me advice when I need it.
But, the other night, we were gathered together and Principessa had invited another cousin over – one who is 10 years older than us and has a 3 year-old boy. And, let me tell you – it was made very clear that I was not welcome to join in their conversation.
Every time I would open my mouth – Other Cousin would point out – “Well you don’t have kids.” EVERY SINGLE TIME! I get it. I’m very aware of the fact that I have no children. But sorry for having questions and/or opinions! I don’t think it’s wrong to have opinions. I mean, I’m sure my opinions will change when (or if) I ever have children – but I don’t criticize or shut down people who think they know what it’s like to work in an office – or to be married – or to have a houseguest for an extended period of time. I just listen. Why is that so hard?
But, it’s not something new. I’ve always felt like I had to catch up. I wasn’t good enough because I was so much younger. Then, I wasn’t dating. When AMP and I got married, I caught up a little – but then, everyone started having kids, and now, I’m back to being the shunned one. The one “who doesn’t get it because she doesn’t have kids.” Thanks for that. I’ll just go crawl away into my childless hole and stop bothering you.
This post is inspired by prompt no. 4 – Tell us about a time you didn’t feel welcome – at Sleep is for the Weak’s Writing Workshop.