Don’t make a fuss

Quinn Cummings, that girl who was in that movie — you remember, right? — might be happier if maybe you didn’t remember:

My partner, Daniel, insists that I am — and I quote — an “antisocial freak.” I counter that with “no, I’m a contented introvert,” leading him to suggest that’s precisely how an antisocial freak would describe herself. Either way, it is safe to say I’m the sort of person who would consider being loudly noticed by a stranger in public a thing best avoided, like exposure to SARS or a Jimmy Buffett concert. And yet, when you’ve been in the public eye, no matter how briefly, no matter how long ago, you will be noticed from time to time for the rest of your life. After three decades, you’d think I’d be better at this former child actor thing, but I’m not.

There is, of course, no cure:

Modern American culture assumes extroversion is the default setting for human interaction. It looks at us as an undifferentiated mass of life forms, longing for the next new moment in the spotlight, the next boisterous barbeque, or the next holiday party crammed to the rafters. Some of us are indeed like that. But many of us, probably from within days of conception, are hardwired to warm up slowly, need fewer people, and be easily overwhelmed.

Yea, verily. I never really wanted my fifteen minutes of fame, and stretching it over a twenty-year period doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Yet here I sit, pounding away at the keyboard for the umpteen-thousandth time. What makes it work, I think, is that I don’t actually have to knock on doors and hand out copies of whatever it is I’m typing.


  1. fillyjonk »

    4 June 2015 · 7:14 am

    Oh, so very true. I’ve frequently quoted Satre’s “Hell is other people,” and while he didn’t QUITE mean it like I mean it, it still fits.

    I like people but they tire me out. I can spend longer periods of time with fewer people but something like a big party has me trying to figure out the most quick and gracious exit strategy.

    I’ve told people, “I’m an introvert and I don’t need ‘fixing'” but a few people I know can’t quite understand that.

    I wonder if anyone’s studied noise tolerance in extroverts vs. introverts. I know my tolerance for noise is *extremely* low, to the point where I mutter about “insensitive jerks” if someone leaves a loud car idling in a neighbor’s drive.

  2. Captioned »

    4 June 2015 · 9:42 am

    Performing musically is much like this. People prefer to assume on your time and personal interests rather than just sit back and listen to what is being said. While it’s something of a ‘needs affiliation’ on the behalf of such people, affirming such preconceived nonsense as to how I got ‘into music’ chafes against the laborious hours, months and years it took, introspectively-speaking, that it took to attain the proficiency being ‘admired’. That I choose to be somewhat scarce from the evolving musical ‘scene’ in Oklahoma is not without some benefits. The most often heard comment, ranging from music store patrons to symphonic professionals is “I had no idea you were that good!”, is a good indicator that I’ve not only met and exceeded such mundane expectations, but that I’ve perforated a few preconceived expectations in my time. Not only that, but when I’m not carrying the recycles and spent wrappers and leftovers from the refrigerator, or picking up the used dog food in preparations for mowing the yard, I live a quiet sort of existence so that I can hear Mel Ash’s “lost songs of the infinite”, rather than being ceaselessly entertained and/or distracted by the latest video smog perpetuated by a proverbial “500 channels, and nothing’s on” scenario. The next most oft-heard nonsense is “At least you’re doing what you love!”, which has to be the furthest from the truth you could imagine. What actually is taking place is my interest in seeing if anything happening on-stage (or off) will turn out as I intended, akin to pulling a rabbit out of a hat. This is not be confused with morbid curiosity, but you can see it from here..

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