Or at least parts of it. The parts when I was shy and awkward. I used to be a very friendly, open kid who’d make friends anywhere. But after a few negative experiences dealing with the kind of casual cruelty that kids specialize in, I became a lot more hesitant about approaching people and spent quite a few parties hiding out in corners. I outgrew that over time and have had relatively few awkward moments in my adulthood as far as interacting with strangers, but today at the Mystery Writers of America/Sisters in Crime holiday party at M is for Mystery Bookstore, I had about an hour of pure, agonizing shyness, straight out of grade school. I clutched my glass of wine with one hand, Dave’s arm with the other and felt my heartrate speed up as I began to hyperventilate and wonder what the hell I was doing there. I vanished behind a long row of bookshelves and tried to get control of my breathing and stop myself from making a hasty escape back to the car.
It got better. A very kind woman, Susan S. (webmistress for MWA) took me under her wing and introduced me around to a few people. The ice melted, my breathing returned to normal and I ended up having a great time. Sold a few books, bought some and had them signed by the authors, and am really looking forward to the next SinC event. But tonight was an object lesson to me that we may grow older, but we never really leave our childhood behind, both the good bits and the bad.
The more people there are the shier I get. I keep quiet and just look and listen. I’m better in groups of 2 – 4.