As I pack my bag for a swim meet weekend I realize that if I play my technology, books and work projects right, I may not have to engage in any conversation I don't want to. I am not anti-social. I just don't do well in forced social situations.
I used to feel guilty about not getting excited about over the top celebrations, being utterly content with small gatherings of close friends and "settling" for a quiet dinner on my birthday. Surprise parties, vacation cruises and extravagant jewelry bought to mark a milestone are not important to me. Oh, I'll take them but they'll mean more to me if they are given out love, interest or desire and not simply because of a social ritual (click for link.)
I am not denouncing social rituals across the board. There are ones that reach out and grab me but there are others I can simply do without.
I love that my husband asked me to marry him in a rowboat on the Eibsee at the base of the Zugspitze (click for link) and had a ring to back it up. I love the markets, the lights, the festivities of Christmas Eve and waking up at home on Christmas morning. I love being beside my daughter each night until she falls asleep (or I fall asleep first).
The ritual of hauling the clan from house to house on Thanksgiving to eat turkey or on December 25 to eat ham because the calendar says were are supposed to, I can do without. Who has time for family drama because you couldn't make it to a baby or wedding shower or mailed a birthday card out late?
Fortunately, this weekend's swim meet conversations are not forced and I enjoy them immensely. After 5 hours, however, I am ready to revert to my homebody ways and stick my nose in a book, my Google Reader or a round of Word with Friends.
And I do.