Oh look! An eagle!

Have you seen this commercial? It’s vintage 2005 for a British brand of canned salmon and a long time favourite of mine.

As I disclosed in my very first post, I’m an introvert. This seems to be incongruous with my public persona because I have a highly developed survival reaction that kicks in when I’m uncomfortable – distract everyone’s attention with humour.

My difficulty lies in knowing when enough is enough.

For example, a few months ago I was at a committee meeting where the start was delayed because we were waiting for quorum. Instead of sitting quietly and flipping through papers or playing with my phone (as everyone else was) I needed to start talking. I love comfortable silences, but this did not feel comfortable and I had an uncontrollable urge to fill it. In retrospect I really wish I could have controlled it, but I couldn’t, so I began to entertain.

I believe I started by complimenting the three female lawyers across the table. They were all beautifully attired and coiffed and I pointed out their distinction in a room full of rumpled health professionals. There were some chuckles and murmurs of agreement from the room and friendly banter with the lawyers. I could have successfully stopped there, but I didn’t.

I’m not really sure of all that transpired after that, perhaps I’ve blocked it out, but by the time the hold-ups had arrived at the meeting, I had most people laughing quite hard but I’m sure a few were wondering what my deal was. Some people went home thinking I should be doing stand-up, others went home and told their spouse about the crazy lady at their meeting.

I came home and told The Husband, “I should not be let out in public.” He agreed.

I still physically cringe over memories of another incident. I bumped into a friend and her partner in a drugstore parking lot. I was 6 weeks postpartum and had a raging infection from my c-section that had yet to be diagnosed. I was in extreme discomfort and looked like shit. Running into someone I knew was the last thing I wanted.

I probably should have been at Emergency, but instead I was out terrorizing the public.

My lovely friend has repeatedly assured me that she and her boyfriend (this was our first meeting) thought I was hilarious. I just remember going on and on about their adorable puppy, and naming dogs versus naming children, how this was my first time out in days and… well, you get the drift.

I was distinctly aware of my rambling and how much I just wanted to stop talking. Once again, it was an uncomfortable situation and the survival instinct kicked in. My exhaustion and raging immune system simply amplified the effect.

I think next time I feel this way I’ll just yell, “Oh look! An eagle!” and run in the opposite direction. Don’t be too alarmed if you’re with me when it happens.

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2 responses to “Oh look! An eagle!

  1. I’m *terrible* for doing this. I constantly have to remind myself that ‘dead air’ in a social setting is natural – not something that I’m solely responsible for solving.

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