This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Obligations to others have been filled until next week. The child is in daycare. The wife is at work. School starts back up in a week and a half. The delicious feeling of having whatever you want, or nothing at all, rest on your plate. So many things are enticing, but then, there is still a lot of work to do with you. You are still a pretty messed up self, the kind of self that may end up in hell or being reborn into a life of even greater sorrow and misery.
It’s hard to be a good person when you have to put down the books and the thoughts, and go out among people. All of a sudden, the worst of you comes out. Your selfish, attention-seeking mouth starts to run longer than it should, and it talks more about you than the the other person. You begin to see everyone around you as a competitor, and think that you could have easily done their job but better, or that whatever is coming out of their mouths you can top with more important knowledge.
It can probably be graphed, that moment in the social engagement when you peak–usually about thirty minutes into the discussion. You go from being too quiet and shy, to seeming interested enough in what others are doing and saying, to appropriately sharing in a balanced way some of yourself, to trying too hard and saying too much–trying to crack too many jokes and impress others with how much bigger your brain is than it really is.
You know that you should start to think about leaving, but now, something in you has been satisfied–another human outside of your family has smiled and nodded at you and you take this to be validation of your very existence and every single idea you’ve ever had that you’ve wanted to communicate with the rest of the world.
“I could get used to this being sociable business!” you cry to yourself, barely too yourself. “Why, the next thing I know, I’ll be rubbing shoulders with really important people who happen to know people who know people that know the people I’m talking to.”
But, the rest of the group is not finding you to be the most incredibly amazing human being to walk the face of the earth since Jesus. They have other plans and things to attend to. You have to get a grip on yourself. Oh, how you hate goodbyes after you think you’ve made some kind of deeper connection with people for the first time in years. You know that an engagement like this won’t happen again for years to come. You’ll crawl back into your hole of books and thoughts, and these socially adjusted folks will make plans to meet again without you. Thank God you are no longer on Facebook to witness that happening.