Someone at church Sunday asked me if I had plans for Easter afternoon. When I said "Not really," they gave me the standard pity-face that people who are, and have long been, part of a family, and who are extroverts, tend to give introverts when they say they are going to be alone.
I wanted to say, but didn't: "Don't be sad on my behalf; I'm actually looking forward to it."
Because I am. I guess I actually DO have plans, they just don't involve going anywhere. Either Friday or Saturday (I get Friday off and am grateful for that) I'm going to do a Sherman run, go to the better bigger grocery store there, buy some kind of special ingredients for a more-involved meal than I normally cook (right now I'm thinking lamb of some variety, if I can find some that looks good, and maybe do red cabbage from scratch, and make spaetzle to go with it, and I might even make a dessert, either baked custard or chocolate tapioca). And then on Sunday, I'm going to put on some nice quiet music and cook my meal and feel grateful that I sometimes have the time to cook, that I have the economic wherewithal to go out and buy something as expensive as lamb occasionally, and be grateful to my mother for teaching me to cook and teaching me to enjoy cooking and see it as a way of caring for people, even if it's just you you are caring for.
I think this is one of the ways that extroverts - which are supposedly the majority of the population - don't always understand introverts. (And I know there are many times I don't understand extroverts). For someone like me, an afternoon alone feels more like a blessing than a curse. I've said to a colleague of mine before - and I'm not quite sure he gets it - that sometimes I "run out of words" and just need to be where I don't have to talk to people or even, necessarily, be verbal at all. (That's why I knit and quilt as a hobby. Oh, granted, you do need to read patterns for those, but a lot of the time you're not dealing with words). And why most of the music I choose is instrumental. I mean, I love words - I wouldn't have a blog otherwise - but sometimes I just run out of them. Or, more correctly, don't feel like using them.
I think the other thing - and I remember explaining this to my pastor LAST year when he looked sad that I said I didn't really have plans for Easter - is that I'm around people SO MUCH (or at least, SO MUCH by my standards), that I need time to be alone and be quiet and be with my own thoughts. (He seemed to get that). For me, I need to be alone some times. I find things like family reunions kind of stressful - don't get me wrong, I love my whole extended family (and even LIKE most of 'em), but I just...there are just too many people, and the rooms get too small, and there are too many side conversations and too many subtexts and unspoken things going on and I get overloaded, especially in the small beach house where those reunions usually take place. (Though the good thing about it being a beach house: there's the beach. So when I start to get overloaded, I can say, "I am going for a walk on the beach" and usually I get to go alone, or at most, my mother or sister-in-law will tag along, but they are both people who understand that when I don't feel like talking, I REALLY don't feel like talking, so they don't try to talk to me.)
So I'm looking forward to this weekend. I think my plans are: Friday early, get the oil and filter change I've not had time to have done, then go to Sherman. In addition to the "stock up" trips to Target and Kroger's, I'm going to go one or two places purely for fun, maybe even go out to lunch. (Yes, I know: many people fast on Good Friday. I've never been able to do it.). Saturday I'm going to do some work here on campus, I have a journal article to review. And then Sunday, after church, I will cook my Easter dinner and also maybe do some sewing.