Introvert or Extrovert: Do I Have to Pick?

Ah! I keep forgetting I have a blog! Because it’s summer!

It’s hard to think that two weeks ago we were still quarantining pretty hard, because now suddenly life is on, and it’s on times 200.

The past week has been all end-of-year parties, barbecues, out-of-town friends, photoshoots, picnic parties, lunch dates, and watching Rocco while he watches the neighborhood kids in our backyard.

The first social event left me wanting to sit in a dark closet for the rest of the evening. When I tried to sleep that night, it felt like I was riding the scrambler at the fair, with faces and conversations jumping out, whizzing away, jumping out, whizzing, away. I lay there analyzing everything I said, worried I offended someone or thinking of something funnier I could have said. I replayed things other people said to figure out what they really meant. I obsessed about whether I wore the tank top and ultimately decide that no, I did not wear the right tank top. I want a redo! I knew exactly which tank top I’d wear.

This used to happen in The Beforetimes, too. I had just forgotten how exhausting it can be.

My therapist says I have social anxiety. Me? Social anxiety? I’m the one who’s planning half these things! She also says I’m an introvert. Me? I love being around people! I was Homecoming Queen! Homecoming Queens aren’t introverts!

She repeats back all the stuff I just told her: the inability to sleep after parties, the over-analysis of conversations, the wanting to sit inside a closet after social events, the relief when parties get canceled, the crankiness that quarantine is over.

“Oh,” I say. “Huh.”

She says I’m an introvert with some fairly extroverted tendencies, but how does she know I’m not an extrovert with some fairly introverted tendencies? How could one tell the difference? I feel more like half and half, and my two halves constantly battle each other.

The Extrovert: Plan a big BBQ! It will be fun! You’ll love it!

So I do. And then the other half starts talking.

The Introvert: Well way to go. You ruined another perfectly quiet, calm evening you could have spent watching Star Trek reruns with your family.

Then the BBQ happens and I thoroughly enjoy myself. As the last guest leaves…

The Extrovert: See? I told you you’d love it!

Three hours later, lying awake in bed…

The Introvert: See? I told you this would happen.

They’re worse than the kids. At least when the kids fight, I can separate them. Or plan a date night to escape them. Or yell, “Popsicle time!” to distract them.

But alas, they can’t be separated, they show up to date nights, and the popsicles aren’t working.

Anyway, I was just wondering if you want to come over for a BBQ? It will be awesome! You’re going to love it! I already know which tank top I’m going to wear!

Black bean burgers
Cotton candy grapes
Ice cream sandwiches

Status Quo

Heeeeyyyy, it’s me with nothing to blog about. I guess I’ll give you the status quo for all the Mouthies?

Vincenzo continues to be the most chill human being on the face of the earth.  He is surprised on a daily basis to realize he missed another homework assignment. Every day. No idea. He’s indifferent about pretty much everything—except computers. When I have a computer problem, it’s now Vincenzo who helps me with it. Kevin is getting nervous, as I will soon have no more use for him. Vincenzo comes alive about 9 at night, when his friends log on to play games with him, and we hear him laughing, getting excited, despairing—we hear him emoting. The other time he comes alive is when he’s with his younger cousins, who still worship him as their god. He is a fair and just ruler, and more importantly he can lift the heavy logs.


He is also a very good sport.



Rocco continues to be the loudest Mouthy. He’s also the fastest, finishing an hour’s worth of homework in ten minutes. Quality is of little concern, unless it comes to Lego boats, which Rocco spends hours and hours working on. He’s always happy, which makes it hard to get after him. It takes a lot of lecturing and taking away of things to make him doing anything other than smile at us and laugh at himself. We try our best. I don’t want to write too much about him because there will be a graduation post coming up plus a birthday blog in July, so we must ration our Rocco ramblings.


All traces of Leo’s snuggly cuteness have given way to random silliness, and it is physically impossible to get a picture of him smiling like a normal human being. He walks out of his room doing monkey arms and making a bug-eyed face, stomping around the living room and asking what’s for breakfast in a slow-motion voice. The neighbor girl has been teaching him and Rocco how to jump rope, and now Leo has decided to teach his neighborhood friends how to jump rope—and not just for fun, but for pay. He is very persistent and will not take no for an answer, so now we have to pay him to play with his friends. Fortunately, he accepts video game bucks.


Wait—actually he did smile normally for a picture! Unfortunately, it was while sitting on a free toilet someone left on our block, so it doesn’t count.


Kevin only went to the office that one day, and now he’s back in the cloffice, which, BTW, looks like this now!


We’re still finishing up some details, but I’ll post befores/afters in another post. Or maybe I won’t. Who knows? I’m a loose cannon!

Anyway, I asked Kevin what he wants me to write about him and he said, “Just now I was trying to figure out how to use boto files for a owned test account. I didn’t know how to do it so I searched internally for someone who could help, and my name showed up as the foremost expert on it.” So that’s where he’s at. (If you know anyone who knows more about boto files than he does, please post in comments.)

Me: I’m still writing stories, with no publication plans in sight. I moved my woodland creatures into summer, where they sneak each others’ cucumbers and try to turn rivers into swimming holes. Here’s the beginning to the swimming hole story that I can’t use but it’s too good not to share.

“This is the year it’s going to work,” Squirrel said.
”Darn right it is,” Mouse said.
”Dam right it is!” Squirrel replied, because that’s what they were making.  A dam.

It’s so hard to hold myself back sometimes.

Beef sukiyaki