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Living with Poly Introverts
The Goddess of Giggle speaks:
Hi, It's me... The extrovert. I thought it might be interesting to comment on what it is like to be the only adult member of our family who does not consider themself an introvert. It can be rough at times, and perhaps life would be easier for me if I had been sane enough to choose other extroverts as mates -though, I have a sneaking suspicion that at least one of my spice is a closet extrovert- but I've never been of the opinion that we have a heck of a lot of control over just whom we fall in love with.
Life can get interesting with a mix like ours. For instance, when all four of us are pissed off, the three introverts scatter off to three separate corners of the house faster than roaches from light, and the solitary extrovert stands dazed in the middle of the room, hair still blowing from the breeze of their exit. The extrovert (me) then sputters insanely with this urgent need to TALK IT OUT. It's like being eight months pregnant with no toilet in sight.
So, you think I'm done? Not even close! Just try to shut me up. That's another thing. I like to talk, chat, shoot the shit, however you want to see it. I like it a lot. Not just the sound of my own voice, I'm an interaction junky. You know, mindless banter, intellectual conversation, lovey dovey (yuck, yuck), punch drunk silliness that makes you giggle until your belly aches, all of it. When I don't get enough of it, I go into an emotional funk. I need it like most people need vitamin D from the sunlight. Everyone else in the house craves vast swatches of time alone to do… ummm… alone type stuff like reading (which I sneak in when someone is in the shower before bed and stuff) and writing, and drawing, etc. Because of this, I flit around the house prowling for someone to glance up from their book or artwork so that I can say “Hey, watcha readin?” or “Can I see the drawing?” I certainly have things that I like to do and need alone time for, but they just don't seem to consume as much of my time.
It's not that I need to be the center of attention, because I'm perfectly content to sit amongst my family (or any group of folks) and listen to the activity until a topic comes up that I have a keen interest in. I just like having bodies around me, preferably of the living sort, and human… humanness is important, too.
The other night, one of my husbands came ambling into the living room. We all had our bowls of ice cream treats and hubby says “So, what are we going to watch?” My response, “Each other.” Awkward silence ensues. Images of my hubby letting loose with the eerie cry of Mr. Bill run through my head, “Oh NOOooooooo”. Sorry about the obscure Saturday Night Live reference for those of you that are too young, or who have never had an interest in spending your Saturday nights watching inane comedy. It simply amazes me that social interaction can seem to foreign. It's what I've craved all my life.
So, what is an extrovert to do when even three spice don't fill your social needs? Take Karate! It's the perfect solution. Not only do I get to meet a bunch of new people, but I'm learning some great self defense techniques, getting in better shape and gaining a sense of accomplishment with each achievement. And if that's not enough, I get to go do something that helps me take out all the aggressions that can come up with multiple spouses. I mean, we all know what a pain in the neck ONE can be, imagine three. If you don't live it, surely you can imagine .
Finding some social activity outside the home is a great idea. It gives my spice time to be solitary and I'm still surrounded by people. It's also important for that activity to be flexible enough to alter if something comes up within the family, and they need me be with them.
I don't always cope with the inequity of need for together time very well. But, I try to be understanding and find other ways to occupy myself. When it really becomes too much to bear, then I make a pain of myself. I have even been known to demand time together without any suggestion or even care of how that time will be spent. This, of course is not the most harmonious way to get my needs filled, but there are times when I feel I have no other option than to be as subtle as a lead brick aimed directly between the eyebrows.
When it comes right down to it, there is no happy conclusion to this. I shall always be what I am, and they shall always be as they are. Truly, I wouldn't want it any other way. But, this will be a challenge for us as long as we remain a family, and no amount of discussion and openness will change it. We can only be respectful of those differences and show deference to the needs that crop up as a result.
Today, I run about babbling while my spice contemplate their navels… Tomorrow, I'll stand sputtering while my spice spit curses in isolation… and Next week, I'll joyfully revel in the evening gatherings around the dinner table or curled up and cuddled in the living room. And so… the story goes on,
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