I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.
With each passing year, I’ve become more and more of an introvert. I’m the person at the wild party, hiding in a dark corner with her e-reader. It’s not that I don’t like people; I have friends. But if people aren’t in my circle of friends, I’d rather not talk to them – unless they’re serving me food or giving me money. In an ideal world, they’d do both without prompting. Unfortunately, I don’t live in that alternate reality.
It wasn’t until I was at the park with my kids that I realized how much of an introvert I’ve become. While my kids were playing, a little girl – probably eight years old, sat down at the picnic table with me. There was only one picnic table at this park so it’s not like she could’ve sat somewhere else.
I smiled at her and then continued watching my kids. Before I realized what was happening, this little girl started talking to me about anything and everything. My first thought was, “It’s talking to me. Why is it talking to me?”
She continued rambling on about whatever she was rambling on about. I looked her up and down. She was cute as a button with long, dark hair and big, brown eyes. And still, while I was looking at her all I could think was, “Does it have an off button? A mute button? How do I make it stop?”
I felt bad knowing these thoughts were lurking through my mind. She was obviously lonely. Her parent/care-giver was nowhere to be found. Then again, the park was located in the center of a residential community, encircled by a group of houses that all had windows/sliding glass doors facing the park. Her mother was probably standing at one of those windows, watching her through the scope of a sniper rifle, eyeing everyone her daughter spoke to with great suspicion and ready to pull the trigger on anyone who so much as sneezed on her child.
[Random Thought Alert!]
****It’s a good thing I remembered to take my allergy medicine before leaving the house.****
[End of Random Thought]
Obviously I’m only guessing on her mother’s whereabouts. But I feel my guess is within reason because that’s where I’d be if it was my child.
Eventually the girl found some other kids to play with and the chatterbox-talking stopped. I felt relieved and at peace with the world. Yet, I’m left wondering, am I a horrible person because I was uncomfortable with a child I didn’t know, trying to engage me with conversation?