Ch.54 It’s a Good Thing We are Both Introverts
As of today (March 23, 2020) the state of Wisconsin is officially on “Safer at Home” status, which is a euphemism for “Shelter in Place,” which itself is a euphemism for “Don’t Leave Home or Else…” All because of the Covid-19 Corona virus that is threatening our lives while attacking the foundations of the American capitalist/consumer-based economy. Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work; shops are closed; the shelves of many stores have been stripped of paper products and groceries as everyone hunkers down for an unknown length of time.
Here we are, at home –just us with our collie Levi and our cat Blackie. We did sneak out for an hour today to conduct “essential business,” namely a trip to two banks to transfer funds from the first to the second. We headed to the drive through windows at each stop so as to minimize contact; then we drove almost straight home (with a slight detour to see some of our favorite woods) and I immediately washed my hands to decontaminate myself just in case the friendly bank tellers were actually unknowingly infected missionaries of doom.
This is a lonely time but fortunately Pat and I have been genetically prepared for moments like this. We are introverts. All our lives at parties we’ve watched with stunned amazement as our extroverted family members and friends tromp from one person or group to another and another, apparently immensely enjoying their nomadic journey, while we huddled in a corner hoping the birthday party or family gathering or conference “sharing time” would soon get over. It’s not that we envied the extroverts; we simply couldn’t comprehend their motivation. True joy, we figured, comes from reading together in bed, not from talking at you-can-smell-the-other- person’s-breath distances.
I don’t know how my extroverted associates will manage “safer at home.” Poorly, I’m guessing. But perhaps some of them will discover their inner introvert during this enforced separation period.
Meanwhile, Pat and I are getting along great and arguing less than ever. I realize now that many of our tense times occur when we are scheduled to be with others: doctor’s appointments, visits with friends, family events. One of us or the other doesn’t want to go on these activities in the first place or to stay very long once there. Not always, of course, but sometimes we become irritated before arriving, maybe sulk a little through the event, and then snipe at each other on the way home.
For Pat, less tension correlates with fewer Lewy Body symptoms. She seems a little happier now, although she does wake up some mornings thinking she should be doing stuff like taking care of others that would demand our leaving the house. She appears to be less depressed also, even though these cloud-filled days at the end of winter often trigger some signs of seasonal depressive disorder.
I do see a “moral” emerging from this essay. We need to honor our introvert more in the future, when this crisis is over. Don’t get caught up in too many events and activities; do leave extra time and space for couple’s time and personal solitude.
Pat’s comments on It’s a Good Thing We are Both Introverts:
I’m not as certain that it’s a good thing that we are both introverts.
My experience is more like—even introverts can differ about how they see and feel life events. I thoroughly enjoy Ron’s differences from me, although sometimes I wonder if he is not more morose than I. I like that we can have fun together, although I feel sometimes we forget to laugh and that’s also something good about us. That we can find the places where we laugh together. Overall, I think we do well together.