On Being Shy

Most people who know me today, who haven’t known me my entire life, would never believe how shy I actually am.  I have spent my entire life pushing that shyness into a box deep inside me.  But I still am really really shy.

I was the hiding behind mom’s skirts kind of shy for a very very long time.  So shy that even family gatherings made me feel a little sick, especially if they were full of all sides of my family, such as my uncle’s families and the like.  I knew who they all were, more or less, but I could never remember all their names, or what I was suppose to call them, i.e. should I call Cousin X’s Aunt, aunt? Or is she not my aunt, so I should just call her Y? And I was always too shy to ask anyone, even my mother, the names of people I was suppose to know already and couldn’t remember.  So I would hide.  Behind my mother.  With the cousins I did know.

I think being shy is what leads, in some part, for me at least, to being Borderline Agoraphobic.  Its that same sort of sick feeling inside, slightly embarrassed, nervous, unsure.  What if I make a fool of myself?  What if I do know that one person and I don’t remember that I know them?  That has actually happened to me at work.  People have come to the office and have been all ‘Hi Robyn, How are you?’ and I fake my way through knowing who they are until I figure it out.  And strangly, its people that are coming to see me that I do this with the most.  I can almost always identify for my boss who someone is (he’s brain is worse than mine!) or if the CEO shouts out “Whose that guy we know at XXX?” I can tell him.  But if I run into some vendor of mine in the lobby of our main building?  I usually can’t remember who they are, unless I’ve met them at least 2 or 3 times.

In some weird way this is wrapping itself up in the way I feel about my cousin being here for a week.  For 99.999999% of it, I am so excited to see her I could die.  We haven’t seen each other in about 10 years, we’ve always gotten along great (including a truly memorable trip to London with her and our grandmother OMG 23 years ago) and I can’t wait to hear straight from the horses mouth what it is like to live in a country like East Timor, where she’s been for donkey’s years.  But that .0000001% of me is that little girl who wants to go hide behind her mother’s skirts.

That same part of me is floating around right now because I’ve just been assigned to represent NISP at both Science and Innovation Week organisational meetings, and for Darwin200 organisational meetings.  I know my role, event space offering, I know what I can tell them in terms of discounts vs donated space.  But my heart is in my throat at the idea that the Tuesday after I get back from holiday I have to walk into the meeting room they’ve booked at a City Centre Hotel and say “Hi, Robyn Fraser, from NISP.”

I know I can do it.  But I’m already terrfied.

I imagine I’ll be a wreck on the day.

And, darn it, due to huge economy drive at work?  They won’t let me get my own business cards.  Which would surely help!!!

I find myself, these days…

going more and more ‘crunchy granola’.

I use reusable bags for all my shopping.  I try to buy organic and free range and fair trade products.  I am considering buying a few of these.

I am not really doing it because I think I can save the planet.  I don’t really think the planet needs saving.  Or that we can save it.  I think the planet has been around for 100000000000000s of years and will be just fine on its own.

I do it because I prefer it.  I’d rather have a shopping bag that I can sling over my shoulder rather than one that I have to carry in my hands.  I prefer the taste of organic and free range.  I want to help my fellow man by making sure they get a fair price for their work.  And like the idea that these fold out to a placemat, since I often eat at my desk.

So I may appear ‘crunchy granola’ but I guess I am really not.

In other news, shoulder still oozing pus.  B pointed out last night, on IM, that I am deriving some bit of pleasure from telling people about my pussy shoulder.  She’s right.  Its fun grossing people out!

A Message for My Family who Read My Blog

My blog. My memories. My hyperbole about my childhood. Don’t like the way I do this? Get your own blog.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest…another quiet day here at work.  3 of 5 Senior Managers on holiday.  Phones dead.  no email.

So what am I doing with myself (besides writing in my blog)?  Cleaning.  Filing.  Shredding.  All the day to day office maintenance stuff that doesn’t get done when I have my full team here.

So I’d better get back to it…

Heard From Mom As She Travels Around China

Apparently it is awesome.  She and Step Dad are having a great trip.  They will be in Wuhan by Friday and then I should hear more.

I actually got to chat to her for about 1 minute, as I had popped online from work to check my personal email (which I do as a break from my work.  Boss knows.  Doesn’t care).  I usually keep myself invisible on GMail when I am at work as I don’t have time to chat, but I saw that Step Dad was online so I sent him an IM.  I figured I could be forgiven if I got caught at work, since they are in China!  Mom actually popped on using Step Dad’s ID and I more or less got the following message: –

Aren’t you at work? Why are you chatting?!?!?

Mothers!  I mean, I’m 39, and I just got scolded!!  Gee, I don’t know, maybe I’m chatting because my Mom is in China and I haven’t heard from her in a week and there she was, online!


So Today My Mother and Step-Father Start a Great Adventure…

They flew out of San Francisco to spend about a month in China.  The first week is a tour.  The rest of the trip is my Step-Father teaching English to Chinese people. He speaks not one word of Chinese.  But he already does this with some Russians in the States.  He should be excellent at it.

So good luck, Mom and Step Dad.  Can’t wait to hear all about it!!

Words Words Words

So, when I was about 12 or so, my mother more or less went on a crusade, the ‘Robyn is too old to call me Mommy crusade.” Every time I called her Mommy, she would tell me I was too old to call her that.

I hated that crusade. And to this day? I still call her Mommy on occasion. Because even at 39? Sometimes you still need your mommy.

And as for Dad versus Daddy? No matter how old I get, I’ll call him Daddy.

I don’t see anything wrong with calling my Mom Mommy or my Dad Daddy. What does age have to do with it? Is it childish? Perhaps. Is that automatically a bad thing? I don’t think so.

Interestingly, my 68 year old Mother still calls her dad, (who passed away about, gosh, 30 years ago?) Daddy when she is talking to her sisters about him. So I guess it is okay in her head for girls to call their fathers daddy until the end of time.

But not okay for boys to do so, as she also had a crusade against one of my brothers who still called my step-father daddy. (BTW, I am going to get a verbal spanking for calling these crusades. Mom’s gonna hate that word. Just so you know).

But they were crusades, nay obsessions, to stop myself and my brother from using Mommy and Daddy because we were too old. I still think its bullshit.

Of course, she has always called her mother Mother. Well, that’s not true. Because once my cousins and sibs started having children, my grandmother started to be called Grannie Annie by one and all. And we still call her this, years after her passing.

So, he will always be Daddy to me. And on occasion? She’ll still be Mommy.


Okay, Well

one goods night sleep is just not enough. Slept badly last night as well. Still feeling pretty ill.

So, as usual, I had a really good yarn with my mom on the phone today.  I talk to her most Sundays.

Today we mostly talked about being a mom versus being a grandmom.  You see, her mom wasn’t exactly the ‘milk and cookies’ kind of grandmom.  And I always wished she was.

My mom isn’t exactly the ‘milk and cookies’ kind of grandmom either mostly  because she believes in eating healthy and never gives out sweets!  Not even to her grandchildren (of which she has 10, and, technically, 1 great grandchild)!

As I said to her on the phone today, I get jealous.  Cuz she might be a pain in the ass as a mother, but she is a fantastic grandmother.  To which replied “I am not a bad mother!” to which I replied “I didn’t say you were bad, I said you were a pain the ass!”

This led to a conversation about dying.  And how she hopes that when she dies I don’t feel too sad because I will have come to terms with whatever is between us by then, like she did with her mom.  I said I highly doubted that would be the case, as we are much closer than she was with her mom.  Simon, who was overhearing this, yelled out “Tell her not to worry, we’ll build her a statue!” To which I replied, “You’ve got it backwards, she wants us to shrug our shoulders and say, ‘oh well, she’s dead!’ To which he replied “Tell her I already feel that way!!”

My mom was laughing so hard I thought she’d choke.

My mom is a good mom.  I was, shall we say, a difficult child and teenager (that snort you just heard was my step-father choking on his diet coke from the understatement.  It came from the direction of Florida).  In truth? I was a 100% grade A brat.  I am sometimes not sure how any of us survived.  But we did. Thanks to my mom.

So, thanks mom.  For putting up with me through those years.  For wanting to spare me any pain at your death (Oh, well, she’s dead!). And for understanding and laughing so hard at my husband.

Love you.