What the Hell Is Going On?

For the last few months I have maintained a running joke with The Mrs. In short, I believe that she has been replaced by an alien.1 She has been craving foods like sweets that she doesn’t normally care about. She has been warm to the touch. She has actually complained about being too warm. She’s been doing things which are just not in character.2

Kettle, meet pot.

I too have been manifesting some strange new characteristics lately. I have been abnormally optimistic. I’ve been relatively happy for an extended period of time. I have jumped at the chance to try new things. I have been optimistic about trying new things and happy when I try them!

Now all of this is plenty strange enough, but this past weekend I realized something so out of character that I checked the back of my neck for a stem attachment. I was outgoing.

Not just forced-into-a-social-situation outgoing. Not speaking-in-front-of-a-group-at-a-convention outgoing. Not social-awkwardness-drowned-in-sweet-sweet-bourbon outgoing. I actually struck up a conversation with random strangers.

All right, that is not totally honest. I struck up a conversation with people who were sitting around me at the Neil Gaiman signing.
3 This was actually a fairly safe situation as I knew that we all had at least one thing in common, we were all fans of Neil Gaiman. The odds were in my favor that the people around me would also be interested in fantasy, science fiction, Doctor Who, comic books, and a number of other things which I shared an interest in.

Still, talking to people. That’s a pretty big step for me.

I have spoken before about how one of the great things about fandom it its ability to draw people together. I had a great time talking to those around me. We discussed
Doctor Who, Firefly (the woman sitting next to me had a daughter whose middle name was Jayne -- like the Hero of Canton), Once Upon A Time, classic fairy tales, the importance of introducing young people to science (that same person was very please that her daughter had chosen Physics Camp as a Girl Scout activity), and of course Gaiman’s works.

The weird thing is not that I enjoyed myself, but that at no time did I feel weird or awkward.

Maybe I am maturing. Maybe I am slowly losing my shell of introversion. Maybe I will walk up to you on the street some day and engage you in conversation.

Just don’t be surprised if I start screaming and pointing at you.

1 Probably a pod person. This could have totally been prevented if I did a better job of maintaining our yard.

2 This is the same person who wears sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt in the summer.

3 Read more about that

4 Such a big step that I paused in the writing of this to take one of those computer quizzes to test my social awkwardness. According to it, I am totally average (not painfully introverted). In fact, I was almost at the perfect midpoint of the bell curve.