the gregarious homebody

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's interesting to me that personalities can change depending on who you're with. I'm speaking specifically about how I am with my New York Family. For many many years I was quiet, attentive, and quick to agree. I was so focussed on getting them to approve of me, to like me, to take me in to their family, that the irony is that the Me they were starting to (maybe) like wasn't M at all. While I do like to think of myself as attentive (at least most of the time), those other descriptions weren't about Me at all.

I am loud and sacracastic. I am opinionated. I am passionate. I am a hugger and a huge laugher. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I will LOVE YOU if you let me. That's how my friends know me and that's how PA Family knows me.

Slowly, slowly over the years I've been letting the Real Me out of the bag with the NY Family. My fabulous nephews know the real Me. My wonderfully sarcastic brother-in-law knows me and I'm so happy to say that one of my sisters-in-law has come to know Me and actually likes Me (and me her). But the Others in the family are starting to see Me and I don't know if they feel the same way. Why? Because I have become The Incredible Hulk.

I'm just barely speaking metaphorically. Barely. It's like when I get in the room with them, the shirt of my personality starts to strain under the pressure of niceness I was forcing myself to display. I start out pleasant enough, asking everyone how they are, etc., and then one of them says something *instructive* or condescending and something inside me roars. And while I'm searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have... an accidental overdose of gamma radiation interacts with my unique body chemistry and I become maybe not so much The Hulk, but instead

Sarcastic and Profane Girl!

WHAM! ZAP! POW! I'm throwing zingers left and right, talking like I was raised in a biker bar, and shooting down ideas I would normally totally agree with! I can't seem to help myself. The actual parts of my personality have been blown up to 1000% and I don't even like it.

Luckily Handsome Husband seems to enjoy this side of me. I think so anyway (although I must must must curb my talking about one of his sisters as some kind of Demon Spawn. That *might* be going too far). I think that maybe, just maybe, I'm getting away with things that he's wanted to do and say his whole life. Maybe I'm speaking for both of us. Or maybe I'm just obnoxious. This has occured to me.

I think next time we're together with the NY Family, I'm going to try my best to just listen. To not insinuate myself into every conversation to argue about it and to refrain from saying "Eat me" to anyone. I'm not going to NOT be Me, but maybe I'll give HH the floor and see if his inner Super Hero comes out. I hope it's
Take-THAT! I- AM- Good- Enough-in- Fact- I'm- Better than -You -People Man!
Now that I'd like to see.


The Handsome Husband said...

I agree with your observations and I do enjoy listening to the interactions with my family.

As for my inner super hero- well, I'll work on it, but I do enjoy just sitting back and know that in my life, I like seeing why I don't interact that much with half of the NY crowd. I feel comfortable being me in NY. I do love the fact that I have grown alot closer with my nephews and the other half of the NY crowd.

jozette said...

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. When I feel (well, felt, really as i'm getting divorced) uncomfortable around my in-laws (my new jersey family) i would be totally obnoxious. And like, they're not. And it was like, i would step outside of myself and see that i was being obnoxious, but somehow i couldn't stop it! so, i feel ya. i really do.

jen said...

Does this story not bode well for me and my marriage, Jozette?? Nah. My husband's a good guy, alien that he is. I swear, I say all the time that he was hatched from an egg that my MIL found and raised. As a result, he only has those "nuture" characteristics (like being a tad instructive and anal) rather than the "nature" ones of BEING NO FUN AT ALL.

The funniest thing (Ha-fuckin-ha) is that They probably spend very little time thinking about me at all but I obsess.


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