If you saw me out in a crowd, you might think I'm a snob. I'd be the one standing slightly apart from everyone else, uninvolved and watching quietly. I would appear silent and separate from the herd.
Some people take this as a snobbish disinterest; nothing could be further from the truth. 'Cause in truth- I am watching everything. I am quietly absorbing every gesture, word and facial expression going on around me. I am making up background stories for the strangers in the room in my head. I am observing the human crawl. I am very involved, in my own way. When I'm in a room, I know more about every person in that room than they would ever imagine that I do- even strangers- out of simple close observation and lots of practice at human-watching. I can read emotions that you aren't even aware that you are showing in your physicality. I can tell lots about people from taking a lingering look at how they wear their clothing, their posture, the way they hold their heads when they stand. I am The Observer, and I am ALWAYS watching.
Always watching but, separate... because I never feel like one of you.
Not unless I've had a few!
Because when I get inebriated, the other side comes out. The Me that hides deep down inside, safe behind my many internal shells and walls and curtains and gates and land mines and force fields. Silly, funny, open and free. The Lady Joker, doing anything and everything to make my people laugh. This is a side of me that feels like a last, leftover piece of the original. And that definitely comes out with alcohol.
If you stood Drunk Me and Sober Me side by side, you would almost believe you were seeing 2 different people. And Drunk Me would be trying to make Sober Me laugh most likely, while Sober Me stood there tensely, wondering why the fuck this strange drunk lady is talking to her.
I hate to lean on alcohol for social lubrication, dammit. Not sure why it should it bother me, everyone else does it. And I mean everyone. I don't know anyone who doesn't drink, and they all drink about 10 times more than I do. Still, I hate having to use alcohol to bring out my open side. I hate that I have this overzealous defense mechanism when I am out amongst humans... to the point where I just can't feel relaxed w/out drinking. Because while I am always, always watching in general, specifically I am also always watching for The One That Will Do Me Harm. The potential mugger, rapist, murderer. Paranoid? YES. I am. But, I have survived some of these things already, so I am aware more than most that they are out there, among us, always... and more than half the time they look perfectly normal and harmless... the ones who are looking for prey or an easy victim. I know they are in every crowd I am in. It's an inevitable statistic.
So, my public tenseness is the tenseness of a gazelle watching for tigers, not the tenseness of snobbery or disinterest. This is one thing I wish that more people understood about me. It's a crowd thing. And to me- more than 2 is a 'crowd'. I am actually pretty great in one-on-one situations.
So, if you see me out there, try to understand. Or buy me a drink!
(but if you do- be forewarned, you may release the goofster!)