People think that I am naturally outgoing and friendly. They are wrong. If you ever see me in a crowd of new people and pay attention behind the smile- I am shaking! So when I am faced with a situation where I surrounded by new people, I look for alliances quickly. I could have never made it on Survivor, I would have been much more like The Hunger Games where in the end when I’m supposed to betray someone to come out ahead, I find a way where we can both win.
I bond quickly, and open up slowly. I look for ways to test whether or not I can trust someone, and the fastest way for me to do that is to watch how they treat other people. With that being said, I like to watch people before I just invite them into my personal space. I watch The Tiger as people come and sit down next to him, and he finds a way to make conversation with them. It doesn’t seem to bother him at all that they are nearby or that he doesn’t know them. I guess this is what made it so easy for me to let him sit close to me. He is kind to everyone equally. I am not.
If you were to get on the train and round the staircase to where I sit… you would see a relatively normal site. I am sitting, just kind of watching people over my laptop. As I work, my hair falls in my face a bit, I may or may not have a giant pimple on my forehead (seriously- I am 36), but I am comfortable with my morning crew. I am smiling. I am as pleasant as I ever am. Pleasant has actually never been a word that was used to describe me. I am… skeptical. I am watching people, assessing them, coming up with an escape route out of here. Are you sick? Are you crazy? Will you try to talk to me about your medical ailments? Will I have to listen to you talk to your girlfriend on the phone? Am I going to sit here and think about lines from Throw Mama From The Train? These are the things that go through my head.
My pleasant watchfulness, however, can transform in about 3 seconds, I can see it. Someone gets on the train and they are eyeing the seat next to me. I won’t make eye contact. But out of the corner of my eye, I see them decide they are going to approach me. I am trying to talk myself into talking to strangers, but my comfort zone disappears. I try to be friendly, but as you can see, my look is more like amused attitude. I make it work, maybe. Honestly I think I make people uncomfortable. Perhaps in some way they know that I am blogging about them. Perhaps they are scared of the giant adult acne happening on my forehead. Perhaps I have a terrible case of RBF. I am not sure, but the truth is, if they are pleasant people, then I want them to feel at ease near me. “Hi, how are you?” My Texas accent comes out much more
The real problem is much worse. What happens when I IMMEDIATELY don’t think you should sit by me. You have a screaming child, you have awful perfume/cologne, you are already on your phone, you clearly have an attitude, then I become instant Bon Qui Qui. “Oh you wanna sit here? There are 500 seats open on the train and you want sit here? Ok.” My mom can sigh a breath of relief that I don’t actually say it… but you know I have facial expression Tourrette Syndrome. I try to control it. I really do…. but as you can see on the picture. I fail.
Luckily this morning, my table mate is pleasant, she stays in her own space. She laughs at our jokes, she can stay. I think I like her.