Weekend!

Last weekend it was technically possible to run errands in a non-crazy fashion. Show up at Costco first thing, and it wasn’t so bad. Get to PetSmart before noon, and you could find a parking spot close enough to the store. Sure, you didn’t want to hit the mall, but you didn’t feel that way about Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

That part of the year is now over perilously close to gone. I think that it might be safe to get to Costco at 10AM and then hustle over to the other important stores… but by, oh, 2PM? Thunderdome.

Worse than that, we’ve now entered the part of the year where there are Holiday Party Obligations. The potlucks that they have at work are fine. Hey, you’re going to be eating anyway. Maybe someone will bring some of those crockpot sausage thingies.

But then… there are the work holiday parties. Everybody goes and sits in the same room. We mingle. We hang out with our spouses and our work spouses at the same table and go out of our way to avoid talking about anything that we’d usually only talk about at work or only talk about at home. The engineers each get a look on their faces when we see them considering saying something, but the spouses at the table give them a look. The holiday parties of friends. The holiday parties of family. The holiday parties at the various houses of worship.

I imagine that this time of year feels different for extroverts than it does for introverts. I would hope that it does, anyway.

So, this weekend, I have a work party and three sets of errands to run (today is also the second of two potlucks). I believe that there was another event scheduled for this weekend, but we talked about it and decided that discretion was the better part of valor and bowed out. I also need to get some shopping done. (The nephews, you see.) Two men enter, one man leaves.

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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11 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. All that remains for me of the semester is the entry of grades (which now hinges on someone with an extra-time accommodation having got their exams done before today) and graduation tomorrow.

    Sunday is the “Family Christmas” at church; I am on the hook for making meatballs but that’s okay, I get fed at it.

    Monday I leave for an extended break to go visit family. There may be a lot of things to dislike about being in higher ed these days, but getting off for Christmas a week before the actual holiday (rather than the night before, like my sister-in-law the chemist does) is not one of them.

    I’m peopled out – too many last minute requests, too many last minute problems. I’m glad I’m getting some time off and can (mostly) drop my responsibilities. (Here’s hoping neither of my parents gets injured this year – last year my mom fell on some ice and wound up cracking a rib, and so any Christmas we actually did – having a tree, having Christmas dinner – was on me, as my dad’s arthritis is too bad for him to do much)

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    • “but getting off for Christmas a week before the actual holiday”

      Sigh… I’m jealous as we do not get off until the 22nd. But then we have TWO weeks.. paid. Oh the glory. And even the 22nd is a lot better than 7 pm on Christmas Eve, which was my retail life b/f academia…

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      • Yeah, there have been years my sister in law has had to work up to afternoon on the 24th. Now she has a bit of seniority (and is their NMR whisperer, so they want to keep her happy) she can usually get the 24th off, and maybe a day or two before. (My brother works from home, so it’s not quite the same for him).

        The other nice thing about getting off earlier (and going back later – I don’t have to go back until after the 1st) is that I can travel when not-everybody-else is.

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  2. The move is done, internet has been restored(ish), house rewired, business is letting clients deal with the holiday, I am actually sleeping past 4am for the first time in months, unpacked enough to be livable, no rain or snow… I might actually be free this weekend!

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  3. There’s also a thing on Sunday at 6, but that’s just with our little huddle of 2 sets of couple friends and their kids.

    (Which means it sneaks under my introvert threshold but not @jaybird’s, if anyone’s curious.)

    The thing that got canceled on Saturday, hon, was a thing you didn’t have to go to anyway, and I’m both grateful and bummed about missing your work party tonight b/c I have to work (but give all those engineers et alia my love).

    On the other hand, we have a movie date (just the two of us) to go to Star Wars at 10:30 on Sunday, which hopefully won’t be as crowded given that all the non-heathens are in church. (Tickets are the best in the room, prebought.) And after Star Wars I’m going over to C&D’s house to watch The Librarians….

    For switch introvert/extroverts, the holiday season is both exhilarating and exhausting, and for me at least, those things come in waves. I miss my birth family terribly, too, which means other people’s families are both comforting and irritating…

    Hence the clearing of the docket on Saturday, I think I shall spend it hermitted up in my room.

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    • A friend of mine tells me I am an ambivert. I like people but I can get tired of them. Especially if lots of demands are being made of me. So “Family Christmas” at church will be fun because once my food is ready, I have nothing to do but stand around and smile when people’s kids sing carols, and laugh when Santa Claus comes in, and talk to people. And I can leave when I’m done, unless I feel compelled to help clean up. And I know everyone who will be there.

      But big parties where I know two or three people and that’s it? That’s a big nope.

      Also dealing with all the student, “Can I please have extra credit work even though the semester is over” or “I know I only have a 77% but hear me out about my request for a bump-up to a B” or “But I didn’t KNOW you didn’t accept late work and now I want to hand in all the labs I missed” (Oh, pull the other one, it’s got bells on. And while you’re at it, look at the syllabus again where it says in bold letters LATE WORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED)

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      • For me it’s like instead of having 1 battery that either gets charged up by people (extrovert) or drained (introvert), I instead have 2 different batteries. One of them gets drained by too many people in the wrong circumstances, one of them gets drained by too much alone time. Either of them running out is a bad thing so it becomes a balancing act…. although my choices of employment lead to needing to tend the introvert battery a lot more carefully than the extrovert one, most of the time. But the extrovert one is *much* fussier about its choices. Large crowds at concerts, it loves; parties in strange houses, it hates and refuses to draw sustenance from; enormous parties in houses I feel at home in, it loves and will hoover up all the strangers’ energy in the world; dinners with just a few people I care about, it delights in, work parties are unpredictably iffy … etc etc etc. It’s a very particular little beast :D. Which is probably why I keep finding jobs that will keep it happy rather than having to pay attention to what it needs.

        Another complication about such matters is that social anxiety usually gets lumped in with introversion, even though they’re separate. I have a friend who has high social anxiety, completely an extrovert otherwise, but he’s convinced he’s an introvert because of it. Like, he seeks out and needs company, he gets all his “charge” from other people, but because it exhausts him to deal with the anxiety stuff, he sees himself as someone who would rather be alone. (I’ve never seen someone who would less rather be alone, once the anxiety has passed.) And another friend who is clearly and self-awaredly an introvert, but who has zero social anxiety and loves being with people – she just needs a sort of “regime” of making sure she gets that battery-recharging alone time every day. And gathers no energy whatsoever from the being with people that she adores doing.

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        • That seems about right, the two batteries.

          And in a lot of cases I will DREAD some upcoming social interaction, but then I’ll go, and have a good time, so….But I still don’t like big gatherings where I don’t know most of the people.

          I think because of childhood experiences, my default belief is “People will find me odd or uninteresting and won’t want to know me and I’ll wind up feeling unwelcome” which intellectually I know isn’t true (and anyway, someone who finds me odd enough to harass me over it isn’t someone I want to know) but emotions are funny things and childhood experience can cast a long shadow.

          I also do a lot better if I have a reason for being somewhere (so I have a “script” to work from) than just some random party where I have to figure out just what KIND of small-talk is being made: is it talk about the weather, or talk about pop culture, or about politics? Are people going to be arguing politics? Or are people going to talk about their work and their hobbies instead? Once I figure that out I’m mostly OK (though I dislike trying to talk with people who want to turn EVERYTHING into a debate) but until I do, I’m nervous that I’ll be the oddball talking about clouds when everyone else is discussing the latest Netflix hit….

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  4. We did a big cousins Christmas party in Calgary on the second, so we got some of the holiday frenzy out of the way early (?), buying us a bit of a reprieve this weekend (??).

    Looks like a pretty quiet weekend. There are a couple of dancey things I might go to, or maybe not go to.

    On Wednesday night we take the train to Saskatoon for the week of Christmas with family there.

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  5. I have a big party to cook for tonight – basically one of those corporate things where biz associates of my wife and mine come together for one big tax write off. Should be fun.

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  6. I did errands on Friday and was planning to clean the house, but I spent more time at the optometrist. I told her I wanted some disposable contact lenses near my prescription because I was going diving on vacation next year. Got the third degree on “you’re not supposed to wear contacts swimming” and such and that I’d need a “exam for that’ and had to demonstrate competency in putting the lenses in and out and to see if they irritated my eyes–and I’d need a follow up visit.

    “Look”, I said, “I’m not dropping major cash on prescription diving mask. I’m just doing it for a few hours and I want to see the great white sharks clear enough to take pics.” Nope, spent the next 30 minutes waiting for the assistant to test me inserting and removing the lenses. Sigh

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