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Second Guessing the Inner Introvert and Shop Keeping

     I used to think it was a personal, moral failing that, after about three to five days of being around people, I turn into this irritable, snappy, fitful, horrible creature.
     I was told that I was "difficult," "unpredictable," "arrogant," not a "team player." These are nice ways of saying "snappy, fitful, horrible creature."
     I have since been told this is typical, introverted behavior.
     But frankly, I still think of it as a failing.
     Because I've been running my little gallery in Louisville for over a month, now, and I'm truly understanding that regular shop-keepers' hours are not my strong suit. But I somehow think that shouldn't matter. I should do it because other people do it. What's wrong with me that I just can't do it?
     Outwardly, I am boisterous and outgoing; I have made a sort of burlesque art of talking to strangers and scandalous cocktail chat. At least for three to five days. And then, it all goes...bad. Like milk.
Following that analogy: I need to sit, untouched, in a cool, dark place where I will turn into...cheese. Which, of course, eventually becomes nice again: grilled sandwiches, cheese and crackers, cheese-fries, cheese-grits, and cheese CAKE. These are all very nice things. But for a while, you are merely a dripping sack of sour milk.

     Shyness was not particularly well-taken with my family--large, rowdy Catholic families don't always have the space to accommodate loners, and no parent wants to see their reticent, awkward kid standing alone in a corner. Being shy doesn't do a weird kid any favors--you can't avoid social obligations forever and, turns out, you do end up in a corner--oftentimes with some other kid who's probably weirder than you, and not in a good way, either, enduring very detailed stories about dish soap (yes, true story--I know quite a bit about dish soaps, now. Ask me anything.) So you have to make an effort to at least stand where the interesting kids are. ("I'm not cool enough to understand what you're talking about, but can I stand here anyway?")
     At any rate, maybe that's why I often prefer to deal with strangers over friends and family and groups of strangers over more intimate gatherings--you pick them before they pick you and then drop them just as quickly to what I assume is everyone's great relief.
     And it isn't that I don't like company--I love the 18th century notion of houseguests that stay for months, back in a time when it was understood that you largely entertained yourself while the master or mistress of the house brooded away in the study or went for long solitary rides to see to farm business. Oh! How I want farm business to see to!
     Because this regular, six-day-a-week shopkeeping thing for my pop-up Gallery in Louisville this month (, is really pushing my three-to-five day-thing. Also, there isn't any time to go find things for the shop, which is, I'm fairly certain now--my strong suit. And then, there's the snapping-fitful-horrible-creature thing which really isn't good for business. Or much of anything.
     So, I guess what I'm saying here is that there's a job opening in the future. Stay posted.



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