I’m an extreme introvert. How extreme? I’ve yet to make eye contact with my goldfish.
I was recently required to attend a cocktail party hosted by my employer. It was the kind of social gathering I avoid like a plague, the kind of plague in which I don’t know the other plague victims.
To help survive the evening I enlisted the assistance of an amateur hypnotist friend who claimed he could get me to act like an extrovert. Unfortunately, he thought it would be funny to transform me into an extroverted monkey every time someone said the word “strategize.”
Aside from one small incident when I hurled my feces at the VP of Sales, the evening went well. I even approached and flirted with our new intern from Uzbekistan. She speaks little English and found my outgoing simian airs enchanting. We’ve since been dating regularly for two months.
Here’s my dilemma. Continuing to speak and act like a monkey hasn’t been a problem. Continuing to speak and act like an extroverted monkey has. It takes so much energy and is exhausting. I like this girl and don’t want to lose her. What do I do?
Going Bananas in Birmingham
There is nothing wrong with going ape for a girl, even a girl who can’t tell the difference between a human and another mammal. But in the end you have to listen to your inner primate. You’re an introvert and will always be an introvert. Give your Uzbeki intern a chance. If she loves you as an outgoing monkey, she may come to appreciate you as a solitary, thoughtful chimpanzee.
Andy Brightman is a former CIA intelligence officer. “To Hell and Back: My 35 Years in Cubicle 289D” is his recently-published autobiography.