My children have passed a certain threshold, and it seems parents are no longer expected to stay with them at birthday parties.
I am not anti-social. But I'm not a fan of making small talk with strangers in crowded, noisy locales. (In my bar hopping days, I went with friends, not to meet people.)
Like any bookworm, I'd get my kid checked in and see them off to roam the trampolines/video arcade/bowling alley, smile uncomfortably at the other hovering parents, then find an out of the way place to sit and pull out my book. It was still kind of awkward, but it sure beat being there without a book.
I mentioned this to a friend of mine, who is your basic extrovert. "Oh my God!" she laughed. "You're one of THOSE people!"
Yeah, I thought proudly. I guess I am. I always wanted to be one of THOSE people.
And I thought of Uncle Glen.
He wasn't a real uncle, but that was how my family dealt with the question of what to call adults we knew well. Glen and my dad met through work, though their wives became closer friends. My middle name is Louise, after Glen's wife. She was a stern and grumpy lady that I was rather afraid of, so I've never been a big fan of my middle name.
Uncle Glen, on the other hand, was pleasant and quiet. He did PR for the local electric company, and I remember hearing him quoted often on the radio during Portland's back-to-back ice storms in the 1979 and 1980. But that wasn't the thing I admired most about him.
What I most admired about Uncle Glen was that, whenever my parents had Glen and Louise over for dinner, and the adults retired to the living room for after dinner conversation, Glen would only last about ten minutes. Then he would drift to our bookshelves, find himself a book, and sit in a comfortable chair to read. I had never seen another adult do this, and I thought it was SO COOL. I was dimly aware that he was breaking an unspoken rule by doing this--"When you're a guest in someone's house, you have to pay attention to them and/or be interesting for them." And I knew he didn't mean to be rude. He just...really wanted to read now. He was one of THOSE people.
I bet you are too.
What social rules are you willing to bend or break in order to get your reading fix? Has anyone ever disapproved of your reading? Who in your life is your reading hero?
Also, my husband thinks I'm awesome because I keep volunteering to take our son to his diving lessons. What he doesn't seem to realize is that I get almost 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading time in by doing this. Quintessential win/win!