I am not what you'd call a particularly outgoing person. I second guess myself and clam up in front of anyone who I find intimidating.
Sure, I have momentary spurts of outgoing insanity, generally leading to me embarrassing myself. Like in the 8th grade when we had a mock-discussion on the pros and cons of slavery, where I stood up and tried to shame everyone who was fake "pro slavery" with a heart-felt speech.
GOD. I relive that moment at least once a week.
But I'm really kind of shy most of the time. I don't tend to make friends with people until they come up to me and tell me, "We're friends now." "Oh...okay. Wanna watch Friends and write down all the funny quotes in a notebook for no reason?" "SURE!" *skip arm-in-arm into the sunset*
My shyness was especially apparent as a kid. I was terrified of authority. TERRIFIED. And of course, by "authority," I mean anyone over the age of 12. When I still had spiked hair and dressed kinda like a boy, we had to line up in two boy/girl lines for our first ever trip to the library (EXCITING!!!) So of course, I got in the girl line. I AIN'T NO BOY. Before we left, the librarian noticed me. Thinking I was a smart-ass kid, she scoffed, grabbed my arm and shoved me into the boy's line. And I was too shy to correct her. Me, the one who had decided that I wanted a TAIL, was too shy to actually correct someone who thought perhaps I was not a girl. So what did I do? I shuffled back into the girl line, hoping she wouldn't notice. Of course she did. Again, she thought I was one of those, so she dragged me back to the boys line. Aaaaaand I slunk back. Finally, the entire class erupted, "SHE'S A GIIIIIRL!!!" And the librarian was embarrassed beyond anything. Poor, poor, permed lady.
This was a problem for me throughout elementary school. Not the tomboy thing, the shy thing. It was such a problem, that I peed my pants once a year for five years. OH YES. I am about to chronicle my bladder problems for you right now. ENJOY.
Nap time. We had to sleep on these little mattresses they'd make us put down. But one day, everyone decided that they'd all have to pee during nap time. Followers is what they were. Damn followers. NONE OF YOU HAD TO PEE AND I'M SURE I MET YOU AGAIN IN HIGH SCHOOL AND NEVER KNEW THAT YOU WERE THE REASON FOR MY DEMISE THAT DAY. Buttons and Bows. 89. I will find all of you.
So there was a string of kids going to pee, and the teachers were rolling their eyes and dragging the kids off and I couldn't manage to get in there before another kid decided it was THEIR turn to go next. Well, you can imagine what happened. That mattress did not stay dry.
The traumatic part, though, is that when my parents came to pick me up, my teachers CORNERED me with them and demanded that I admit to peeing the mattress. Well eff that noise! I'm not embarrassing myself in front of God and country! I denied that accusation tooth and nail. Until they did their STARING DISAPPROVINGLY trick on me, and I'm pretty sure I crumbled.
Gym class. We were all sitting on the yellow circle, learning how to play The Lone Ranger (aka free-for-all Dodge Ball [By the by, it is the fault of my gym teacher that I thought it was "Hi-Ho silver" and not "Hi-YO Silver", so please take it up with her.]) So we're sitting there and she's talking, and I've got my hand raised. She ignores it. I raise it higher--maybe she didn't see it. Ignores me. I flail. Ignore.
Finally, I ran out of the gym. But it was too late. Not only did I pee my pants, but I did it as my entire class watched.
And people wonder why I never dated a boy from my school through high school. "Don't go to the dance with HER, she peed her pants in Kindergarten and I SAW IT."
AND IT GOES ON.
3. First Grade
T-Ball. Oh yes. The first and last time I ever played an organized team sport. T-Ball, where my team name was "The Gold Team." Where I threw the ball to whoever seemed like they wanted it more. Where they put me in left field where NO 1st grader could hit it except one time, when of course the ball hit me in the face and I cried until every coach and assistant coach came out to inspect my teeth.
So I hit the ball. Which was quite an accomplishment for me, considering the ball was stationary in front of me. I ran and made it to first. Again, an accomplishment. Uh-oh. That's when I realized it. I had to pee. But I couldn't stop the game--then the adults would yell at me! And I couldn't just run to the port-a-potty like that kid on AFV. Sooo...dance around a little. Yeah, that's good. That's working. Dancing. Dancing. WHY ISN'T ANYONE HITTING THE BALL SO I CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE?? Oh right, because there's no such thing as "strikes" in T-ball. Dancing, dancing, dancing, annnnnnnnd....peeing. Nothing I could do. The first baseman just looked at me in amazement. But otherwise, no one noticed. For the rest of the game, I sat there in my pee-pants, acting like nothing was wrong. It wasn't until we got our fig newtons and Mondo that I worked up the courage to tell my Mom. "Oh, Emily," she said. As if a) I had done it on purpose and b) as if it was like you couldn't just throw the pants in the wash. JEEZ, MOM. There ARE strikes in "making your child feel bad for her bodily functions" and YOU are on strike 2.
4. Second Grade
This one was a little different. See, while we were watching some Discovery Channel show, I started to feel a little woozy. Miraculously, though, whenever I set my head on the desk, I felt better. My evil witch of a teacher, MS. WIEAND, (God rest her soul) came around and told me to pick my head up. Now granted: this is the point in which I should have told her that I didn't feel well. Meh. I was terrified of her. And I'm pretty sure that I thought I could just SHAKE IT OFF. So I begrudgingly raised my head and watched the rest of the movie, my stomach gurgling all the while.
Later, when the movie was over, Ms. Wieand decided that now was the time for her to clean out her supply closet. You know, while she had minions to boss around. So she's up on a ladder, nose deep in construction paper, and it hits me. Things aren't sitting right, and I have limited time. So I try to interrupt her and ask to go to the bathroom, and she doesn't hear me. I sit back down. Nope. Nope. Back up. But at that point? Too late. *Blarg-larg-larg-larg!* Right on the orange reading rug.
5. 3rd grade
I've mentioned this one before. We switched class for Science. We were in Mrs. Barkley's class learning about the different kinds of clouds. You know, talking about RAIN and SPRINKLES. I raised my hand to use the bathroom, and she didn't call on me. And I was too shy to say anything. Her loss. Left a nice present for her on my red-orange chair. And a nice present for whoever's chair that usually was. Whoopsee.
Luckily, that was the last time (save an incident when I was 13 at summer camp, but that wasn't shyness. It was a very intense scavenger hunt.) I think in general, I've learned to speak up for myself to people I find intimidating. Why just today, I made a snarky comment to my boss that I absolutely should have kept to myself. So...mission accomplished?
Thanks for liking me and "liking" me, guys!