Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Not a Party Animal

"Abnormal or Private?", who I think is female, but I'm not sure, wrote in to Dear Margo wondering if she is anti-social.

I have always been a quiet, keep-to-myself kind of person. I have a small group of friends and family I spend time with, but I do prefer to do most things alone. I am friendly and quick to smile and always say "hi" to my neighbors. For my kids, I participate in birthday parties, school field trips, slumber parties and play dates.
Sounds good to me.

But since I have never enjoyed the party scene, my ex makes a point of informing everyone (including my neighbors) that I am "anti-social."
And your ex would never have any reason to lie or misrepresent you. What is this, Melrose Place?

Recently, a new family moved in downstairs. They quickly befriended everyone on our side of the complex, and their small family BBQs have escalated to include almost all of our neighbors at least three times a week.
That seems excessive.

They gather at the bottom of my stairs, making it difficult for me to come and go without walking through the middle of their party. Plus, I have to close all my windows and doors to keep the strong smell of weed out.
This is an argument for living in a single-family residence. With lots of acreage around it. Behind high walls. And a moat. And 24-hour armed security. With hungry Dobermans.

Am I anti-social? Is it wrong of me to feel uncomfortable and not enjoy constant ocializing?
Unless you've left out the part where you are killing homeless people and eating them, you’re normal. It is also normal to enjoy that kind of socializing. There's a range of normal going on here.
Dear Margo agrees:

The actual definition is being "unwilling or unable to associate in a normal or friendly way with other people." From what you write, you do not qualify. There is nothing wrong with wanting time to yourself and often preferring solitude to making small talk with others.
I always found parties and social events depressing in high school, or with mostly drunk strangers once I was out of high school. Fortunately, I wasn't popular enough to be clued in or invited to many. I very much enjoy parties with real friends and family. It is bad enough when the neighbors are blasting their ranchera (or whatever it is) music, with the bass turned up all the way, vibrating our windows. Late at night. It would be even worse if they were blocking my driveway and smoking their medical treatments.

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