I deliberately did little today, and avoided looking at the full-page to-do list on the dining room table next to all the C.H. documents I should read and file. Had a pleasant coffee and crossword time at the local coffee shop, which was unusually quiet well past 8am. I guess people were either at church or preparing a Sunday dinner.
About 11 I drove to the museum to do the noon tour. Ken, another docent, was also there; they usually schedule two of us for weekend tours. But the parking lot was nearly empty and few people were in the lobby so we agreed there wouldn’t be enough people to split in two groups, so he went on home. I ended up with about 12 people.
For supper I thought about going to C.H. and decided I didn’t want to; and instead drove to Town and Country shopping center for a burger and a beer.
This exposed a problem I am going to have to deal with in coming weeks: general shyness and introversion and enjoyment of a quiet meal. For all these decades, Marian and I had the custom of sitting down with our plates in the living room and watching TV (often a cooking show) while we ate, and talking little.
This won’t be an option at Channing House. Once I take up residence, I will need to eat at least supper in the dining room. Which opens a whole can of (trivial, but real) worms for the born introvert. Which table to sit at? Who to sit with? What to talk about? Initially at least some residents are going to want to get to know the stranger in their midst. I’ll have to talk about myself and be affable and shit. I’ve eaten in the dining room twice now, once as Craig’s guest and last Friday — and I see I didn’t mention that in the blog! — I went back there and ate alone. There were enough tables that I could find an empty one and nobody came by, except the waiter. (You fill your plate in a cafeteria-style line but there are waiters who provide drinks and take away used plates.)
Choosing a table was fraught; I was early, and had no idea of the conventions and customs. I was afraid I’d end up at somebody’s regular table and they’d come in and… what? Be offended? Give me a break. But this is the kind of thing an introvert deals with. If you don’t understand it, consider yourself lucky.