Trick-or-Treating: an Introvert’s Dream
After the dream where I’m standing on a huge water pipe that bursts open and whooshes me away into darkness and the dream where I’m standing on stage in front of hundreds of people with nothing to say, getting trapped in a conversation that I can’t escape is one of my worst nightmares.
My husband loves chit-chat. He takes 45 minutes to grab milk at the store and he comes home with stories about the checkout lady’s son’s gluten allergy and her new rescue cat.
I will do anything to avoid getting caught in a conversation with someone I haven’t seen for a few months. I’ll duck behind the doghouse, lay down behind my berry bushes or rush inside as if I just heard someone crying in agony when I see the lady from down the street come strolling towards my house.
My neighbors are really great people, and I am lucky to live in a community where my dog can roam freely and my kids can ride their bikes up and down the road safely, guarded by the eyes of a dozen other families.
I am delighted to give them a friendly wave or leave a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies on their doorstep if I hear that they’ve been sick.
But getting trapped in a long conversation about their long list of health problems or being subjected to a political diatribe is not my cup of tea. They say fences make good neighbors, but I believe short conversations make good neighbors.
That’s why trick-or-treating is right up my alley.
Knock knock, trick-or-treat, how are you, nice to see you, great decorations, on to the next house.
There’s no guilt about cutting the conversation short. No expectation that I will listen to a long update about each grandkid or that I will tell them all about the trips our family took over the summer. No pressure to make up an excuse about muffins in the oven in order to back away gracefully.
Still, though, there’s a brief glow of connection. An acknowledgement that we’re all in this little neighborhood gang together — kids getting taller, old dogs, new dogs, big storms and road paving. I look forward to these rapid fire shared moments each year as a chance to get in a quick, finite chat, pick up some skittles or chocolate and be tucked back into our own little house by early evening.
What more could an introvert want?
Wearing a weird outfit is a small price to pay.