I’m back!

Mel Anderson
S-E Staff Reporter

I just spent two weeks in a beachside hotel in Seaside, Oregon at a writer’s conference, surrounded by other writers and authors, reading poetry and prose all day and being read poetry and prose at night, walking along the churning shoreline, then sitting on a log in the sand to write my own poetry and prose. I had a bed all to myself and didn’t have to be anywhere before nine in the morning and someone else cooked all the meals and I was lulled to sleep every night by the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean and poetry running through my head.

My husband, who stayed home with the kids, had a slightly different experience. He was surrounded by needy children, read grade reports and homework assignments, put wood in the boiler, dinner on the table, children in the bathtub, coats on hangers, children in their bedrooms, himself in the loony bin. He shared a bed with however many children were missing mommy too much to sleep in their own beds, then got up in the morning at 5 after a less-than restful sleep, dressed the children for school and himself for work and he wasn’t greeted by the smell of the ocean, but by the smell of Hitch trying to poo on the carpet before being taken unceremoniously outside.

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Jared was in paradise while I wasted away in a living hell, furthered by the fact that there was this thing at the writer’s conference that was utterly dreadful. It was called: people. Lots of people. Crowds of people I didn’t give birth to. And I am an avowed introvert. Luckily though, I survived. Yes, people, I found the strength of will and fortitude to pull myself from the trenches, riddled with figurative bullets of eye contact and how-are-yous and I did not die.

They tried to trick me, too. They invited me to a party. Several parties.

A party is this thing where extroverts crowd together really close, get exceptionally loud, make almost constant eye contact and talk about drivel that has no deeper meaning about the human condition. The extroverts invite the introverts to parties to suck their energy. They feed on energy. Extroverts need someone to ask: “Why aren’t you dancing?” and “How are you?” I would much rather read a book. I would much rather stick a fork in my eye. Luckily, my eyes are still in my head because instead of sticking a fork in my eye, I simply declined the invitations politely.

I survived and came home last Sunday to my favorite crowd of all- the ones I birthed, and a very tired husband with a fork in his eye.