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I have a very real fear of being considered boring. Not real in the sense that I am boring, just that I worry about being considered boring. Which is weird for me because I also like to think I don’t worry much about what others think but clearly I do. I’m a woman of contradictions, ok? I’m not afraid to admit it.
I’m brought to this conclusion by the events of the past two days (and also the rest of my life leading up to now 😉). We’ve been staying at the chateau of cognac house Pierre Ferrand and, during our stay, we’ve had to go on tours/socialise with people we’ve never met before. As a rule, I’m not a huge fan of big groups where I don’t know anyone so my first response was to quietly freak out and retreat into my shell. The introvert in me won the first round. Then the performer came out… I’ll explain why.
I have a thing about people who come to events, parties, dinners, etc. and, in my words, “don’t add any value.” Yes, I’m aware of how bitchy this makes me sound and yes it’s mean but I can’t help it. Despite being an introvert myself when surrounded by strangers, I always have this phrase in the back of my mind and it’s a rare social event that this mantra doesn’t force me to be more social, despite lacking a natural inclination to do so. Back to that fear of being considered boring. No one puts Nat in a corner, if you will. 😉
So, on our first night in Cognac, we’re surrounded by boozing Brits, Americans and various other strangers and most of me wants to hide in my room (to be fair, I was also quite tired) but the other part says, “No, you’ve got to get out there and be fun. Get on, hop to it.” And so I did. I jumped in the fountain with everyone, balanced a wine glass on my ass, challenged people to boules and upped my banter game to 11. When my social energy ran low, I went and sat in our room and headed back down when I felt recharged. I often feel like there’s a fun me and a quiet me and, on that night, the fun me won.
Last night, we were at dinner with the owner/master blender of the cognac house, his mentor and one of his distributors and the distributor’s wife. The conversation around the table was in English so I was thankfully able to participate but the distributor’s wife didn’t say much. I think it may have been more of a language barrier thing or maybe she was tired (they had a full day of tours and tastings) but this is exactly what I fear for myself when I’m out and not “on”. She was fine when you specifically engaged her or asked her a question, which I did a few times, but aside from that she was very quiet. Which, of course, she’s allowed to be. She’s not there to entertain anyone or be their all-singing, all-dancing ra-ra girl and she was a-ok with that.
But the thing is… I’m clearly not. Not for myself anyway. And, if I’m honest, usually not for others when there isn’t a good excuse. So it’s a very rare day when I won’t be able to somehow pull myself out of my shell to work my supposed charms in a group setting. Because, for me, one of the worst things you can be is boring and I often don’t care how much it costs me.