By Angel Kane
If you were to look up the word uptight in the dictionary, there by the definition would a photo of yours truly. And, in that picture, I’d be sitting in a perfectly proportioned square box.
Oh, how I love my box where everything is just how I like it. Nothing out of place, everything color coordinated in muted colors, elevator music playing in the background, putting on my comfy socks on a Friday night, right before sitting in my comfy chair with a good book beside it.
Being as uptight as I am (and proud of it) you can only imagine that when my someone tries to dismantle my box, I don’t take it well.
So a while back, Brody came up with the brilliant idea that I should apply for a spot in a local organization that does quite a lot of good for the community. He, himself, had participated in it years before, and he’d wanted me to join for some time. The organization, while a worthy one, required an overnight retreat of its members, where I would not know many of the other participants.
It also involved a bus ride, where it’s common knowledge, at the end of which you will be required to tell the entire class what you learned about your seat mate. It required a personality test where your entire personality is dissected and discussed. It required countless interactions, games and discussions with those I barely knew. And it required my sharing a room with someone I had never laid eyes on.
For many years, for these reasons alone, I said No way! That box sounded noisy, messy and way too close for comfort for me.
For one, when I’m on a bus or plane I read, I don’t talk, and just in case you try to engage me, immediately upon sitting down, I put on my earbuds and hoodie (the international language for “leave me alone”). I don’t need a personality test to tell me all the ways I’m controlling and crazed. And I don’t play games because I can think of 101 things I can clean with the time it takes to play an entire game of monopoly or bunco. (Plus the fact that when I have won, I have yet to win anything of substance.) But the number one thing I dislike more than any, any, anything, in this entire world, would be sharing a room (i.e. my box) with a complete stranger.
But for some reason I won’t ever be able to fully explain I finally agreed to attend. All I can think of is that there must have been a slight opening in that box due to the fact Becky had just finished asking me to drive to East Nashville with her to have our chakras read and while trying to wrap my head around that crazy thought, Brody had snuck in with this one, which on it’s face seemed less uncomfortable.
So last week, I did all sorts of things I never thought possible from my little box.
I made a new friend on a bus. It was slightly painful at first, mostly for her, because she seemed to be one of these people who can talk to anyone. I completed a personality test – that at the end of the day – found me to be judicious and competitive, which are nice words for controlled and crazy. And I played games which weren’t so bad except I missed every ball that was thrown at me, which tends to happen when your hands are crossed in front of you. But most importantly, I shared a room with a complete stranger and she didn’t kill me in my sleep nor did she steal from me.
My stranger roommate was very, very nice. A former model and diamond broker who now works for a local non-profit, she kept her side of the room neat and tidy, let me shower first and actually went to bed before I did. As potential psychotic roommates go, she was a good one, although the diamond broker M. O. had me worried there for a minute.
When I returned from the retreat, I was met by both Brody and Becky who seemed so very proud of me for stepping out of my box.
So much so, I found it quite annoying. “I’m not completely anti-social,” I told them both. “I talk to people every single day of my life and lots of people like me.” “Sure they do,” both said in unison while trying not to laugh. But I must say, that evening, upon returning home, there was nothing I wanted to do more than put on my comfy socks, sit in my comfy chair, and read about the virtues of properly aligning frames on a gallery wall. While that other box wasn’t as bad as expected, there is simply no place like home…especially when it’s a perfectly proportioned square box. To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.