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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Im not a bitch, Im just shy sometimes.

First of all–my apologies to the Orthodox jews. I’ve already blown my fast for Tisha B’Av. I got home from services and mindlessly reached for the Oreos sitting in arms reach of the computer, but not until I’d reached for a glass of wine and a Tootsie Roll. Hope I do better on Yom Kippur.

I also just found out that a friend from high school, whom I didn’t talk to at the reuinion, gets her morning coffee at the shop in the basement of my building everyday. Holy Shit. Again, I ask my weekly question–are there or are there NOT 5 million people in Chicago. Last week I ran into three NEW people I know in the building where I work. Now I can add a high school friend.

Now it turns out that Amanda saw me at the reunion, same as I saw her. She said I didn’t look interested in talking, so she didn’t approach me. I would say that my look of aloofness was well-disguised fear. The same reason I barely stopped to talk to Steve on Friday night. I didn’t mean, “Fuck you.” I mean, “Oh my god, I can’t beleive we are reliving high school. Thank god there is beer this time around.” Because for me, there really was no alcohol in high school.

And she and her husband were two of the people I was looking forward to seeing–but my fear, shyness, reluctance got the better of me and I didn’t talk. I guess I probably also should have talked to Matt Butrum–a classroom friend who was there, but I also was too shy to say hello to him.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere. I think it is one that a friend and I were going over today. When we don’t know the whole story, we fill in the blanks. She had a recent experience where she ran into a crush in public. Both the crush and my friend were each with a female friend. My friend got shy–Hello, running into a crush in public, terror inducing–and didn’t say much. She filled in the blanks and decided his friend was his girlfriend. He filled in the blanks the same way–that my friend was actually a lesbian with her girlfriend, but didn’t want to tell him.

I do this ALL the time. I don’t hear from you in two days and I’m certain our friendship is over. That I have made some sort of huge error and am unforgiveable. That seeing my crush talk to the same woman twice in the course of a week and suddenly I’ve got them moving-in together in a week or so.

The lesson? Try to let the story tell itself without filling in the blanks. I’ll probably be wrong. And–leave room for your own nueroses. And his nueroses. A good 2 or 3 feet for them.

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