Fourth of July

… with the neighbors…

I will first say that I consider myself a fairly patriotic person. I’m proud of the country that I live in and have extreme respect for the men and women that fight every day to keep us free.

However, I’m not proud to be from the same place as Donald Trump.

With that being said, Independence Day hasn’t always been my favorite. Because my birthday falls so close, I’ve never been able to have birthday parties or any sort of get together near my birthday because everyone is always out of town or with family for the Fourth. But I’ve gotten used to it, and the Fourth of July has usually been spent either just with my family, or with Aunt M and Uncle C’s family as well.

But today, somehow, my neighbors invited themselves over.

Both my parents claim they don’t know how it happened, but they invited the Owens family to come over and swim, since their little girls love playing with my little sisters Lilac and Saffron. Then, suddenly, they were coming to dinner.

Though this is no big deal and shouldn’t bother me, it did. I like being in control of my day. I like having a plan and knowing exactly what to expect. So when the Owens messed up my plan of a nice quiet family dinner to celebrate the Fourth of July, I was a little miffed.

But it really was that they messed up my plans by COMING OVER that got me. That meant I had to talk to people, people that I didn’t know that well. It’s hard enough being an introvert in a family of seven. Everyone always wants to talk to me and it’s so exhausting. But when they’re people I don’t know that well and I have to pretend to like them and be happy and all this… well, that’s even more exhausting.

The problem with Mr. and Mrs. Owens is that they’re too nice. Rude adults would pretend I didn’t exist and only talk to the other adults and their own children. But Mr. and Mrs. Owens recognize the fact that I have no one else to talk to because their kids are so young, so they ask me questions. They try to make conversation. They asked me how guard was going (stressful, lots of work), what college I was going to (I told them I didn’t know yet, even though I think I do. Making a decison for sure is a lot scarier than being indecisive), how my birthday was, how old I was now, and isn’t it my last year of high school? I didn’t want to talk about any of these things, talk at all actually, but I pretended I did and I pretended I was glad to see them until a moment came up and allowed me to escape.

On top of that, Mr. Owens is weird. Really weird. He’s one of those people that’s missing something when it comes to social skills. He always feels like he has to make a comment. Here’s an example:

I walk by with my dinner, a couple of small chicken sandwiches I was in the process of putting together.

Mr. O: Ooh, chicken.

Me: Yep.

Mr. O: Like chicken sliders.

Me:

Mr. O: Looks tastey.

Me: Chicken is my favorite. (??? Why are you talking to me about chicken?)

Or another example, when I was reading and annotating Pride and Prejudice:

Mr. O: That’s my favorite chapter!

…He couldn’t even see what book I was reading. It was lying flat on my lap.

Or can we talk about the fact that he keeps meowing at our cats? He gets down on his hands and knees and tries to imitate what he thinks they sound like, but all he is doing is advertising the fact that he owns a dog.

It’s so weird. Like, I would expect this behavior from a teenage boy. But a grown man? Maybe he was just trying to be nice to me, trying to make conversation and didn’t really know what to talk to me about other than my immediate surroundings, but it came off really odd.

Happy Independence Day, everyone. I hope it was better than mine. πŸ™‚

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