"But I thought you were shy.." the guys said last night. I put my hand on the knee of one of them as he was sitting in front of me, looking him deep in the eyes. "I thought you were shy."
I was a shy kid. I was a shy teenager. I'm still quiet when I'm not comfortable, but I'll talk to anyone about anything - as long as there's a topic and not small talk. I never really got the hang of small talk.
I remember when I was younger, in class or with friends. I'd make a critical comment about something and people would stare at me, no matter if they'd said the same thing themselves. I was told that because I so rarely said something bad, it was so much worse when I did. I was supposed to be nice, that's what they were used to. I settled for nice. It was just easier that way.
When you grow up in a place like this, a small town where "everybody knows each other" people really do seem to think they know you. Even if they haven't seen you since you were fourteen, they still think you're the same person you were back then. Most people don't change a lot, myself included, and we're all guilty of assuming people are they way they always were.
So when that guy said "But I thought you were shy" when I had my hand on his knee and looked him in the eye, it wasn't because I did something shocking. I had simply raised my voice (quite a bit - pretending to be a teacher for a few months, and being around noisy kids all the time, has had an unwanted side effect) to get the attention of the three or four twenty year olds in the room - I wanted to ask them if they knew where the kitchen was. Getting someone's attention is always easier when you give them a poke, and getting an answer is easier when having eye contact. And when you get a little loud.
How quiet must I have been to make guys six years my juniors think it's shocking that I can actually raise my voice?
I'm curious how people think of me today.
And I can't help but wonder.. have I really changed that much at all?