The Social Experiment

Most of you have no reason to know this, but I don’t like being around people I don’t know. Perhaps it’s the amount of time I spend with computers. Perhaps it’s some natural introversion. Maybe a doctor could diagnose it and prescribe a medicinal remedy, but I’d rather not find out. It’s not that I get nervous in front of crowds. Rather, the nuances of person-to-person communication escape me. I know most people don’t think that way. They don’t pay attention to social interactions, or even seem to care too much about the words that escape their lips. To me, though, holding a conversation with someone I don’t know is an unending string of paralyzing decisions.

Partially it’s because I have so few shared interests with others in my culture. The things that I spend most of my time thinking about are boring, obtuse, or weird. My wife does not share my social awkwardness. She is blunt and open, and sees no reason to change. She is the reason for my current social experiment.

Several times in the past, when women we know had been going through rough times in their marriages, Kelly offered them a place to stay. No one accepted her offer… until today. A friend of Kelly’s is going through a divorce and had to sell her house. Now she is moved into our guest room: the guest room we said would be used to help people in need. I realize now just how dear my privacy was. I have to be on guard all the time. I’ll try to post a follow-up to let you know just how badly my sanity has been damaged.

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