Sunday, August 24, 2014

2 A.M. At The Cat's Pajamas

While reading this book I felt close to the character Sarina in that I've had a divorce and that I tend to hide in the kitchen a lot when there is a party going on in the other room.  I felt her social inadequacy.  I felt her pain at watching her life not living up to her expectations.

Earlier this year I hosted my own baby shower.  I didn't like the fact that I had no relatives living close enough to through this shower for me but it was something I wanted to do as a right of passage.  Mainly because I knew that this would be my only baby and also because I was in the processing of moving to the other side of the United States.

Ending one chapter in my life and beginning another one is something that is rather difficult for me.  Maybe others find it no problem to transition from being childless to having children and moving to another city but I do.  I still don't have a support system in place at my new duty station.  I really didn't have a strong enough one at the last place I lived either but at least I had one.  I still haven't made friends here.  I'm a quiet person.  I'm sure some probably find that hard to believe but it is true that I'm an introvert.

At my own baby shower I stayed in the kitchen for most of the day.  I prepared the place for the shower.  I made the decorations.  I cleaned up the place after everyone left.  I just felt out of sorts with so many people there that I didn't really know.  Yes, I invited folks I barely knew to the shower because my husband worked with them and he wanted people there he would feel comfortable with too.  It was nice meeting new people but also painful at the same time.  I didn't know if I was being judged and found lacking or being judged and found satisfactory for a military spouse.

Often my fears of socializing keep me from going out to events that otherwise I'd love to attend.  I judge myself too harshly and have too much baggage much like Sarina to fully enjoy myself and let go.  Maybe it is a bit of good paranoia to wonder if the people around me are wanting to be my friends or if they are just wanting to be around me because they feel sorry for me.  Either way I try to keep the true me veiled and end up holding myself back from succeeding in life.  I really am the reason why my own life often doesn't live up to my own expectations.

This post was inspired by 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino, a novel about hope, love, and music in snow covered streets of Philadelphia. Join From Left to Write on August 28 we discuss 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. Hi! Visiting from ICLW. I know exactly what you mean when you describe dealing with social situations. I am not quite as shy as you, but I can definitely relate to some extent, especially when it is a group of people that I don't know. Sometimes I try to overcompensate with humor and I think people take it the wrong way. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms, I guess. Sounds like you are really trying to branch out. Nice work!

  2. It is always hard to be in a situation where you don't know many people.

  3. Believe or not, I feel like that at events where I don't know anyone. Usually I just sit quietly in a corner or find another semi-socially awkward person to hang out with.

  4. Wow, I feel like you could be describing me in social situations. I get it! When I started dating my husband I hid in other rooms a LOT. He is one of 6 kids as is his father. His family is huge and I had no clue how to be with them.

    Also, how did I miss that you recently had a baby! CONGRATS!!

  5. I hate parties, too!! I find that, as a shy introverted person, I am confident in certain circumstances (one-on-one, professionally, as a lecturer), I completely fold in the company of a group of people milling about. I just can't figure out how to cope in that setting, especially if most of the people present are folks I don't know. I have no answer to it, except that I think it's so much easier to find a network through common interests - maybe a parenting group? or a class? Good luck with finding a way to put yourself forward and build the life you want for yourself.


If you decide to be a Troll I will refuse to pay your toll and your comment will not appear.