Although there are many things I don’t envy about the Regency, I do wish there was more formality these days. The thing is, I can be painfully shy in social situations, but if there was a proscribed method of behavior I would be a lot more comfortable.
Last night, we celebrated my husband’s 40th birthday. A group of his friends gathered at a restaurant and helped devour an entire roasted pig (and pictures are forthcoming, but I haven’t gotten them yet–I forgot my own camera, duh.). Of course, there were friends of his–from work, mostly–who I didn’t know, and it felt awkward, the whole going up and introducing myself thing, then the idle chit-chat, then the standing around and stuff. I was wishing some dowager would sail in out of nowhere and command Mr. So-and-So to dance with me or something, so I would have something to do. And if it were a lord? Woo-hoo, let the muslin dampen!
My shyness is one of the reasons, ironically enough, I thrived so well in event planning; I had a purpose, I knew why I was there, which made me totally comfortable. Maybe that’s why some of our shy heroines don’t do so badly after all in the ball room: They know they are there to find a husband, and either they are okay with that (usually not), or they are equally determined NOT to find a husband. Either way, they have a goal, a method of behavior that is proscribed and understood, and everyone else there knows their role, too.
How about you? Are you shy in social situations? Or do you wish you were making your come-out at a ball given in your honor, with all eyes upon you?
PS: This pic is of a real wallflower, although it doesn’t appear anywhere near a wall. Go figure.
I’m incredibly shy in social situations (and stop laughing Megan, it’s true). Just last week, I went to a reading of an author who’s workshop I used to take, and I just felt so weird and awkward, even though there were people there that I knew from the workshop. I just couldn’t bring myself to make conversation. I wish I could be one of those women who can just walk alone into an event and talk to anyone.
I can believe you are shy, and like me, you’ve overcome it. You were an actress who acted a part, so you probably still act as if you are not shy in social situations.
I bet those women who just walk into a place and make conversation feel as shy and awkward as we do sometimes.
See, that’s the exact reason why it’s a really good thing it isn’t anything like the Regency period because forget being the wallflower, I wouldn’t even go to the balls or parties! LOL I’d either get set up with a local gentleman as a husband or be a governess. LOL
I’m pretty sure you all know I’m the exact opposite of shy. LOL! I’m uber social, and very outgoing. I love parties, and conferences, etc. I get a kick out of meeting people and overwhelming them into being my friend. *grin*
Oh, Megan, I feel for you.
The WORST situation for me to be in is a social one, where I don’t know anyone and I know everyone else knows each other.
I remember going to a friend’s birthday party- my husband and I were the only non-neighbors there. At the same time as this was excrutiatingly painful, I marveled that none of those people showed the least amount of kindness to try to engage us in conversation. I would never have treated anyone that way.
Lois, I suspect if this were really Regency times I’d be the scullery maid buried in the kitchen under a pile of dirty dishes.
You know, I am so glad you visit us every day! It makes me feel good. I’m glad you are not too shy to comment (like I am on other people’s blogs) because you feel like a friend now!
I’m not as shy at Romance Writing functions because of the commonality of our interests. I find it much easier to talk to people I don’t know at conferences than I do in other situations.
Megan, like you, I can talk if I know my purpose. I, after all, made talking my living by being a mental health therapist!
Kalen, I have a friend who, like you, sees a social situation as an opportunity. I marvel at it, but sometimes try to “channel” her when the bashfulness hits me hard.
I’m not great in social situations — at least with people I don’t know.
Which reminds me… My freshman roommate and I were both shy, but we eventually figured out we were shy in different ways: she didn’t like talking to a group of people, even if it was her five best friends — but she could go up to a stranger and talk. I couldn’t handle the stranger thing, but I could talk to groups of people fine.
I’m part of the “meet and greet” group in my local chapter, because I can chat with anyone. And once I’ve figured out what they write I can introduce them to their subgenre crowd. I find it fun and rewarding.
Oh, Megan, I SO know where you’re coming from! I used to be painfully shy, and while I’ve gotten better I’d still rather stay home or go out to dinner with a few good friends. Conferences are not so bad–like Diane says, you can just ask “So, what do you write?” It’s situations like your husband’s party, where I don’t know anyone and have no idea of their interests, that I run into trouble. 🙂
But even at conferences I HATE walking into events or parties by myself. That’s why, at RWA last year, I called Megan up before the NAL shindig and made her meet me beforehand so I wouldn’t walk in alone. 🙂 The free champagne helped, too…
…And my anxiety is why I guzzled so much of that champagne, too. Ow, my head!
I was–and am–very shy, especially at parties and other social gatherings. I’ve learned to overcome it in certain situations, but it is still not pleasant for me–I’m someone who goes to parties as a duty, not by choice, unless there are many people I know well.
Strangely, this doesn’t apply at all when I am teaching or performing. I sometimes have a little stage fright, but that’s not at all the same thing.
Aww, thank you! 🙂 I’m shy in real life, but also online as well at times. . . and heck, back at the booksigning in NJ last October, it took a little bit to open up for me, but I did. LOL Which I guess nowadays anymore that’s how I am, once I can get going, then it’s okay. 🙂
But over time my blog list sure has grown. . . and this is the only one I post every day to, or if I don’t, try to catch up. 🙂 I guess it’s because you guys are just really, really friendly. 🙂 Many others I just visit daily and post once in a blue moon, and then there are others that are in the middle which I visit everyday and post sort of a bit more often.
But you weren’t asking that, so I don’t know why I put all of that. LOL
Oh, Lois! Thanks! 🙂
And I do wish we all lived in one place and then we could have a big Risky Regencies party, and everyone who posts or comments here could come and we could all hang out and eat seedcake and drink tea and watch Jane Austen videos. 🙂
I feel like I’ve had a past life in this one, LOL!
Used to be extremely shy. Now I’m not at all. I put it down to being comfortable in my own skin, where I wasn’t before. I’m *groovy*, so are most other folks, and meeting people is fun!
(Of course, I’ll get back to you should I ever be lucky enough to do a book signing. That might set me back…;-)