The song of my people

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting some of bae-in-training’s (BIT for short) friends and family. This is significant because I rarely speak reverently of any situation that involves “meeting” and “people.” All around great bunch though. Two of which who are gorgeous chocolate skinned goddesses (I like em dark!) that are of course taken. Typical. But it was quite hilarious how BIT’s cousin and I had a broment over our mutual approval of such human artistry. Nods and smirks, the secret language of masculine approval. I only spent a few hours with the guy and I feel like he’s my spirit brother already. Definitely one of my peoples. Generally I’m the only guy in a mob full of women and I feel like he shares the same experiences so we bonded over the fact that we had that shared male perspective. We were both chillin’ in the cut observing women being women. I felt like I was on a Nat Geo expedition.

It’s funny how much that Introvert Power book has affected me because I’m actively noticing my introverted brothas and sistas (of all colors) loitering about. It’s certainly true that we make up half the population, contrary to popular belief. And this this was exemplified at BIT’s vendor event last Saturday. Of course I had to come out and support her as a fellow entrepreneur (and son of one). Not gonna lie, she was on point and I may have had super googly eyes at some point though I doubt she noticed (stealth life). Anyway, she’s doing her pitch to various event goers and I’m faking like I’m an interested customer to draw more customers for her. Eventually I get drained and need to retreat for a bit. I take a leisurely stroll to see what the competition is up to because curiosity.

I end up making a full lap and almost arrive back at BIT’s booth, but then I duck into a neighboring booth. They were selling shirts and other merch that had the theme of tech fusion with art. Really dope designs, but those prices were steep. Couldn’t hate because the demographic of Santa Monica would be expecting those prices. More power to em. I do the I’m-interested-but-this-shit-is-too-expensive browse move and I comment on how cool the designs are. Specifically there was a shirt that had various gaming controllers in a family tree fashion, at least to my eyes. So I chopped it up with the owners (husband and wife), joking that grandpa Atari controller should be at the top. I get some hearty laughs and then they chime in and next thing I know I’m having a conversation with them for the next 45 minutes. And it wasn’t just about shirts. These were my peoples. I had found me some introverts. Somehow ended up talking about Black Mirror on Netflix and how automation will make truck drivers extinct soon as evidence in Logan. Delicious ideas and conceptual discussion. It was delectable I tells ya.

Against my better fiscal judgment, I offer to buy that controller family tree shirt and slightly winced at the $27 price tag. They were awesome and I like supporting artist/entrepreneurs so fuck it. The wife must have read my mind or heard me sigh, but she offered me a $5 discount just because. Clearly she was wearing the pants in the relationship so I didn’t bother seeking homeboy’s approval (not that he objected). I graciously took her discount and scored me a new shirt. Then I remember I had to plug BIT’s products into the conversation so I talked up her hand-made herbal products. The wife seemed interested and said she’d stop over to see my girlfriend’s wares. Hmm. There was no part where I mentioned she was. Well, I had been talking as though I was instrumental in helping BIT throughout this vendor process (sort of true) so that was a fair assumption on her end. Part of me wanted to see the look on BIT’s face at this statement, but I quickly corrected her. Can’t be out here staking claims on imaginary soil.

Fast-forward to the end of the event where casual me is being number 1 mule and hauling all of the booth materials to BIT’s car (I volunteered). Per usual, there was going to be some hanging after and I say I’m down for whatever. She asks me if I’m cool going with her friends to the place while she finds a park. I say “I mean I’m an introvert, but I’m not that bad.” Half-jokes are the best jokes because they elicit real responses. As soon as I finished my statement, her group of friends (now my acquaintance-friends) all said “We’re all introverts here. We wouldn’t be hanging around if we didn’t get that vibe.” Jackpot.

From that initial confession, I pretty much hit it off with the whole group. We went from gushing about Kendrick’s new album to horror stories about anxiety when fumbling to put change back in our purses/wallets before receiving items (change is EVIL). It was great. Nobody was competing for attention, everyone was given a chance to speak and those that didn’t have much to say weren’t chastised for being quiet. Can’t say I’ve been in many groups of six or more that allowed for such comfortable space. The prevailing assumption is that four or more people constitutes a crowd, which then constitutes noise and rowdiness with a ringleader attention hog. Not the case with my Introvert Krew. I mean there was noise and rowdiness, but it was equitable. I also got to learn a lot about BIT and her “Playerettes'” escapades (so bad).

Later that night, I found myself on the phone with BIT before she was reluctantly about to attend a girl’s night out scenario with “a bunch of bitches I don’t like” for her long-time friend’s birthday event. Then we both started fantasizing about naps and our beds. Total introvert porn. I then mentioned how cool and genuine her peeps were. She said that they all went to school together and just stayed in touch because it was understood that they all vibed on the same wavelength. She then mentioned her cousin, who she’s only known for a couple years, yet I thought they grew up together. She asks “My cousin is one of us huh?” I say “Yeah dude, he’s totally my spirit brother. I feel like I’ve known him for years even though we just met, it’s crazy. He just gets it.” She says “I know, it’s insane. He’s a long lost cousin that kind of just showed up one day and instantly clicked with me and my sister. Now you’re on that list.” Ayyy I’m on the list, turn up. Whatever that means.

And that was basically the extent of that day, meeting a bunch of people that “get it” and that’s a rarity in a multitude of ways. Conversation wasn’t work; I didn’t have to accommodate or adapt to the social situations. Things flowed as they did and everything felt right. Plus I’m sure I scored some approval points because ya boy was fly (no lieee). Well let’s hope anyway.

In any case, it was fun scouting for my fellow introverts and bringing them to light. I think we had more shadow dwellers than accessible introverts (I tread the line) in that group though. Plus there was slight cupcaking and flirting action going down with BIT on our side of the table. Which is probably a gross overestimation of our friendship on my part and par for the course for a(n) hopeless ambivalent romantic such as myself (I’ve evolved guys). Yin and Yang af fam <fire emoji> <fire emoji> <fire emoji>.