Tag Archives: introvert

The introvert vs. the anti-vaxxer: I wimped out

I was recently at an event — the type where you’re supposed to mingle holding a drink and make small but significant conversation with total strangers.  In other words, hell.  I ended up caught in a conversation with a woman whose adult son is Autistic, and who wanted to lecture me on how it was caused by vaccines, mercury in fillings, and fluoridation in the water.  (The conversation happened last week, not in 1965.)  She “warned” that soon 1 in 2 boys would have autism.  She said her son was “her part-time job.”  I asked (assumed, actually; that’s how far inside my own head I generally dwell) about involvement in groups of parents of adults with disabilities; her husband chimed in that these groups were “just” interested in “access” — the latter term enunciated as if “interest in access” was as absurd as “interest in pro wrestling” or “interest in wearing white after Labor Day.”

As an introvert and a klutz, I could not figure out the cocktail-party-level response to this.  So I put down my beer (half-finished!  desperate times!) and left. I have this question for you extroverts and people with social skills but also a righteous civil rights message:  what do you do in shallow social situations when someone says something deeply misguided or offensive?  I’ve blogged about avoiding entirely situations in which people — especially people you don’t know well but thought you respected — might say something buttheaded about disability or civil rights.  But what do you do when you’re stuck?  You’ve taken the highly questionable step of actually putting yourself in the position of making small talk with strangers, and the conversation takes a distinctly buttheaded turn.

Saw this on Facebook today; wish I could have responded as cleverly.

anti vax refutation

Image: the graphic consists of five text boxes, arranged with one at the top, and then two rows of two below. The top text box contains the meme being ridiculed. It shows a syringe and states “If you mixed Mercury, Aluminum phosphate, Ammonium sulfate, and Formaldehyde with VIRUSES, then got a syringe and INJECTED it into your child . . . you would be ARRESTED and sent to JAIL for child endangerment and abuse. Then WHY is it legal for a doctor to do it? and WHY would you let them? Educate yourself. Re-Think Vaccines.”  The box in the second row on the left has an icon of two cars colliding head on, and reads “If you welded some scrap Aluminum and Steel together, added some Tires, Cylinders, Spark plugs and GASOLINE, then took it out and DROVE it on a public road, you would be ARRESTED and sent to JAIL for public endangerment and unsafe vehicle. Then WHY is it legal for Ford & Chevy to do it? and WHY would you let them? Educate yourself. Re-Think Vehicles.”The next box has a wall socket and reads “If you look Copper wiring, connected It to the city power grid, then ran it through the walls of your house and into the bedroom of your child, you would be arrested for child endangerment and fire code violations. Then WHY is it legal for electrician to do it? and WHY would you let them? Educate yourself. Re-Think Electricity.” The box on the bottom left has a fireman’s ax and reads, “If you burst Into the bedroom of a child you didn’t know wielding and Axe and then forcibly took the child out of bed and carried them outside the house, you would be arrested and sent to jail for the assault and kidnapping of a child. Then WHY is it legal for firefighter to do it? and WHY would you let them? Educate yourself. Re-Think Firefighters.” The final box on the lower right has an airplane seating chart and reads, “if you took over a hundred people, packed Them into a pressurized metal tube, then used refined KEROSENE to LAUNCH Them to over 35,000 feet at speeds of over 450 knotsyou would be ARRESTED and sent to JAIL for . . . . I’m not sure, probably a lot of things. Then WHY is it legal for pilots to do it? and WHY would you let them? Educate yourself. Re-Think Aviation.”

Random Vegas Observations

There is an amazing variety of people in Las Vegas:  young; old; fat; thin; rich; poor; barely-clad; wildly overdressed; fancy; schleppy; drunk; sober.

Middle-aged ladies in Bryn Walker linen and Børn* sandals are, as a general matter, not one of those categories.  At my age, I would  fit in better in either (1) dyed-brown  helmet-hair and Talbots; or (2) a dyed-blonde bouffant and stretch capris.

Corollary:  I can’t go shopping in Vegas because casino shops generally don’t have Bryn Walker,  Børn, Lands End, LL Bean, or Best Buy.

New business plan:  The Introvert Hotel and Spa.  Next door to — but separated by weapons-grade soundproofing from — an ordinary casino, the IHS will feature quiet, sunny, reading areas with quiet waitstaff quietly bringing you umbrella drinks and quiet spa facilities where quiet massage therapists deliver relaxing, yet quiet, massages.  Projected client base:  nerdy introverted spouses of nerdy introverted poker players.

Related observation:  MGM moved its poker room from the former, centrally-located, area next to what I think was a strip bar with a limited playlist of brain-liquifying techno music, to a side area that was quieter than the entire rest of the casino.  Perhaps the MGM has realized that poker players are different from the rest of their slot-playing, beer-bong-toting, bachelor-party-reveling patrons.

Unrelated observation:  Who on God’s green earth brings their infants and toddlers to Vegas? It can’t possibly be fun for either the kids or the parents.

Lobster corn dogs: just the wrong amount of wrong.

Gatorade looks awesome in a wine glass:

{Image:  Bright blue liquid in a wine glass against a neutral background.}


* Yes, I enjoyed finding the “ø” in WordPress, but then you knew that.

Vegas Diary

Arrive at the Vegas airport with no power in the power chair.  Parking guy happy to help because he loves God.  No luck; battery is dead; charger is kaput; not really God’s fault.  Carrie IMs suggestion: buy a car battery charger at Walmart.

Of course Vegas has a 24-hour Walmart.   And of course Carrie has solved the problem.*

Breakfast Saturday morning the girl at the next table has a head full of pink rollers.

Tim heads off to play poker; I find quiet corner of a lounge to read.**  Overhear a guy explaining the relationship of free will to Christianity.

On the way to manicure, learn the reason for pink hair rollers and over-decorated 8-year-olds: MGM is hosting a cheerleading competition.  Also, said 8-year-olds look like they could kick my ass.

Get a manicure.  Nail polish is called Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ.  Love the color but love the name more.

Join Tim at poker where he is playing Texas Hold Em at a table with Orel Hershiser.  First time I’ve seen a World Series ring in person.

Out to  dinner wearing 4 inch heels.***

Christmas carols in the casino are a weird combination with the slot machine sounds.  Also just weird.  Perhaps for the first time in my half[assed] Jewish life, I find myself asking WWJD.

Sunday Tim plays Hold Em with Hershiser for another six hours.  He takes off the World Series ring to let me get a closer look.  It’s incredibly cool and diamondy.  Hershiser is funny and a mensch, offering to help Tim with cards.

We decide it would be too weird to ask for a photo, so you’ll have to take our word for it.

An introvert strolls down the Strip:

Wow!  This is so cool!

Vegas is full of such diverse, interesting, weird people!


A pirate!

A, um, little person dressed like Elvis.  Cool?  Exploitative?  He has every right to make as big an ass of himself as anyone else in Vegas, right?

Fat Michael Jackson impersonator.  Same questions?

Awesome people-watching!

Diversity!  Let your freak flag fly!

Why do people bring toddlers to Vegas?

Funny t-shirts!

Funny sexist t-shirts.  OK, well, it’s Vegas.

Disgusting sexist t-shirts.  Yuk. Sigh.

Skinny Santa alone with his Christmas tree.

Geez there are a lot of people on the Strip.

No, I don’t want Girls Girls Girls!

And wouldn’t the Girls Girls Girls proprietors have better luck if they gave their sales reps clean Girls Girls Girls t-shirts?

Screw diversity and freak flags — what is the fastest way back to the hotel??

This is actually an example of the Introvert Curve:

Rinse.  Repeat.  The social interaction can be anything, really, from strolling down the Strip in Vegas to attending a cocktail party****.   And what’s great is:  I also have some sort of Introvert Amnesia that makes me forget this curve as I ascend the left side, my need to Get Outta There coming as a surprise each time.

Anyway, we headed home Monday having accomplished perhaps the most important variation on the Vegas cliche:  What happened outside of Vegas stayed outside of Vegas.  We really needed a break from litigation, worrying about litigation, and litigating the case in our heads at 3 a.m. … and we got it.

Now back to reality.


* She specializes in ass-kicking lawsuits on behalf of radically underserved groups and lifehacking.  Ask her to assemble your IKEA furniture; she’s really good at that too!

** What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

*** Sorry no footwear photos.  Images of age-inappropriate shoes worn in Vegas stay in Vegas.

****  This makes it sound like we attend sophisticated gatherings where people dress up and drink interesting mixed drinks.  Mostly, we play poker and order out for BBQ.