Saturday, October 27, 2007


Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to...

(The Smiths)

Continuing along the vein of October shopping month, we headed over to Caynes earlier this week to buy the dish drainer and tray, some floor mats, oven mitts – no bags or shoes were in the inventory this time, I was being a very good girl.

And then I wasn’t such a good girl as we headed over to the Golden Star restaurant for their famous 6 oz charbroiled burger for me; and a double decker grilled cheese sandwich for my girlie. As I went up to order, I asked if she wanted a hot dog or a cheese sandwich (such healthy fare for a 2 year old); and she replied she wanted Winnie or Minnie. Two items not on the menu, but in the Disney coin machines at her eye level. Not wanting to risk a scene, we popped in a toonie and out came a miniature dalmation encased in a plastic display case. Dimensions of the cube were about 1” square all around. Boy, $2 can really buy you a lot these days. She was beyond ecstatic, and I figured the novelty would at least last through the meal.

We settled into one of the booths which gave us the picturesque panorama of busy Yonge Street and car dealerships. But no matter, it was a sunny day, I had my burger, the girl had her plastic toy and gooey cheese sandwich. A perfect date.

That had to be spoiled by the group of about 6 teenage boys that came and sat behind me and to our side. Just sat, enjoying their burgers, not being loud, obnoxious, or anything out of the ordinary. G took one look, and with knitted brows, pointed at the group and said loudly,

“Mommy, I don’t like them. Tell them to move!”.

Remember, she is the Queen of the Nile and I am but her humble servant. Well, I wasn’t about to ask those huge boys (average size about 200lb each) to move anywhere. Thank goodness I could distract her with her little doggie again.

I can’t remember being so loudspoken as a child; or ever for that matter. Well, maybe that one time during rush hour on my commute home from university when I screamed at everyone to shove themselves into the subway train, (but hey, that’s another post). This little one has no reservations; part of it’s likely her age but I suspect most of it is just her personality. She pretends to be shy a lot of the time. But the reality is that she’s not. Nor is her big brother. Which I am so grateful for.

When I was young, I was so timid I wouldn’t even raise my hand or emit a peep when my name was called for school attendance. I would cry if kids wanted me to say “Sorry” when we were playing that old board game (why say sorry when you haven’t done anything wrong? It wasn’t part of the rules. Sobbing seemed an appropriate alternative.) I would cry if the teacher raised her voice a little in class, for fear that I had done something wrong.

Even to this day, I’m often hesitant to approach strangers for the simplest things, such as directions, location of washrooms etc. L will sigh in exasperation and say “Mom, just ASK someone, will you?”. And then I snap out of it, and do what I need to do.

Most of my friends that I’ve met in adulthood wouldn’t say that shyness is a quality that struck them when they first met me, but it’s probably because I’ve spent a good part of my lifetime working at it.

And this is why I’m glad my kids aren’t afraid to speak their mind. Shyness is a heavy burden and potential life hindrance that they don’t need.

Now I just hope they don’t go all out with the attitude on the homefront, especially when they’re teenagers. But then I suppose we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.


Gina said...

I wouldn't play "sorry" either! I wouldn't classify myself as shy but I am exhausted rather than energized by socializing. It is a challenge to have outgoing and vocal children when you are more reserved but I love your attitude. They are lucky to have a mother who can appreciate and encourage thier individuality.

Rimarama said...

Well, of course! Boys have cooties; you can't sit anywhere near them ;)

She sounds like a very interesting little girl.

BTW, I am also a Smiths fan of yore.

Kellan said...

Yes - I was also shy as a child in a lot of ways. My children (all 4 of them) have loud personalities and are very assertive - not like my husband or me at all. People would say that I am assertive, but it has only come with time (and children). It will make for very good adults - that's what I keep telling myself. Have a good Sunday - great post. See ya.

gmcountrymama said...

I am here via Viking Conquest.
I love The Smiths, I was just listening to them the other day! I am always happily shocked when I find a blogger who likes 80's alternative music.
I was painfully shy also growing up. I've slowly outgrown it since getting out of High School,some 20 or more years ago! Probably because I didn't have to be around mean people all day anymore. Thankfully, neither of my children are shy.

Dina said...

great post Karen
i think i was just like you in the sense that i was SUPER shy and quite as a child. My teachers didn't even know who i was when my parents went for parent teacher night...awful!
I met up with some kids i'd known in grade school years later and they said they'd thought i was a snob and just realized that i had been shy!
It is great that your kids don't hesitate to speak their long as it doesn't get them (or you) in trouble!
i still get bouts of shyness..and still hate asking strangers for things like directions or asking for them to take a photo..will get over it someday

kailani said...

I'm like that, too. My daughter is always scolding me and saying I should just ask someone! She on the other hand is not afraid to speak her mind. hee hee

Karen MEG said...

gina-thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who hated Sorry :)
rimarama-cooties - I didn't even think of that! I should encourage that attitude for the next 20 years.
Kellan-I agree that assertiveness does come with kids - that instinct to protect them from all just kicks into gear.

Karen MEG said...

Welcome gmcountrymama - OMG, you should see our household every Thursday/Friday night - DH and I just recently found a station on the radio with this old geezer DJ who used to spin the tunes (spin, OMG, how old am I?) at the alternative station back in the 80s. We're freaks - the kids think we're crazy - 'Mommy, no dancing!'
I find it interesting that so many fellow bloggers have shy roots. I suspect that's why we have such a love for the writing as a means for communication.
Thanks for popping in and commenting.

Dina - I would never have guessed you were that shy as a kid - a snob maybe :) Actually, I was often accused of being a snob while growing up too!

Kailani -thank goodness our kids can teach us a life lesson or two themselves!


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