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Too analytical

Yesterday afternoon, Brooke and I went for a walk downtown. Ostensibly we do this for exercise, but really it’s just a fun excuse to get together and chat and look at things. Yesterday’s main excuse was so I could see the new James Brown statue and take some pictures of it.

showing those pearly whites

We’d barely accomplished that when it started raining. Undaunted, we walked around some. The rain came in bursts, occasionally coming down hard, but drizzling for the most part. We power-walked from awning to awning, screeching like ninnies whenever huge bolts of lightning crack-powed a little too close for comfort. (Don’t do this at home, kids.) Eventually the weather convinced us that we should probably be inside, so we checked out a new store: Treasures of the World.

The place was run by a guy who was apparently in the military. He said that while traveling in Asia, he and his family had come up with the idea to import quality, hand-made goods from around the world to the US. He now has over a hundred suppliers from 56 nations across all six populated continents, and is still looking to expand. The original store is in Florida; the Augusta store is a new venture. While he didn’t state this, I assume he opened in Augusta because he was transferred to Fort Gordon.

There was a lot of neat stuff in the place, including a huge sculpture of a boat, made entirely out of jade. “What is it, $10,000?” I asked. “Nineteen, actually,” the guy said. When he went to answer the phone, I took a picture of it.

that's a lotta jade

After we left the store, I commented to Brooke that it was interesting how the guy had responded to things I said. For example, he originally stated that he had been traveling in Asia. When I asked him what he’d been there for and how long, he said (it seemed more like he was admitting) that he’d been stationed in Korea. “Ah, that’s what I thought,” I said, rather judgmentally, as if I were ashamed of him for hiding his military background. I honestly hadn’t meant for it to come out that way; I was trying to just say “Oh”, but my disappointment over not having found an industry that could get me overseas seemed to affect what came out of my mouth.

I considered clarifying my position, but then I decided that it didn’t really matter, so I didn’t say anything. I did notice, however, that every time he mentioned his travels thereafter, he would hastily amend the fact that he’d been stationed there, as if he was worried about displeasing me.

As I was explaining this to Brooke, she said, “You really do analyze stuff!” That got me thinking. Maybe part of the reason I have trouble with conversations with strangers is that I am constantly evaluating what’s being said. How am I coming across? What do they think of me? This seems to be an introvert trait; extraverts are better at just doing it, and not worrying about all the details. It’s no wonder I’m exhausted after spending a day talking with people, if I’m using up all my mental energy trying to give them all the proper impression.

For more pictures from the rainy downtown trip, including more James Brown and yet another picture of the Lamar Building, click here.