Here I sit in my other favorite place to write -- the local B&N cafe. I'm such a cliche. Between my location, my MacBook, and my black nail polish, my husband would be making lots of hipster jokes at this point (he's got a million of them.) I think he's in denial, though. If anybody in this family has hipster tendencies, it's him. I love him anyway.
So, my other favorite place to write is my little nook in the guest room. I have a sprawling desk upstairs, but it's a room I share with my husband and every piece of junk that doesn't have a home elsewhere. I simply can't work in that kind of chaos. It's really kind of crazy because B&N isn't exactly the quietest or most visually soothing place these days, but it's different somehow. It's somebody else's chaos. In my strange little mind, that makes a huge difference. I can block it all out (with the assistance of my earbuds) and crank out work like a machine. And sometimes the change of venue makes a real difference in how I write.
Of course, when you write in public -- especially as a woman -- you risk inviting the attention of others (a benefit of the home workspace -- it has a door.) This is where my spectacular case of Resting Bitch Face comes in handy. I can repel others subconsciously just by looking like myself. Actually, this particular affliction has served me well over the years. For the most part when I'm out in public, I want to be left alone. I don't want to chat. I don't want to hear about your grandchildren or complain about the long wait at the doctor's office, and I especially don't want to explain what I'm reading or writing. Enter the snarling bitterness that is my natural expression.
You know what cancels out Resting Bitch Face, though? Having a four year old. A gregarious four year old. A cute one. And just like that, her inability to pass a stranger without speaking becomes my problem. If I have an adorably friendly child, I must be a charming extrovert regardless of my facial expression, right?
Kiddo has killed my anonymity, my invisibility. So it's been a learning process, a season of growth, as the touchy-feelys would say. I'm learning not to stare blankly at people who speak to me in grocery store lines. I paint that smile on my face that I fear mostly looks like a grimace of excruciating pain, but oh well. Turns out I'm not a hipster so much as I am just a misanthrope. Or maybe I just don't like idle conversation. I suck at it, and I have no desire to master that particular skill. You know those people who only speak when they have something meaningful to say? I love those people. I aspire to be those people. In the meantime, you can talk to my child...she has enough to say for both of us.