My friend Ted is a musician. He’s kind of quiet with a great sense of humor. He enjoys getting together with friends, but not too many at a time, and his fuse is pretty short when it comes to being with large groups of people. He’s the guy that disappears from a party all of a sudden. One minute he’s here; the next minute he’s outta here. Ted doesn’t dislike people at all, but his tolerance for being around them is pretty limited, and when he maxes out, he’s done, and then he’s gone.
Suzanne’s a high school teacher and a real firecracker. She’s loud, energetic, fun-loving, opinionated (and not afraid to express her opinions), and she’s a talker. And she’s married to Ted.
You’d think that a pair like that would be a match made somewhere other than heaven, and if you did, you’d be right. Ted and Suzanne have been married for sixteen years, and except for the first several months, things have been – shall we say – intense. A typical introvert, Ted tends to seek solitude and time for introspection when his battery needs recharging. When he’s under stress, he values no one’s company more than his own and finds clarity, comfort, and relief in being solitary. Yet he’s not a loner or a hermit. Once Ted is refueled, he’s ready to re-engage and connect with other people. But not until then.