update: my chronically networking husband hands out business cards on date night

Remember the letter-writer whose husband was constantly networking on their date nights, to the point of even handing out business cards during walks in the countryside? Here’s the update.

Haha, when I wrote in June I was very very nervous to see the comments but everyone was understanding with similar tales and good advice. My letter did border on the edge of relationship advice, ugh, but the lines frequently blur in freelancing.

Anon-moose (11.53am) was great with her looove of networking while firmly establishing clear boundaries with her partner, and the comments of Allison (11.45am), Dan (12.07pm) and AnnieNonymous (7.31pm) especially were taken into consideration.

As an update, we have improved at establishing boundaries and things have gotten better. We live in mid-size city, so often the same creative circles collide in social outings and it’s a very small world of who knows who – and I do forget that as a new resident. The business cards in the wallet (while out in the woods) endure, and he did snag work eventually after buying a piece of used sports equipment from a classified ad. There is clear phone-free time and shut-down time, and date night has improved to be more of a sacred hour or two than in the past.

We stick out somewhat for the work we do (we both have short contracts of artistic work abroad in addition to locally-based normal stuff); he can whiz and charm people with the instant exotic-factor of these other contracts, while I tend to discuss the more serious and nuanced side of it (the politically-difficult region we work in) if ever asked.

Through all of this, I guess I’ve learned that people just love to discuss their creativity, their opinions, their travels, and their politics – albeit far more than me. The business cards are simply the incendiary start to all of the talking about it. I’ve read about extroversion / introversion lately, and, no surprise, I firmly fit in the latter. Talking about work or our family experiences (quite blurred into each other already) in a non-work atmosphere drains me, while it energizes the other. It won’t ever shut off, but the boundaries set have been an improvement for both.

{ 6 comments… read them below }

  1. Whoops*

    I’d be interested in what’s meant by “politically difficult”. That said, it certainly sounds like a phrase I might use to describe a Trump Administration USA.

    (Also I hate to be that guy but I think I see a typo in the first sentence, “letter writer show husband”…though now I am imagining a three-day eventing type setup for husbands, featuring such events as the Timely Done Dishes, the Don’t Pair Stripes And Plaid, and so on.)

  2. misspiggy*

    Fascinating. I guess if somebody’s genuinely charming, people will be happy to take their cards. I’ve got into interesting conversations on the bus or waiting for a train, the person has given me their card, and I’ve been pleased to take it. But another person with clunkier social skills would have got my back up.

    I seem to have the knack of flushing even a workplace or conference conversation down the tubes once I get my card out, so I’ve learned to wait until I’m asked.

  3. Nanc*

    As an introvert in an extroverted family and working with mostly extroverts, I highly recommend reading The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World. The author talks about handling your introverted self in work, family and other social situations. Oh how I wish this book was around when I first started my career!

  4. Rez111*

    Fellow introvert here; de-lurking to recommend Susan Cain’s excellent book, “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”

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