Monday, February 4, 2008


For better or worse, I've always been rather willful and contrary--just a quirk of personality born of shyness and (perhaps) benign neglect. This trait manifests itself in a habit of leaving social situations without fanfare or so much as a farewell if I'm not feeling the groove, turned off, or otherwise bored. I would just prefer to slip out unnoticed than burden anyone with any sort of obligation, guilt, or challenge to justify my continued presence. Sometimes it's out of true annoyance or distaste that I leave a social situation, sometimes simple lack of interest, usually something in between. I've left parties, bars, art openings, and concerts over the years--hey, it's my prerogative--the world isn't going to end, is it? Let me save you the energy--I can find the door myself.

A few years ago I attended a concert by a group recommended by bandmates and friends, the band being US Maple (which is not important, as it could have been any number of bands). As the show progressed, I found myself not really connecting with the music; it wasn't bad, it just wasn't speaking to me at that time--to be honest, it struck me as something I'd rather be playing than listening to--if that says anything about my willfulness and contrary nature... Anyway, as my friends closed in on the stage, very much into the performance, I fell back to the edge of the room. Then it struck me (as it does from time to time): I'm not really enjoying myself, maybe I should just leave... And leave I did, tossing my beer in the trash and pushing open the exit, glad to be free of the music and the obligation.

The next day, amid an exchange of emails, my friends realized that I had left, well, earlier than they thought. Talking about it later to Mrs. 'tini, the term "Mapled" was coined; referring to the act of leaving a social situation unannounced, prematurely, and slightly annoyed.

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