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I didn’t realize I was an introvert until a couple of years ago. My entire adult life was spent dodging plans that didn’t involve baking at my house or watching a movie, and I always felt exhausted after a day of working retail and chatting mindlessly with customers, but for some reason, it just didn’t click. I figured my hatred for social situations and partying just meant I was depressed and/or weird. In turn, I forced myself out constantly and became horribly bitter and miserable.
When I met Emmett, my partner, he was shocked I didn’t already identify as an introvert (he’s really into personality typing and such). Turns out I wasn’t just a grumpy weirdo who hated everyone I met, I was just the kind of person who liked being at home with my cats and my dog and not talking more often than most people!
I also realized the reason I was so exhausted by almost everyone I met was because they were all extroverts, and in turn they just didn’t understand my intrinsic need for homey, alone time. I just needed to meet more introverts! But how? We all act shy and weird and stay home all the time!
Stay Home Club is a Canadian brand that makes clothing and accessories (and pillow cases!) for introverts and those who, well, just like to stay home. Run by Olivia Mew, a Montreal based illustrator, SHC provides a sort of wordless camaraderie between introverts, acknowledging that we are all in the same boat without forcing us to suffer through the small talk and awkward introductions that most of us hate so much.
When I wear my “Awful” sweatshirt, or fill up my SHC logo tote bag with groceries, and fellow introverts comment on it, I feel less alone. In fact, I feel like I’m in a secret club of people who prefer to be at home eating cookies with their cats. Though I love being alone, I don’t necessarily like to feel lonely, but SHC has reassured me through cute printed T-shirts and phone cases that I am definitely not the only loner out there.
Eventually, I did manage to make connections with fellow introverts through social media or friends of friends, and I’ve felt so much less lonely since. Now when I say I’m going to stay in instead of going out dancing, or invite someone over for tea on a Friday night, I’m not pressured into going out or brutally rebuffed. A number of these friends proudly wear SHC gear, further solidifying us into a sort of introvert gang. To join you must:
- Like snacks.
- Like cats. (Dogs are much more social pets, but they’re acceptable, too.)
- Like staying home.
- Be proud of your reclusive ways.
- Like boring things.
- Generally dislike most people.
Honey and I are proud club card holders. She is a dog, but she doesn’t like other dogs much, so she was allowed in.