Audio (MP3): 20181101 - Ice cream anxiety
If we’re at a social gathering and it feels like I snub you that’s because I’m not a social butterfly. I’m more like a social moth. My wings are dusty. I check the doors to be sure they lock. I have debates with myself about what I’m supposed to do next. I have the social skills of a turtle. Just give me some lettuce.
Large groups of people don’t necessarily make me nervous, just uncomfortable. I don’t like people sitting or standing behind me. I don’t like it to the point where I’ll change seats. If I can’t see everything I feel somewhat flustered. I like to keep an eye on things.
That might sound cliche or overused or whatever but it’s because it’s a real thing that affects more people than it should.
Talking one-on-one and sometimes one-on-two is fine. I’ve researched effective communication skills and social graces. One of the best things I learned was to ask other people specific questions about what’s going on in their lives. People like to talk about themselves and then I don’t have to talk about me. High-five.
If someone invites me to come sit with their group I’m ready to get up before I even sit down. This doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of people at the table as much as that my fingernails are too long or my shoes are too tight or my eyebrows are messed up.
And it’s not that I’m stressing about those things but I’m acutely aware when I touch things of just how long my nails are. Or if my feet are hot because my shoes don’t have enough circulation. I feel it when there’s an eyebrow guy out of place and usually my whole world comes to a grinding halt until I deal with him.
I don’t write these things because I need a hug. I write them because I feel bad when thinking about the people left sitting at the table after I’ve abruptly left. You didn’t say anything offensive nor did you smell bad. Well, maybe you did but I’m not going to get that close to know.
Because guess how many homecomings I went to in high school? None. How many school dances did I go to? One. And then I left after 15 minutes. Those aren’t “poor me” stories, just evidence of a long standing reservation with public suspicion. Well, it’s not suspicion. It’s ice cream anxiety.
Shit happens when we’re kids and it shapes who we become, who we are. Regardless of how much we heal you can’t unbreak bones. We can burn our diaries but our DNA is infused with what we wrote. Our history doesn’t have to dictate our lives but it will cast a doubt moving forward.
Anyways, I do better at standing than sitting. Sitting is a commitment. Plus, what if there’s a fire and I need to leave immediately? That’s never happened to me but it’s a sound excuse. I don’t have panic attacks when I’m out but my thoughts wander, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. If I had boobs I would be unstoppable.
I check for my keys fairly often when I’m not at home. Doesn’t matter the situation or circumstances. Sara and I could just be having dinner and I’ll still want to know where my keys are. It’s not a nervous habit because I don’t feel nervous. My heart does skip a beat, though, if I don’t immediately feel them in my pocket.
Where the fuck are my keys? How am I going to drive home? People will look at me if I have to break into my truck. I’ll get all this attention that I don’t want. Keep your flashlights to yourself.
So there’s a dude in my neighborhood, moved in when I was drinking. Liked comic books and superheroes. I met him at a neighborhood party and I thought “oh, we could be friends!”
But we never did. I see the same antisocial behaviors in him that I know and love in myself. So I don’t take it personal when I see him in the alley and he only waves.
In related news one of the things I loved about drinking was that at those parties, the lights would dim after I got a few drinks in me and the sounds weren’t so loud. Really in reality, everything was the same but drinking made…everything not so much.
Do you guys remember that one New Year’s Eve party where I was recounting a riveting tail of wonder and amazement to a fascinated and captivated crowd of more than twenty? And then after my grand finale where I saved the day everyone cheered and clapped? That one time when I was the public speaking hero?
Yeah, I don’t remember that either. Because it didn’t happen. Most likely it never will. I’m not the life of the party but I will cheer you on to be. After I floss.
I don’t have low self-esteem. I’m fairly confident that I can hold my own talking individually with you about Jame Gumb or Bill Wilson or Bobby Flay. Just don’t ask me to play Cards Against Humanity. That’s too much pressure.
#photos #socialproblems #fridaythe13th #diariespodcast
asquared01 · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:33 am
I can relate to so much of what you described. I suppose for me it’s social anxiety. I don’t like going to parties, I don’t like large groups of people that I don’t know and it’s even worse if everyone knows each other and I’m the new person. We have an invitation to a Thanksgiving party we haven’t replied to b/c of my anxiety….I’ve only met the couple once. John knows the husband well but I don’t want to go to someone’s house with a bunch of people I’ve never met. Then I wonder why I don’t have friends…this type of thing right here. :(
tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:50 am
I set time limits for how long I’m willing stay somewhere. With a group of people I don’t know, that limit would most likely be 15 minutes. Then I can leave everybody murmuring amongst themselves.. “who was that dashing man in the golden hockey mask?”
asquared01 · Nov 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm
If you’re at least making a 15 minute appearance, you’re a better person than me. I’ll be replying “can’t go” to that invite. 😬
tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm
How about you guys go for 10 minutes? Drop off a can of that cranberry sauce that makes people swoon? And then announce boldly to crowd, “we’re taking turkey pot pies to the homeless shelter on 5th Avenue.” Nobody would blink as you slammed the door on your way out.
keamoose · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:39 am
Hater McGhray · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:52 am
prokop · Nov 1, 2018 at 11:24 am
Get out of my head. Haha.
fleming · Nov 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm
I know, right??!! I think there are a lot of us out there, just “faking it till we make it”!
Mona · Nov 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm
Story of my life.
tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:30 pm
One time when I was in college I went up to give a speech. In front of the whole class. 20 seconds in I said, “I can’t do this.” And then I went and sat down. 👍
jenkins_arts · Nov 1, 2018 at 2:01 pm
Snazzy. That’s a technical term.
tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm
As is fancy!
jenkins_arts · Nov 2, 2018 at 5:56 pm
Mitchell · Nov 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm
Totally get it uncle Trav I am very much like you believe it or not I looked up/still look up to you for years
tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm
Love you man!
Mitchell · Nov 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm
Love you too unc
threecrates · Nov 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm
Incredibly written as usual pal. Love this! ❤️
tcr! · Nov 2, 2018 at 7:10 am
Thanks man! 🍬
jimi hindrance experience · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:55 pm
It happens to me out of the blue. Everything can be ok and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with panic. I’m never aware of “what happened” if anything.
tcr! · Nov 2, 2018 at 11:22 am
Might be a short circuit. Of course I’m not a doctor or biologist.