On Behalf Of That Girl Who Was Really Rude To You That One Time

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You know how I totally didn’t smile at you just now when you smiled at me? Well…I’m very uncomfortable in social situations and I found my mind wandering…thinking about places I’d rather be where I’d be less likely to humiliate myself…and I didn’t notice you smiling. When I did finally see you, my mind was still wandering and it took me a minute to process Oh! That nice lady is smiling at me! and by the time I did you turned away. And now I’m kinda in this humiliating place where I’m staring at you obsessively, hoping to get another chance, and I’m almost certain I have my crazy eyes on. I can tell I have them on because now everyone looks scared of me…I should probably leave.

You know how you and I know each other slightly but yet when you acknowledged me with a word or a smile or a greeting I got all flustered and furrowed my brows at you? I know that made me look really mean and bitchy but really I’m just uncomfortable with human interaction in many capacities and that makes me unable to place familiar faces. So, while you may have immediately remembered we used to work together, I kept trying to remember you from that exercise class I took and all of that thinking made my face hurt. Please don’t be offended.

You know how you came up to me at the party and complimented my shoes? I’m sorry I laughed a “Thanks” and then awkwardly talked about how much my now-dead dog liked them too. I just don’t do well at parties where I don’t know anyone and I overcompensate by trying to be “funny” which always ends up falling more into the category of “rude” and possibly “over-sharing.” Be lucky I didn’t talk about my lady problems.

You know how you made that joke and I laughed so loud everyone looked at me and then I snorted and responded with some sort of weird combination of profanities? I promise you I don’t usually curse. I just get nervous and sometimes my nervous persona has the mouth of a sailor. It’s like some part of me reverts back to Junior High when dropping the f-bomb earned you cool points. I’m sure your sister, the Sunday school teacher, is probably still praying for me and my foul mouth. Tell her, “Thanks.”

You know how you invited me to that gathering at your house and I sat in the corner looking surly the entire time? That’s just the face I wear when I’m terrified I’m going to humiliate myself. I’m prone to laughing too loud, cursing too much, and telling inappropriate stories involving my own bodily functions when I’m anxious in social situations. Since all of these things end up haunting me for weeks after a party, I try to avoid them by hiding somewhere and interacting with no one. Trust me, you would much rather me stay silent in the corner than break out my poop stories. It never ends well for anyone.

You know how I called you the wrong name? Yeah. Sorry about that. I know who you are. I’ve talked to you on several occasions, but often times my nerves affect the part of my brain in charge of name recall. I do it to my kids, too. I promise. You’re very memorable and if I ever see you one-on-one, I’m certain to do better, but this group around us is making my brain stop working.

You know how we know each other and you were so kind to open the lines of communication at that party? And I barely responded and went and talked to someone else? It’s because you’re really pretty and I get super intimidated by pretty people because I often feel like an oaf at social events. So, what came off as rude and bitchy was really a compliment to your appearance! You can thank me later.

You know how I never talk to you and often run away when I see you? It’s because that one time we hung out I said something really humiliating and I have nightmares remembering it and when I see you it triggers and weird Social Anxiety form of PTSD and running away is the only way to stop my brain from replaying that horribly embarrassing moment from 5 years ago in my head.

You know how you always invite me to do things and I never accept? I value our friendship, but I’m still a little intimidated by you, and I’m terrified we’re not at the point yet where I can say/do my usual stupid/embarrassing thing and still preserve our friendship. Maybe if you tell me a story about your social anxieties next time I’ll feel less like you’ll judge me when I inevitably start complaining about boob sweat around your small children.

12 Comments

  • Lisa

    “I’m prone to laughing too loud, cursing too much, and telling inappropriate stories involving my own bodily functions when I’m anxious in social situations.” — This is why I like you. Because this sounds like a good time to me.

    • Michelle

      Yes! Me, too.
      Seriously, though. Every single scenario you mentioned I have gone through myself, and then thought about for days later, which only adds to the awkward the next time I’m in public because I’m all self conscious. So, you’re in good (I hope, anyway) company.

  • Susan

    Oh, wow. This really hit home for me. Especially the pretty people one and the trying to recognize someone outside of the original setting. Hugs from another awkward girl. Awkward hugs, that probably last too long or involve that weird moment when I always lean in at the wrong time and turn my cheek the wrong way and let’s just forget the hugs and just wave at each other, OK?

    • zoot

      Oh, the hugging. I accepted a long time ago that I’m probably just always going to be an awkward hugger. I did it this weekend. Often my instinct is just to hug. This happens at races all the time b/c I’m always so wound up that I’m excited to see familiar faces so I almost ALWAYS go in for a hug and WHO WANTS A RACE DAY HUG? NO ONE. But I do it anyway. Because it’s evidently involuntary.

  • MrsDragon

    Oh my, the whole “I can’t place you thing”. I do that so often. Just the other day I had a dude recognize me from a party we were at, outside in the dark, years ago, when my hair was a whole lot shorter. And I all was all like “Oh ya! You! Are…who?” 0_o

    And I call people by the wrong names, misplace words, sound like a drunken technologically illiterate engineer when I’m trying to impress people. It’s awesome! Hi! Totally trust me to be smart, oh crap I just forgot the technical term, so I’ll try to fudge it using other words… I swear, it’s early senility brought on by ego. And the words I forget are never the difficult ones, so I look like an extra big idiot.

    All that to say….I feel you. <3

  • Shawna

    This is sooo me!!! I thought I was the only one! In high school I was voted biggest snob because if I wasn’t smiling I looked like a a b&#ch! I “duck and dodge” people I know at the store because I don’t know what to say to people…Awful feeling…sometimes I feel like I even stutter when I can’t find my words! I wish I would just wake up one day (tomorrow) and have more confidence and less anxiety!!

  • Shannon

    If it makes you feel better, I overheard my husband telling my mom last weekend that “the blogger and her husband” were the most interesting/fun/enjoyable people to talk to at Shan’s 20th reunion this summer.