Monday, May 9, 2011

Not Cabo Three But Social Stupidity

I've had some clamoring for Cabo Three.  I'm currently at work and decided to take a 15 minute break to write something.  Cabo Three should be short, but I'm going to write it tonight when I get home.

I spent the weekend with relatives.  There are a large majority of my relatives who are very good story tellers.  Some of them are quite descriptive and offer up a good amount of humor.  Some have more humor.  Some have more descriptions.  There are others who try valiantly, but just don't seem to have the story telling talent.

When I get into these gatherings, I typically go directly into "fly on the wall" mode.  I observe, but rarely speak.  I'm fairly confident I was born without the story telling talent.  Which begs the question, "What the hell are you doing now?"

When I am sitting on the metaphorical wall, I do a lot of listening.  And random thoughts go through my head of possible anecdotes I could lend to the fireside experience, but I don't do it.  The neuron path from my brain to my mouth is not nearly fast enough.  By the time I've worked out the details enough to begin my story, there is always one spewing forth from someone else.  If I do manage to start talking, I talk at 100 miles per hour lest I unnecessarily delays someone else's neuron process.  I hate interruptions.

I'm sitting and thinking of all of this when one of my cousin's kids (she's in her 20's I think) appears and asks where I'm from.  "Dallas," I reply.  "And what do you do in Dallas?" she asks.  All kinds of humorous remarks fly through my mind, but all I say is, "I write software".

An hour later, I'm completely lost to the entire social structure of the situation because I'm feeling guilty and bad about being so socially inept.  I am more socially graceful with total strangers who speak Spanish in Mexico than I am with my relatives.  I can't quite figure out why.

Why didn't I ask her where she's living?  I don't know (well, I didn't know).  I do now because her dad conveniently mentioned it to someone else in passing.  Why didn't I ask what she did there?  I don't know.  It might have been an interesting conversation.  I know what she does now because I heard her dad mention it to someone in passing.  I'm a good listener.  Why can't I ask?  It's infuriating.

When I was in school I used to never ask questions because I figured I could always learn it later by listening or reading.  It was too embarrassing to ask.  Or perhaps I was scared of appearing ignorant?

I kid you not, about ten years ago I went to see a psychologist for a few weeks to help with this problem.  She'd give me weekly tasks to ask questions about everything.  I was required to appear ignorant.  I think she wanted to prove to me that it was alright.  That no one would really care.

It worked for the most part.  I was able to do better with it in a work environment, but I am still mostly socially inept.  I'll give another example with them and me.

Them: Hey Gar how are you doing?
Me: Fine thanks.
Them: It was nice seeing you again.  We'll see you later and have a nice day!
Me: Thanks!

There are way too many thoughts running around my feeble neurons for me to compose a socially acceptable dialog.  Same example with some of my random thoughts.

Them: Hey Gar how are you doing?
Me: Oh my god, why are they talking to me?  If I talk back with too much interest are people going to take this the wrong way?  What the hell am I supposed to say?  I really feel like I need to pee but that doesn't seem like a good thing to say.  "I was doing fine until up about 10 minutes ago when that beer I drank hit my bladder with a running start!"  Did that guy at the other table just look at me?  Did someone over there just mention my name?  Is everyone waiting to hear what I say?  I'm feeling kind of tired all of the sudden, maybe I should just say I'm tired.  Nah, cuz then they'll believe I think they are boring or that their sudden and unprovoked presence has made me tired.  That wouldn't be nice.  Fine thanks.
Them: It was nice seeing you again.  We'll see you later and have a nice day!
Me: I am taking way too long to respond in this whole dialog.  Perhaps I should speed things up.  I wonder if they think I am stupid.  What do they mean with 'seeing me again'?  Is that entire table over there laughing at me now?  I don't know that I've ever seen them before.  Maybe someone put them up to this and I'm the receiver of a practical joke.  Did I meet them yesterday and forget about it already?  Do they think I'm someone else?  What if they have me confused with someone else?  No, they did correctly call me Gar.  So what was their name?  Perhaps I should ask them who they are?  Nah, that would be rude.  Why can't I remember who they are? Oh, I'm taking too long again. Thanks!


  1. Hi Gar, I hope you remember who I am? :) It's been a long LONG time since I last visted here. ..well, I enjoyed the conversation between you and them. Have a nice day, Gar :) *bisous*

  2. Hey Jen! I did indeed wonder what happened to you. I've missed your *bisous*'s. Hope everything is going swimmingly.

  3. I have been sort of busy working, which made me keep out of blogging. You know what, I think I have to learn again how to BLOG from scratch.. I seem to have forgotten how to E-write..(..wimper..) :( *bisous*