On my best days, I am socially awkward. The last four days have found me in situations where I am forced to be social and I must say, being forced to be social scares the hell out of me.
I wrote, briefly, about my mishap on Saturday. Basically, someone backed into my car which was parked in the street. No note was left. It looked like someone just hit it and took off. I called the police (social situation number one).
He came out and basically said that someone from across the street had backed out of that driveway and hit my car (I already knew this). If I filed a police report, I was basically filing charges against my neighbor across the street.
In my private hell of avoiding social situations, I've never spoken to my neighbor across the street. I wave at him when we happen to be outside at the same time, but I've never said a word. I've lived 20 yards away from him for 5 years and never spoken a single word. I take that back. One time, about 4 years ago, he asked if I had gotten my mail yet. I think I said, "Huh?"
Luckily, my next door neighbor is very talkative. I enjoy talking to her for about 30 seconds, but she can talk much longer than that. She managed to handle the across the street neighbor crisis for me. As in, she talked to him while I was at the bar consuming liquid courage.
She called me (whilst at the bar) and informed me that he had guests the previous night and he called his girlfriend and discovered she was at fault, but didn't realize she'd backed into it. "But, she's good for it," she said he said.
Later that night, across the street neighbor comes over with insurance information and an apology. The minute I opened the door I was scrambling for how to handle the situation. Do you invite him in? Do you write down the information? Do you have him send it to you via email or text message? Do you apologize for never talking to him in 5 years? I'm a complete neurotic, antisocial mess. And I talk about myself too much.
Monday, I called State Farm, but they said they couldn't do anything until they talked to across the street neighbor's girlfriend. Let's call her ATSNGF. Not really.
Tuesday, I called State Farm again and they said, "We left a message and we sent an email, but have not heard anything yet."
Tuesday night, I had to gear up for social situation from hell part deux (is that a cliche?). Basically, I needed to talk to ATSNGF or get ATSN to call his GF and make sure she was going to file the claim with her insurance because I can't move the car until it's been done. I love acronyms.
After more liquid courage, I sent him a text message. I was polite as I could possibly be, which is easier via text message because I can think about it. Get me on the phone and all kinds of socially unacceptable crap spews forth with alarming and unfiltered clarity.
In the midst of sending this text message I get an email from my boss at work basically telling me that instead of fixing other people's problems, I need to talk to other people and tell them what they've done wrong and ask them to fix it. This is completely logical, but it causes some kind of cold ball of inexplicable nausea to well up inside me.
I'm always afraid they're going to get mad at me. And I can't drink at work. Although one time I did drink two cans of Red Bull and then yelled at someone on a conference call. I quit drinking energy drinks at work after that.
As of today, I've got an appointment to get my car paid for and I've explained to one of my colleagues what they've done wrong and asked them to fix it. At some point, I told my ATSN to let me know when ATSNGF comes to visit and we could go out for drinks (just so there's not hard feelings).
I figure if I do this enough, my social awkwardness will eventually go away. It's already better than it used to be. Now, how was your day?