The More People Present, The Less I Can Speak

Picture this scene:

At a small gathering, there are about six people (including myself) present. Everyone is exchanging stories, laughing about old times. For me, this is fine. This is comfortable. I can join the conversation, no problem.

Fast forward a couple hours. More people have shown up. The numbers are now in the double digits, upwards of 10 ten people are there. This is… difficult. I can try to join the conv- nope, the subject changed, I didn’t chime up fast enough. I can join a small group maybe..? Except, there’s only one empty chair in a corner where no one else is.

Looks like that’ll be my spot.

My puppy joined me though. So that was nice.

 

Ending Awkward Interactions 101

For any Aziz Ansari fans out there:

I was watching an episode of his new Netflix series “Master of None” last night. In the opening scenes, Dev (Ansari) is asking out a girl, and he seems a little nervous about it. The girl agrees to go to a show with him, and after they exchange information neither is saying anything, they’re both laughing nervously and Dev says, “So… I guess that’s the end of this interaction.”

Aziz Ansari has figured out the secret to ending an awkward interaction. Bless him.

Sleep is for the Dead (And the Mentally Sane)

It’s officially that point in the semester where I get no sleep because I stay up trying to be productive, yet I struggle to be productive because 2 am is not the best time to read (and actually comprehend) a 20 page article on feminist theory. Will I learn that staying up late yields very little results and only works to turn me into an unsociable creature for the next 24 hours? Probably not any time soon.

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“Happy Birthday” Is A Special Form of Torture

Things you can do when people are singing “Happy Birthday” to you:

  • Smile and look at the floor, your hands, everyone in the room, the walls, the cake…
  • Sing along, it’s your day, you can do whatever you want.
  • Begin to walk away slowly until everyone is so confused they stop singing altogether.
  • Cry.
  • Scream.
  • Stare blankly at the person who suggested everyone sing and plot their demise in your head.
  • Find your pet and start playing with them.
  • Sit in the middle of the floor quietly.
  • Leave.
  • Close your eyes, if you can’t see them, they can’t see you.
  • Smile awkwardly. (The option most of us opt for every year).

No, but seriously, I turned 20 a few days ago and had no idea what to do other than stand awkwardly counting down the seconds for everyone to finish singing.

Email Correspondence Will Forever Baffle Me

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We are clearly living in a world where using the internet is almost unavoidable. Being an avid user of more sites than I’d like to admit, I kind of love this. The technology that has become so prevalent in my life is amazing, but I have to say, there’s one thing I’ve always disliked: email. When I set up my very first email account at the completely immature age of 12, I could not have been more excited. I didn’t have a cellphone until I was 16, so email and phone-calls were my main methods of communication with friends. Of course, my email account was not used the way it is today. The important part of having an email back then was the oh-so-marvelous “Instant messaging” feature.

As wonderful as it was sending cryptic messages back and forth with friends, the actual use of email today usually baffles me. Every email sent begins with a chaotic scene in my brain:

“Okay. “Dear,”… No. That sounds weird, this isn’t a letter. What about “Hello”? But that’s so plain and boring. Their name, I’ll just start off with their name. Now the actual message… Let’s see. I know what I need to say. How do I say it professionally? That sounds much too formal, they’re going to think I hate them. Why is this so difficult? All I need to do is set up an appointment!! Okay. Whatever, I asked, it’s professional, that’s fine. It’s done. What’s the appropriate way to sign now..? “Best”? Too cheery. “Cheers”? I would never say that, I would sound ridiculous. “Sincerely”? What if I google it? Okay, never mind, google’s suggestions are worse than my brain’s. Forget it, I’m just putting my name there.

Writing emails is a special kind of torture to me. But what really kills me is spending 30 minutes on something that should take no more than 2 minutes and getting a response such as:

“Sounds good! See you then.”

Oh. That’s all?

Okay.

I Should Be Less Sarcastic

Yesterday I was paying for a drink at a gas station when the guy at the register said, “Nice hair! Is that your natural color?”

If you’ve seen a couple of my earlier posts you’ll know I have red hair. Very bright, very unnaturally red hair.

Thinking the guy was joking I replied, quite sarcastically, “Yup, it’s always been this way.”

The guy looked stunned and said, “Wow.’

He thought I was being serious…

No sir. I do not have naturally fire-hydrant-red hair. I wish I did. But I’m afraid no one does.

I didn’t even think to clarify, I just grabbed my drink and left.

Compliments Shut Me Down

English ViewWalking on campus is one of my favorite things to do; it gives me a chance to either mentally prepare for classes, or unwind after a long day. On these walks, music is an essential piece of the equation. And because I like to avoid talking to strangers, I’ve taken to using large headphones that make it look like I can’t hear anything (which I usually can’t). I realize this may sound rude, but my intention is not necessarily to avoid people, but to save them from the bundle of awkwardness that I am.

Yesterday, I was going about my day as usual: taking purposefully slow steps, looking ahead at nothing in particular, with the sweet melodies of Atmosphere blasting from the giant circles surrounding my ears. My routine was brought to a halt when I noticed a guy talking to me, probably not realizing I could not hear a word he was saying. I looked at him with a blank expression as I slowly pushed the headphones back.

Walk View

He said: Hey, I’m a fashion blogger and I really like your style. I was wondering if I could take your picture.

In my 19 years of living, I have never had anyone say something like this to me, so it took me a few seconds to actually respond, and all I could think to say was: uhhh… sure.

Unfortunately, I only got more awkward from this point forward. The poor guy was just looking to get a picture and the lightning was bad apparently, so we kept having to move forward, or walk further. After about 100 feet, he found a spot he said would work and started shooting.

He was clearly in his element. Meanwhile, my thoughts tortured me, “How do I stand? Do I smile? Should I even look at the camera? Is it weird that I’m holding the strap of my backpack? I can’t let go of my laptop bag, it’ll fall. Should I have set it down? Is it too late to ask? Why am I still holding on to my backpack. Oh my goodness, WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?”

Thankfully, the guy was quick. Four or so pictures later he said he was all set. He gave me a card, told me a little more about what he does, said thanks, and was on his way, and I continued on to class.

Cable

Thinking about the whole situation now, I can’t help but cringe a little. I was incredibly flattered and all I could think to say to the guy as he left was, “Thanks, have a great day.”

It’s these kind of experiences that make me feel embarrassed at first, but after thinking them over I can’t help but laugh. The guy walks around Denver asking people if he can take pictures of them. I’m sure he has had other weird experiences.