I Tweeted this morning, “I really just want to FEEL like I fit in somewhere. Damn this brain of mine.” I got some really nice messages from a few distinguished guests in my life story. I think I need to explain it just a little bit further though. I guarantee there are some of you that do this and feel this, so don’t be afraid to comment. Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with my ability to Dad my kids and husband my wife. I’m proficient and proud of those. Thanks again for the nice comments. This is about my ability to forge friendship and bond to groups.
I am socially awkward but maybe not in a way you are familiar with. I know what some of you are saying, “you seem like you get along with everyone,” “in high school you had lots of friends,” “I’ve seen you be the life of the party.” One at a time: I get along with everyone because it’s easier and more pleasant than the alternative, I’m friendly most of the time. In high school I was desperately trying everyday not to make a fool of myself, so I made other students like me by being kind. I can be very quick witted and sometimes that leads to “Uncle BBQ telling dumb dumb jokes” at parties. None of these have to do with my Tweet.
Maybe better if I give an example, a recent example. I’ve been introduced to a new group of people in my life and I recently got to hang with a few of them in a nice atmosphere. We laughed and got to know one another, some very interesting people. I will see them again. In the mean time here’s what Happens. I think. Think. Think. What exactly did I say? I think of every individual encounter through the evening. What did they think of me? Did I talk too much? Did I come off arrogant? Did I complain too much? Did I name drop too much? That one time I couldn’t finish my story because I forgot a key detail, did they think I was dumb? Did I interrupt too much? Was my give and take a good proportion? Oh man, my breathe was funky, did someone smell it? What about that fart I snuck out? Deal breaker? ((Ok, obviously that last one is a farce. I’m an expert in fart checking before release. See George Carlin’s “test fart” bit for reference.)) Anyways, the point is that I completely tear the situation to shreds until it scares the piss out of me to hang with them again.
This is not a new thing. I’ve been doing this one as long as I can remember. In high school I had a group of friends that hung out with people from the big town 20 miles away. They took me once. I said something stooooooopid that night and never went back. I doubt they noticed and why would anyone still remember? I do… I could make a long scrolling list of examples from the last 3 decades and yes, the details would terrify, right down to the dumbass clothes I was wearing.
Look, I don’t walk around sad all day. I don’t stick my chin in my chest and mope about the earth. I’m not Emo. I just thought I should explain what that Tweet meant. I hunger for friendship and crave being a part of a group. I’m not afraid to admit it. It’s a natural human instinct. I really am learning to let loose and go with it. Don’t give up on me yet.
I’m not sure this makes sense to anyone but I’m scared to ask…
I blame that awful show in the 90’s that I got tricked into watching. Fuck You “Friends.” You’re not real.