“Most bloggers are emotionally unstable and are often awkward in social situations, which is why so many of us turned to blogging in the first place.” –Jenny Lawson Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
While I don’t believe I’m emotionally unstable, I do attest to being quirky (the nice word for weird) and slightly uncomfortable in social situations; especially with people I don’t know well. So yes, I couldn’t help but laugh and kind of relate as I read that line last night.
I totally turned to blogging because I have stories I want to share, but I hate telling long stories in front of people. Besides the fact that I turn beet red and start stumbling over words whenever I notice undivided attention turned on me, I also tend to get cut off every time I begin talking, and I immediately assume it’s because people aren’t interested in what I have to say (part of my very mild self-diagnosed OCD that I’ll get to soon). When I’m in a big group of people, once I get cut off, I can usually just trail off and am luckily forgotten about. But if I’m one-on-one and get cut off, I feel like I need to follow through with what I began, so I’ll usually just cut to the chase, leaving out all the entertaining parts and ending with a lame ass story that not even I was interested in hearing, which then leaves me blushing and ashamed that I opened my mouth again.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m pretty sure I have a very mild case of OCD. If anyone else got cut off while talking, they’d brush it aside and continue on with their story or leave their tale for another day. But not me. I sit there thinking how dumb I was to have even started talking, and put myself down for even thinking people would want to listen to what I have to say. I begin to wonder if others are secretly laughing at me and privately glad that I was shut up. I seriously obsess about this for the next minute or so, completely ignoring the other conversation around me, but putting on a fake smile and nod so that I can hopefully fit in while I calm my ass down. That’s the tip of the iceberg to my social awkwardness, and the showcase to my quirkiness.
When I was a kid, my hands always had to be equal; and a lot of the times, this equality revolved around the staircase in my house. If my right hand lightly slapped the banister, my left hand had to slap it as well. Sometimes, I’d even go back up the few stairs so that I could hit the banister in the approximate same place. We also had a light switch at the top and foot of our stairs that controlled the same overhead light. If I flipped the switch upstairs, then I had to flip it downstairs with my opposite hand. This worked well if the light was off, because ultimately, the light would end up off again. It led to issues when the light was on, however. I would flip the switch off upstairs, then switch it back on downstairs, which would leave me with a sense of guilt for leaving a light on in an area I wasn’t going to be in, so I’d flip that same switch back off (with the opposite hand of course), then be left with two uncomfortable options: leave the light alone and walk away with my other hand feeling left out, or let equality prevail at the expense of running electricity. I usually chose the latter; assuming one of my brothers would save the world’s energy problem for me.
For some reason, I grew out of that; maybe it was moving out of the house for college. Nowadays, my OCD is mostly manifested in my placement of objects. If an array of items is in front of me, I’ll usually line them up neat and tidy. Everything on the desk of my classroom had a specific place that I would fix constantly throughout the day. Just last week, as I was eating a clam dinner, Greg noticed me carefully stacking my empty shells off to the side of my plate. After he knocked them over, I wanted to stack them back up, but instead, I stubbornly settled on making the fallen towers more spread out equally across my plate. One of the shells that used to be on top was sadly layered by another shell, and as much as I told myself to let it go, I had to pinch it from the bottom of the plate and set it delicately on the top: it’s rightful place among it’s fellow shells.
I’ve been delighted reading the above-mentioned book, and pouring over her blog. Jenny Lawson has not only given me the renewed energy I needed to get my own blog up and running again, but she’s validated the reasons I write, and makes me feel not so alone in my weirdness. I actually feel pretty normal compared to her, though after this entry, many of you might disagree.