Thursday, June 14, 2012

Unavoidable Idiocy

If my life had a theme, it would be "Try not to look stupid." And I think it's an admirable goal. But for me, it's unattainable. I overthink every social situation that comes up in my life. Inevitably, I'll do something more stupid when I try not to look stupid. Oh, you'd like examples? Certainly!

Example 1 - I assume you're familiar with the way people greet each other. They tend to ask, "How are you?" or "How's it going?" So my preferred response to that is "Good." And it's almost automatic now because I don't want to wait too long to respond. It's really awkward when I struggle to think of a response to "How are you?" But the problem is that I sometimes respond before my mind has really comprehended what they've said.  So often times, they'll say "What's up?"  And because I hate responding too slowly, I immediately say, "Good! How are you?!" So I sound like an idiot.

Them: "What's up, man?"
Me: "Good! You? DERP!!!"

Example 2 - If I correct someone's grammar on Facebook, without fail I will have made a grammar or spelling mistake in my comment. So my comment says, "You meant your, not you're. Their not actually interchangeable." And then I get reamed for my their/they're confusion, and I look like an idiot again.

Example 3 - I'm forever terrified that I have food in my teeth. If I even think for a second that I have something stuck in my teeth, I'll find the closest reflective surface and check (I checked just now just to be sure). One day, a coworker called right after lunch and asked if he could drop by my office to discuss something. I said yes and immediately started checking my teeth for broccoli shards. And no sooner had I opened my mouth incredibly wide and tried to use my phone's screen as a mirror that the guy walked in to talk to me. So I looked like I was taking a cell phone picture of my tonsils. Again, I looked like a complete idiot.

Example 4 (last example) - I was out of town one weekend and a guy I didn't recognize came up to me and said, "Hey, where do I know you from?" So to help him avoid an awkward conversation and to save me the embarrassment of trying to place someone I knew I didn't know, I told him we didn't know each other. I explained that I was only in town visiting my older brother, and he must be mistaking me for someone else. And since I definitely didn't recognize him, I just knew I was right. So I thought maybe I'd kept from looking stupid. Then I got to my brother's house and realized it was his neighbor, who I'd only ever seen in the driveway (every time I'd visited). So it was awkward when we both got out of our cars at the same time and I looked like an idiot again.

It's like Master Oogway said in Kung Fu Panda, "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." That was one smart tortoise.

1 comment:

Leah Hollett said...

Honestly... I'm glad you're so awkward. What else would you write about if you weren't?!?! ;)