So last night I went to a barbecue . . . it was my second social gathering in as many nights, and I was fast approaching my “social gathering” tolerance level for the week.
and I did the same thing I always do. talked too much, dominated the conversation, then drove home feeling that same sense of dread and self-hatred that I always feel.
- I dominate the conversation.
- I’m too loud.
- I talk about “me, me, me” the whole time. (John White wasn’t kidding when he wrote a chapter titled “Self: The Unjolly Giant“)
- I tell stupid stories . . . and I have so many of them!
I am certain that the people around me must despise me almost as much as I despise myself. I want to be that person who is so very interested in other people, who asks questions and makes everybody there feel exceedingly important, who is not freakishly noticeable. But I seem to only have two settings: “On” and “invisible/awkward”. (I guess that’s three settings?!) And, like a wind-up toy, once I’m “on”, there’s no shutting me off, until I retreat in horror and begin the “I suck” monologue in the privacy of my own car. Then I need time away from everything and everyone. It’s hard work being “on” all the time. It wears me down and leaves me wanting to retreat into my bed for the rest of the weekend. (This is the same personality glitch that causes me to dread conversations on an airplane–“I can’t expend this type of energy right now! Don’t talk to me!”)
The next day, I sit and ask myself if perhaps I’m simply incapable of normal social interaction . . . it would explain my propensity to favor “online” communities over those in real life. it would also explain my love of blogging . . . because blogging can be about ME all the time . . .
(I don’t want to believe/admit/acknowledge that this is why I blog, but if I’m to be honest with myself, that must have a lot to do with it.)
Anyway, the saddest realization I had last night was that, if I was at a social gathering with Someone Like Me, I would HATE that person. I would probably come home and blog about what a loser that person was, and how I hate people who act like that in social settings . . .
which, now that I think about it, is exactly what I’ve just done here.