Tuesday, January 15, 2008

moments from the weirdness index

Anyone else out there (and statistically speaking, there's bound to be at least one) have that moment when they realize just how fucking weird they are? You know, when you're not even trying.

Case in point: casual conversations about firsts. For the sake of a hypothetical (and definitely not anything that has ever happened to me, you know, often or anything), let us say that you are involved in a group of idly chatting women, and the subject of first kiss comes up and everyone starts telling stories. You know that your first kiss story is liable to cause consternation and/or disgust and/or pity, so you spend the first story told by one of the other women mentally editing the contents of your first kiss story in order to both be considerate of others and to hide your own weirdness factor, which you are fully aware exceeds the group limit. You run through your revised story looking inconsistencies during the second story told.

You aren't exactly lying, you're just doing everyone a favor and not exhibiting the differences between you. Sometimes false consensus is all you've got.

The woman just before you in the circle tells her story, which contains in it a boy backing her into a wall to forcibly kiss her. Ah, you think. Well, at least there's one other person here who didn't have a first kiss that involved a saccharine Rockwell moment. So you tell the real story, eager even, because it's nice to be able to tell and because you think 'hey, I'm not alone.'

Yeah, about that...

So, half way through the story, which involves a much, much older boy on a school bus and being forced to sit in his lap afterward to get your hair petted, you realize that every single woman in the group, including the woman you thought you had a lot in common with, is staring at you with dawning horror. Right about the time you describe sitting in his lap like some kind of a performing animal (at which he has been chuckling; you're fresh back from England and he thinks your accent [and the school uniforms that you're still wearing because it saves money] is hi-larious.) Your legs are short enough to dangle and bounce with the bus wheels, as you babble away at him. In the resulting silence, you realize that once again you have failed the weirdness index test, disguised as a bonding moment. You can't do what you want to, and walk off, because now you are both angry and embarrassed; angry that once again, no one told you the normie group rules (and of course they won't; they don't even know there are any, they fit so well.) And how many times are you going to flunk this kind of test? You're embarrassed because you do have to look these women in the eye afterwards and now they are all going to be thinking of you in terms of that school bus moment. No matter how many times you've been wrong, you automatically assume everyone has a moment like that and in one hot moment, you have once again been reminded that you are, you know, weird.

Not that I've ever been standing there trying to graceful cover how furious I am because I actually was trying to fit in and couldn't help myself. There's only one thing to do at moments like that.

Make the story worse. I got worse ones. And I HATE that pitying expression.

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