I’m very grateful for the people I have in my life, in all their many places, and capacities. I seem to have a unusually high volume of adopted families in my life, paired with an unusually large immediate family. Somehow, even with being an introvert I have hundreds of people in my life. I do my best to keep in contact with everyone, though I’ve been slacking in my old age.
People have always held this unspeakable charm for me, I never know quite what to do with them or where to put them, what capacity to love them in, but I do my best. (my best is an idiot.)
I’m terribly awkward when it comes to people. I’m secretly so unsure of every interaction, always wondering if I did that right or if I could do it better. Naturally, I think of the best things to say after people leave, and such and so.
It takes a lot to make me react emotionally to anything. My adopted defense mechanism of choice has been to laugh or giggle at everything. And I mean everything. Ex. What’s that your dog died? HAH Hahah, oh shit. Oh, you’re mom has CANCER? Heheh hah, wow. You hate your life and you think you’ll never amount to anything? HAHAh, heh ho huh, mmm… I see. Yes, that bad. Or I at least smile beautifully, albeit nervously, and rather uncontrollably, sometimes even to the point of tears. Nerve wracked, happy, awkward tears, but wet and sniffly, nonetheless.
The most common interpretation of my poorly chosen defense of giggles and guise, is to think that I’m flirty as all get out, and have impossibly low standards. However, the one time I actually had a boyfriend one of his main complaints was that I was so terrible at flirting with him, yet so good with everyone else. His mom adored me. I did like him, a little more than a smidgen, and a lot less then loving adoration, and yet I had no idea how to sweetly tell him he was handsome, or funny, or anything else nice without it sounding entirely patronizing. I really did think he was funny (sometimes), and cute and tall, I just don’t know many other nice adjectives.
I’m not a mean person, per se, but I’ve never thought of myself as particularly nice, either. I think sweet things about people semi-regularly, but when I think of saying them out loud I begin sweating profusely in my palms, heart racing and my brain is just bouncing all over the place, grasping at any coherent sentences it can remember until I seize up or blurt out something like your SHOES are really neat & hair… good! Pretty! Needless to say, I’ve more or less given up on complementing people.
Not to worry though, I’m equally maladjusted to receiving complements. When people say nice things to me or about me, I’m in my head either, adamantly agreeing with them or vehemently arguing against their point. I’m quite good at knowing whether or not I have a particular set of skills or am capable of performing certain tasks, and of course I know that I’m beautiful, because HAVE YOU SEEN MY PARENTS? One thing us Moreau’s have for sure, is good looks. Not my fault, just my problem. But trust me, I also know that I am highly capable and adept at looking like a garbage can picked through in winter. It really depends on my motivation of the day. Sometimes I put on full makeup and a clean outfit to sit at home with a raging headache writing words that will probably never be read, and sometimes I stay in my sweats for a week straight only adhering to the most basic personal hygiene standards known to homeless men.
My interactions with others, regardless of where my personal hygiene standards are set for that day or week, are always lacking. I might play it cool sometimes, pretend to be loads better at human interaction than I ever actually will be, sometimes that I pretend nothing scares me and nerves are for banged up knees, and climbing trees. This is of course, far from the truth.
Here’s an example of a humdrum, run of the mill, ordinary interaction with a redundant acquaintance. That is to say, someone whom I’ve met in various social settings, never one on one, and only spoken to in horrifically draining small talks.
He: Hey, how’s it going?
Thought process: Who is this person? What am I supposed to do with this? Okay, simple question, simple answer. What kind of a question is ‘how’s it going anyways? Why couldn’t he just ask how I’m doing. Wait, no. Because that would be hard to explain, or I’d have to lie… Wait, he’s still standing here.
Me: …it’s moving right along.
He: Glad to hear it.
Thought process: Okay, we’re missing something. Ask him a question. Anything. Go.
He: Me what?
TP: Shoot! A coherent question would be good. Full sentences. Smile. Giggle. It’ll buy you some time. Play it off. Ready, sincere smile, and-
Me: Ha, you. How are you? What have you been up to?
TP: Great job on unnecessarily extending the conversation early. Now what question are you going to use when your floundering for things to say in a few sentences. Genius. Hey, listen up! He’s talking.
He: Oh, yeah. Good. Nothing much really, just the usual. *smiles*
TP: conversational athlete over here. I have so much to work with. It’s so cool that all of this talking has given me zero information on this person, what does he do? have I asked him that yet? SMILE, dammit. He’s smiling, do it back, you rude girl. Follow up question.
Me: *smiling and nodding feigning sincere interest* How’s work been? Still stressful?
TP: Great faker question. Everyone’s job is stressful at some point, you’re doing well.
He: Oh yeah, works been really blahblahblahablah lately and blah blah blah. haha, y’know?
TP: FAKE LAUGH!! FAKE LAUGH!!
Me: *mildly, genuinely, fake laughing just the right amount to match his glee* Oh, my goodness. Do I ever.
Anyways, even fake he was boring me with all of that useless and soul sucking shit chat, I mean… no, never mind, i meant shit chat. That gives you a little taste of what every conversation is like inside my brain. And it only gets worse the more I care about someone or the more serious a conversation is. Because I truly desire to be engaging and sincere, while still being witty and insightful, but dead pan is my natural state of being and people need so much more animation than I know how to provide. It’s not a matter of being true to myself, because trust me, I say the wrong thing multiple times a day, and I’m always making people mad at me for reasons I cannot comprehend.
But alas, I am trying to become a better person, and learn how to be more accommodating to people’s comfort zones. But I digress to say that, people are treasures and there’s something to be gleaned off of everyone, but they also make me insane and are nearly impossible to get along with smoothly. I’ll never understand other humans. I wish I lived among lizards.