Sunday, August 18, 2013

Traumatic Weirdness and The Gift of BAGEL

Although I would like to think of myself as one of those witty, suave characters who has a reputation for dry humor and sarcasm, BAGEL.

That abrupt, nonsensical, and confusing sentence ending serves to illustrate my social finesse.  I know that most people are weird once you get to know them, and most of them are awkward and say dumb things once in a while, but really, I think I have a rare and unusual gift.  Let's call it The Gift of BAGEL.

For instance, one time I decided to go to the post office with my mom.  I fully expected to just ride along as company while she ran errands, but when we got there she wanted to do her makeup so she sent me in with a mysterious package.  As I opened the door and beheld the overly-friendly lady behind the desk, I realized I didn't really know what this package was.  Who was it going to?  What was in it?  I was suddenly very confused.  Looking back, I probably could have just handed it to the lady, because the address was already written on it.  However, in the heat of the moment, such a complicated maneuver didn't cross my mind.

I reached the desk and stopped.  The lady smiled expectantly as I stood there like a wet owl, my glare of bemusement probably coming across as malice.  Frowning down at the box in my hands, I knew I had to say something.

''Um...I don't really know why I'm here."  I squinted at her, desperately trying to make a normal, socially-acceptable expression.  The pity on the lady's face was apparent as she said "Oh, hon, let me see that." and took the package from me.  She probably thought I was some poor amnesia victim who had forgotten how to mail boxes.  I'm sure my unreadable expressions didn't help.  When my mother came in to buy stamps, she was confronted with the sympathetic face of the post office lady.  She got a discount on the stamps.

While the post office incident merely proved my social ineptitude, other situations are simply inexplicable.  Like the time I was washing dishes and decided, for some reason, that the cheese grater I was holding didn't look like our cheese grater.  I spent the next five minutes insisting to my brother that this was NOT our cheese grater.  He continued to insist that it was, indeed, our cheese grater, and had been for nearly 20 years.  I'm not sure why I thought it wasn't our cheese grater, but it was only when I had reached the point of tears and hysteria that I realized, oh yes, this IS our cheese grater.  By then it was a little late to play it cool and act like I had known the truth all along.

Why that was such a crisis is not clear.  Perhaps I had a hunch that the cheese grater mafia was infiltrating our cupboards and dishpans, plotting to grate our fingers off as we slept.  Highly plausible.

One of the most sincerely embarrassing things, worse than my awkwardness and seeming inability to function in normal situations, is my face.  Or rather, the color of my face.  Observe, below.

My face when I'm pretty sure no one is watching me or talking to me:

My face as soon as someone walks by, makes eye contact, addresses me directly, mentions my name in passing or glances in my general direction:

Maybe if I plastered my face with foundation, no one would notice the color change...


So I'm sort-of like a chameleon, only slightly less camouflaged and more pointlessly humiliated.


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