Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Is Normal?

Apparently I'm a really awkward person. I've always prided myself on my ability to not be awkward. I'm pretty sure I've even used the exact phrase "I just don't have the awkward gene". Well, I still personally don't think I'm awkward, but people seem to think otherwise.

This new realization started yesterday when I had my lunch break from my 8 hour class. It was pouring rain out as I left the school building to grab food. More than pouring. The type of rain that broke my umbrella as I trudged against the heavy wind, juggling my umbrella (which rendered useless) while attempting to keep my computer dry without dropping my cup of coffee (the most important part). 

When I arrived, soaking wet, all of my classmates were crowded around a tiny table eating. I didn't mind sitting alone at one of the many empty tables surrounding them to dry off. I had a bunch of calls to make and emails to send. The whole "sitting and eating alone" incident has happened before. In fact, I do it all the time. Apparently that's weird? I didn't think so, and still don't for that matter. After this incident, my classmates starting saying things to me, such as "too cool". This was pretty early in the semester. Since then, they've spent more time with me and have gotten to know me better.. that phrase hasn't been used since.

So I sit down at the empty table and begin dialing. Before I know it the entire table is turned around laughing at me. Not only are they laughing, but more than one of them has their cell phone out taking pictures of me. The word "loser" was shouted multiple times. So finally, after I finished my calls and such, I moved my chair over to their table (peer pressure is powerful). Here I sat outside of their circle of chairs peering over their shoulders to join in on conversation. This rendered useless so I just leaned back and didn't partake in the conversation at all. I might as well have just been sitting at a different table..

So that was my first sign that my ideas of "normal social behavior" were a little different from the people around me.

Later that night, around 7:30, a friend texted me asking if I wanted to go to dinner with him and some people. I responded that I had already eaten. So apparently it is also weird to eat before 7:30? There are so many rules on how to be normal, I can't keep up. He insisted that I could just get a drink with them and I should come. I then responded that I hadn't planned on going out. So again, apparently it's not normal for a twenty-year-old person to not want to go out on a Friday night. Long story short, I went.

Farther into the dinner conversation, as I cracked joke after joke (obviously), my other friend made a comment about how fun I am to talk to. How nice! Right? Just wait. I responded "because I am so funny?" He corrected me, "You aren't funny at all. You are just really awkward". I thought dinner had been going well. I thought I meshed well with the crowd.. but again, proven wrong.

After the whole night out, when I was thoroughly exhausted and finally going home (at 12:30), somebody texted me asking what I was doing. This is how that conversation went:

person: "I'm at a fun bar with a friend, you should meet up."
me: "I'm exhausted and going home. I'm a loser" [which I had learned earlier that day]
person: "Haha not cool"
me: "I'm sorry for misleading you into thinking I was cool."
person: "No it's ok, I was never misled"

I'm glad it's apparent to everybody just how awkward and uncool I am.  Awesome.

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