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They all hate me

September 23, 2008

There is a point where perceptiveness becomes paranoia, and the day I reach it is the day I will stop going out in public. I’ve always been baffled by the ease with which some people seem to navigate social functions, laughing and toasting the night away as if strangers weren’t creatures to be feared. 

Meanwhile, I always seem to be the only one quietly rummaging through the gift bag (provided I’m lucky enough to be at an event where gift bags are being offered… remind me to tell you about how much I love gift bags).
Granted, I’ve never been very good at being in the moment (unless the moment consists of regretting the past or worrying about the future), but lately it’s becoming very difficult for me to have conversations with people at parties. It doesn’t take much — a wince here, a glance at a watch there — to convince me that the person on the receiving end is plotting his or her escape route before I even manage get to “so, what do you do for a living?”   
Hello, you jerk.

Why, hello there, you jerk.

So, am I perceptive for picking up on people’s subtle “beat it” cues, or am I paranoid for believing that everyone I meet wants to shoot me with a poison dart? The whole thing is muddied by the fact that I’m not a big fan of party talk, because you’re not supposed to mention politics or religion or philosophy or anything else that would normally get my juices going. Occasionally, I’ll raise a historical topic that I’m sure everyone can agree on, like how tragic it was when Frank Black left the Pixies, but even that seems to turn some people off.  

…Oh, really? You grew up in Perth Amboy? Kill me now.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolina Maine permalink
    September 23, 2008 3:09 pm

    Don’t feel bad–I try to avoid any kind of job that requires press releases and events. I’ve been trying to find a position in which I would just be required to read and write–but I haven’t had much luck. Unfortunately, socializing in person is required for just about everything. Good luck with being more comfortable at parties. I gave up a long time ago.

  2. thepixelsuite permalink
    September 24, 2008 2:47 am

    I hear you. And I can’t recommend drinking heavily which is what I sometimes do to get in the conversational swing of things. I’m sorry you miss Seattle, but thanks for the tip about Victrola. We’re leaving tomorrow, so I’ll have to check it out next time.

  3. September 24, 2008 3:00 pm

    Ugh…I don’t do well in social situations either. I don’t even like attending meetings at my kids school lol.

  4. emilypostal permalink
    September 24, 2008 5:36 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog the other day. I, too, am socially retarded. I’ve given up on small talk at parties and focus more on making friends with the waitress carrying the crab cake tray.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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