Things I Regularly Do That Make Me Want to Hide Under a Table: Part One
Or Under a Bed or in a Closet
We all do things we feel embarrassed about or even ashamed of. I do embarrassing stuff almost every single day. I regularly do things that make me cringe and say, "Why the hell did I do that?" I embarrass myself A LOT. So, this post is the first in a series that will go on for longer than it takes to make a trip to IKEA on a Saturday afternoon; in other words, for the rest of your natural life.
Some of the embarrassing things I do are chronic issues for me, and I work on them, so when I happen to conquer one of these issues even one time, I have a party. Yay, me!
When I fail to do better, which is pretty often, I don't actually hide anyplace. I collect myself for a couple of minutes and remind myself that feeling embarrassed and ashamed aren't fatal. After all, if they were, I'd have been dead a long time ago.
By laying out my own humanness, which includes regularly embarrassing myself, I hope to entertain you and to make you feel less alone in your plight to not cringe at your own behavior.
Today's embarrassing thing is:
Getting really excited about something no one else cares about and talking about it for too long when the other person/people don't give two shits about what I am saying but are too polite to tell me
This is sure to be a fun one!
I have many interests, some of which don't interest many other people. These interests include, but are not limited to:
-all the facts about September 11 (not the conspiracy theories)
-anything related to psychology
-hostage negotiation techniques
-incredibly detailed discussions of the Harry Potter books
There are hundreds more.
The problem is, most people don't want to hear about any of these topics for more than two minutes unless they too are fascinated by them. Seeing as many of my interests are a bit "off the beaten track," I don't find these people often.
What can happen is one of ”my topics” comes up, even peripherally, and I get as excited as a 5-year-old wearing a Batman costume. I ramble about the topic in great detail while talking a little too quickly. But, I am always very animated AND I talk with my hands, so at least the information-sharing part itself isn't boring!
I try to be aware of my audience and of when their eyes start glazing over, but, on occasion, I fail.
I do this same behavior while text messaging. It is way worse when I'm texting because texting doesn't present the opportunity for me to "read my audience." I mean, how do I know if your eyes are glazing over when I can't even see you?
Either way, I am pretty sure my victims feel like I am forcing them to look at 238 photos of my cats. Or like they are one of my neighbors in 1974, and I've just returned in my wood-paneled station wagon from my vacation to the Grand Canyon, and I have invited them over to watch my incredibly boring filmstrips while serving them Vienna sausages and Tang.
They want to be polite and act interested. But, really, they'd prefer to stab themselves in the eyeballs with ballpoint pens, or pray for food poisoning, or for a meteor to strike them, all so they can escape me. With the Vienna sausages, they might get their wish about food poisoning.
I realize I do this thing. I really do.
If you know me, you know I get really excited about stuff that fascinates me and about which I am passionate, and that is a whole lot of stuff! When people know me, they get that this is just me, and they are okay with it or at least they pretend to be.
Sometimes, the assertive ones point it out to me. I have asked my friends to point out when I'm doing it, but some are too polite and won't, so the more assertive ones have to make up for the others as long as they do it nicely.
If they were mean, well, of course, I would want to punch them in the throat. I mean, who wants one of their friends to point out that they are doing that annoying behavior again, and to say it in a way that makes them feel more embarrassed? Probably those people in the 1300s during the Plague who walked through the streets whipping themselves. And also NO ONE.
I have learned to only ask my assertive friends who I know will point this behavior out in a kindly way, or else I'd feel doubly ashamed. I'd have to hide under two tables stacked on top of each other!
The absolute worst thing is when I do it with people I don't know too well. I've done it on dates, though apparently, my animated way of speaking made up for some of it. Or maybe my dates were spending the time trying to look down my shirt and didn't care about what I was saying. Whatever.
I've done this when being introduced to friends of friends, and then I'm like, "Oh my god! I'll forever be known as "Andrew's weird friend who told us all those strange facts about when that old guy got stuck in the harness on that mountain in Pakistan."”
Often, the people in front of whom I think I've made myself look like a complete ass don't see it the way I do. Many times they are entertained by my excitement and my animated sharing of "unusual" information. But probably only because I tend to notice when their eyes start glazing over. It's not often that I keep droning on after that, and that's probably why they still speak to me or, if it was a date, why they wanted to see me again. But, you know, maybe it was just looking down the old shirt. Who knows.
Well, that's one of my many idiosyncrasies, or maybe flaws; however you want to look at it. I have a ton, and that means there will be many more posts like this to come. I will have to start making a list of creative hiding spots for people who perpetually embarrass themselves, because there are probably a lot of us. Maybe if the spaces are large enough we can hide together!