Saturday, June 11, 2011

Awkward Situations That Happen to Everyone

And if it hasn't happened to you, wait for it. It will.

1. Socially awkward people who don't know you and still tell you upsetting things: I'm not a bad friend. Seriously, I'm not. Or I try not to be, anyway. If one of my friends needs to talk, or needs advice, or needs someone to listen, I'm absolutely all for it. Here's my typical plan of action when these things occur:
A) Ask for abridged version of issue at hand. Ask if I am providing advice or simply there as a means of venting. 
B) Listen to issue in its entirety. Nod. Offer occasional verbal indication that I am still paying attention.
C) Return to second half of A. If it is the former, provide advice. If it is the latter, skip to D.
D) Make sensitive yet probably still kind-of-uncouth joke pertaining to the problem. 
Now if it's one of my friends, they're cool with D. They're aware that I view humor as a means of dealing with just about everything, and, if nothing else, at least lightening the mood a bit. They're aware that this is just the way I am, and that I don't mean any offense by it. However, if it's a stranger (especially a socially-awkward one) they're now dead set on the fact that I'm blatantly making fun of their lack of friends or their failed attempt at publishing a crappy book about werewolves or their inability to say anything positive ever, and you know what? Good. I'm not your friend. You shouldn't be telling me these things, especially not during our first conversation and especially not right off the bat. An acquaintance who listens to your problems is called a psychiatrist, so either A) get one, or B) pay me.

2. Sec Vs. Sex: So you're running a little late, and you grab your phone to tell your friend that you're almost there. You go to type something like, "Hey, sorry, I'll be there in a sec," but since you're rushing, your finger slips and hits the X instead of the C. Now you're going to be there in a sex, and sex is not typically a reliable interval of time, because I'm pretty sure different people have sex at different paces. So now your response is not only awkward, perverted, and frankly TMI, it's also really vague. Good going. 

3. Facebook Failure: You're on Facebook and you've just posted a comment on someone's picture. Rather than replying to your comment underneath the actual photograph, however, said person decides to respond via Facebook IM/text message/AIM message. You look back at the picture four months later and realize it looks like no one bothered to respond to you, and other people who see it will immediately jump to the conclusion that you've got no friends and everyone hates you. Or--similarly--when there's a big giant comment party going on on someone's status, and the second you comment, someone starts up another big giant comment party elsewhere. Now this no-longer-big-giant-comment party ends and you're the last one to have said something, so now it seems like you've single-handedly impeded the conversation at dead stop and fucked up everyone's fun. 

4. When you know a lot more about someone than you should: We're all creepers. Granted, we've all got different methods, I guess--obtaining information from gossip, lurking on social-networking sites, blatantly eavesdropping, predatory stalking--but even though we've all got these tendencies, they're still not considered "socially acceptable." So whenever we find out information about someone else, we're forced to hide it. I mean, that's cool, I guess. I don't mind doing that. But it absolutely blows when you slip up. Like when someone tells you a story you already know because you creep on their life, and you have to pretend that you're surprised to hear it, and you're pretty sure your fake-surprised face isn't the least bit convincing. Or, even worse, when someone tells you a story you've heard before and you end up mentioning a detail they never even told you. Or, quite possibly the worst, when you start talking to someone at a party or a club or because a friend brought her to hang out, and when she finally mentions her name, it takes all your self control not to yell out the phrase, "Your name is exceptionally familiar to me because you're commonly recognized for being a ho and my best friend constantly talks about hating you for sleeping with her boyfriend." 

5. When you don't know enough about someone: Like their name, for instance. Or how you know them. Or that they existed in the first place. And he or she walks up to you at a social gathering and says something like, "Hey, do you remember me?" and of course you're going to nod and mumble a bit and hope they either A) stop talking to you and walk away, or B) start up a conversation that will not require you to remember any details about this person. Now, if they do A, that's awesome, but if they do B, that still kind of sucks. Specifically because odds are, twenty-five minutes into the conversation, you're going to remember who they are and how you know them. But that's a good thing, right? Wrong. You can't even act excited or proud about the twenty-five minutes of exhausting brain-scanning you've just done, because you were supposed to have known who they were the entire time. I seriously wish it was socially acceptable for someone to be like, "Hey, do you remember me?" and for me to respond with, "No, but if you keep talking for a while, I'll probably remember, and then we can high-five over it." 

6. When Auto-correct undermines your ability to be intimidating: I mean, this one's pretty self explanatory. But that shot seriously ducking possess me off. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Things I missed about New York

1. People understand the value of time: I'm not going to claim that this is entirely consistent throughout the rest of the country; in all honesty (since one of the requirements of being a college kid is that you've got to be poor as shit) I've only been to about four restaurants outside of New York in the past year. All I'm saying is that it's probably consistent throughout the rest of the country and I actually am claiming exactly that, because all four times, we walked in. We stood there. We stood there more. We got seated. We sat. We got menus. We stared at the menus. For thirty minutes. We ordered. We sat. For an hour. We ate. We sat. We waited for the check. We sat with the check in front of us. For thirty minutes. We left. That's a good two and a half hours you've just taken out of your schedule--to eat food. If band geekdom has taught me anything throughout highschool, it's that you can eat an entire meal in less than nine minutes, because when you've got lessons during your lunch period, you've got no goddamn choice. I'm not saying that it's particularly pleasant, but it's possible. And there's no reason why something that can be done in nine minutes should be stretched out to the point where it occupies 10.41% of your day.

2. Disputes are easily avoided: If you piss someone off in a state that is not New York, more often than not, they pretend to be cool with it, but that's not actually the case. They finish the conversation, but a deep, impenetrable hatred is bubbling inside of them. They walk away. They tell all their friends how much you suck, and thus instill a deep impenetrable hatred inside all of them. Rumors start, spread, and take over. Then, one day, four months down the road, it all comes out in a blast of fury and your face gets ripped off.
If you piss off someone in a state that is New York, something like this happens:
Maria: "La la la, offensive things, blah blah racist remarks, crude humor, referencing and approval of the YouTube video where toddler gets kicked in the face, La la la."
Angsty Person: "Woah, Maria. Wait a second. You just really pissed me off."
Maria: "Wait, seriously? I'm sorry. I didn't mean to, even if you're being a pansy."
Not-Angsty-Anymore Person: "LOL It's okay. Man, I really am being a pansy. Let me make you a sammich."

3. Shower Pressure: I have reason to believe that the water in the freshman dorms was pumped through the pipes via the power of a single guinea pig on its exercise wheel. Maybe this is because I've been in the prostitution business for a while (joke) but I seriously enjoy it when my shower beats the shit out of me. I feel clean when I am bruised like a peach. I do not feel clean when gravity just barely allows me to acknowledge this activity as "hygienic." Actually, I'm decently sure that gravity doesn't even exist in the freshman showers. I'm pretty sure the stalls themselves are anti-gravity chambers. You take a shower by standing in suspended, immobile water vapor. Awesome.

4. There are actually places to go: Observe.
Here's the main road, five minutes walking distance from my college.

Now here's the main road, five minutes walking distance from my house in New York.
Yeah. Exactly. I mean, some of it's unnecessary, I guess. Miele Auto Sales and Repair?  I don't have a car. Who gives a fuck? It's there. Michael L Tumen Dpm? I don't know what that is. Whatever. The point is that New York understands the prospect of making your state important by building lots of stuff.