I am one awkward social situation away from becoming a bonafide recluse.
I am one lonely, drunken episode of Scandal away from throwing a house party.
I have always been conflicted when it comes to social interaction.
I suffer from debilitating social anxiety, yet I crave the company of others, in particular stimulating conversation.
People often make crappy chit chat with me while I’m heating up food in the break room at work or passing by in the hallway. They make some lame joke, half of the time without my getting the reference. I squeeze out a half-assed chuckle and think, it has to be obvious that I seriously don’t care about what they just said.
I grind my teeth into the obligatory half-smile. The second I am out of their line of sight, the corners of my mouth plummet back to a miserable scowl.
I’m like Lionel Playworld’s nightmare.
I take resting bitch face to a whole new level.
It’s not that I hate everyone, just the vast majority of people.
There was a time when it wasn’t absurd to hear me LOL to something a friend said in the newsroom.
I nearly peed my pants many a time while going over “chat time rundowns” with my old best pal, David.
I could once be heard singing and clapping along to music videos on VH1 on the overnight shift.
That’s the thing, all of the fun was with people at my PREVIOUS place of work and I’ve been at this job a LOOONG time now.
There’s nobody splitting up a pint of Stoli Raz in coffee cups from the trunk of a car before a lame station meeting after a shift.
There’s no Friday night dash to a bar where everyone can dish and bitch about all of the stressful, heinous events of the work week.
There’s no playing, “Who would you rather?” with famous politicians. (Condi Rice or Hillary Clinton?)
There’s no listing of favorite movies, songs, vending machine snack foods.
There’s no commiserating over Cuban bread.
These are all things that just don’t happen here.
So, it’s entirely possible I am a victim of my surroundings.
I once tried to institute Flashback Friday here, convincing my colleagues to take turns playing the best old school roller rink jams. Instead of developing a reputation for actually being kinda sorta fun, I just inched my way closer to getting demoted.
I now daydream equally of two things:
Vanishing to a tropical island, living off the fish I catch, falling into a coma-like sleep at night, muscles taut from a day of useful work, hard labor building huts and shit.
Throwing a massive 80’s-themed costume-required house party, the alcohol and fantastic conversation flowing, a never-ending night where everyone is guaranteed to sleep past noon the following day.
Neither one will ever be more than a fantasy.
Now that I am a mom, I wonder if my kids will suffer from a similar affliction. An aversion to frat parties and girl talk, but a burning desire for friendship and camaraderie.
My kids don’t have friends outside of daycare. I usually avoid even responding to any of the birthday party invites that get stuffed into the bottom of their backpacks.
The truth is, I don’t want to stand around awkwardly with moms who want to talk about the cost of purses, their child’s mysterious maladies or what their husbands do for a living.
I also wonder if I am training my daughter to fear solitude since every time she’s naughty she gets sent to her room alone.
“No!! Not time by myself! With all of these toys, books, and games? You have banished me to the fiery pits of hell, you sweater-clad Satan!”
If nothing else, I am probably destroying them by example.
Mommy and Daddy don’t have friends.
Mommy and Daddy believe that in general, people are selfish, rude, arrogant, insecure, manipulative, dull and basically evil.
Mommy and Daddy consider a social event to be on par with a colonoscopy without anesthesia.
I am one more fake laugh away from becoming a mute.
I am one more cabin-fever day with two toddlers away from tearing it up at the club.