Tag Archives: socially inept

Awkward…

I have to confess:  A couple of weeks ago I swore at a shoe saleslady because I thought we were just joking around.  Apparently I was wrong.  Awkwardness ensued.

So…

I went to the running shoe store and explained to the saleslady that I buy runners based only on comfort.  Style is irrelevant, as long as my feet are happy.

“Oh,” she said snarkily.  “It’s my lucky day.  You’re going to make me drag out every pair of shoes in the store, aren’t you?”

I was slightly taken aback, but I decided she must be joking.  After all, dragging out shoes is her job.  So I laughed and said, “Yep, probably.  Sorry about that.”

She brought out a couple of pairs and I tried them on.  She immediately pointed to one pair.  “Those are the ones.  I like the way they look on your feet.”

“They’re nice,” I agreed.  “But they don’t fit.  Do you have any others?”

She made another remark about how I was inconveniencing her, and I dutifully laughed.  She returned with a couple more pairs, and again pointed out the ones she liked; and again I explained that their appearance was irrelevant.

“Wait, I have the perfect shoes for you!”  She scurried off and returned with another box.  “Here!  These are beautiful!”

She triumphantly displayed the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen.  I mean, we’re talking about some unholy union between a giant marshmallow and neon bedroom slippers; and if you’re having difficulty visualizing that, you’re lucky.  The reality was retina-scarring.

I burst out laughing and exclaimed, “Those are hideous!”

“They’re beautiful,” she insisted.  “Just put them on.  You’ll love them.”

So I put them on, because if they had fit well I would’ve bought them no matter how ugly they were.  To my everlasting relief, they weren’t comfortable.

“Nope, sorry,” I said.

“But they look so lovely on your feet!  Just walk around in them a bit more.  They’re so beautiful!  These are absolutely the right shoes for you!”

And that’s where I screwed up.  I was sure she was joking.  Why else would she hard-sell the shoes when I’d already clearly said I hated them and they weren’t comfortable?

“Oh, stop with the bullshit!” I said with a grin.  “I’m up to my neck in it!”

A chilly silence ensued.

I did buy a pair of runners (not the hideous ones), but it was awkward.

I feel vaguely guilty.  One might argue that if she wasn’t joking, then she deserved a verbal slapdown; but that’s not how I roll.  If I had known she was serious, I would have politely deflected her like any other annoying salesperson.

This ‘social interaction’ stuff is ’way too complicated.  Maybe I’ll just order everything online from now on.  And if that limits my contact with other human beings to once or twice a year, well, what could possibly go wrong?

At least if I really offend somebody and have to run away, I’ve got a snazzy new pair of runners…

Book 15 update:  A productive writing week!  Chapter 7 ended with a bang, and Aydan and the gang are off and running (literally).

 

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Filed under Geekery, Humour, Life

Creepy Stalker Here

As I’ve mentioned here and here, there’s convincing evidence that I’m a sociopath.  But a few days ago, an unsettling thought bobbed to the scummy surface of the cesspit that is my mind:  Maybe I’m also a creepy stalker.

I mean, really, what’s the difference between a close friend and a stalker?

Close friends know your likes and dislikes, have a pretty good idea of your schedules and habits, call you frequently, and show up regularly to spend time with you.

So do creepy stalkers.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder.  Social skills aren’t really my best thing.  I fake them well enough for short periods, but then I scuttle back to my hidey-hole and hunker down behind my computer to converse with (at best) people I know only through a few typed words on my screen and (at worst) imaginary characters in my books.

I do this for days and weeks on end.  I go out to the pub once a week for a beer and some conversation with real human beings, but that’s about it.  If I wasn’t married, I’d probably go for days without human interaction, so it’s not like I’m really socially aware.

How many times can I call somebody before I’m officially being creepy?  If they don’t call back, does it mean they’re just busy or forgetful?  Or does it mean they’re screening their calls and thinking, “Oh, God, it’s Diane again.  She’s so creepy.  I’m going to pretend I’m dead.”

Problem is, most people are too polite to tell me to buzz off.  I tend to take people at face value and I’m disinclined to obsess over the emotional temperature of everyone I meet, so I don’t really know whether they’re genuinely glad to see me or if they give a whole-body shudder and take six showers after I leave.

I think it’s probably a good sign if they return my calls, unless they’re calling to decline my last ten invitations and tell me they’re going to be busy until the year 2045.  But that only happened with the last three people I called, so it’s not really statistically significant, right?

Maybe the restraining order is a clue, though.  More analysis is required.

Last week I was at an all-you-can-eat restaurant where each table had a little cylinder that was green on one end and red on the other.  As long as you wanted more, you left the green end up, and they kept bringing food.  Red-end-up stopped the whole thing.

That’s what I need:  a signalling system.  Green means “it’s all good”, yellow means “you’re starting to creep me out”, and red means “stay away from me, you nutball freak”.

That system probably wouldn’t catch on, though.  It seems most people actually prefer a little ambiguity in their relationships.

I guess the upside of all this is that sociopaths generally disregard the feelings of others.  Maybe this isn’t such a burning question for me after all.

So… wanna go for a beer tonight?

How about tomorrow?

Friday’s good for me, too…

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Filed under Humour, Life