May 28, 2002
Rambling On About My Antisocialness
I was at Rob and Allison's wedding reception last night, watching as people danced and congregated into groups once the DJ got started. I, as usual, was sitting by myself watching it all happen.
It's always been that way, or at least it's been that way for as long as I can remember clearly. I don't walk over and join one of the groups because I feel like I won't fit it right or, even worse, be completely unwelcome. This even happens if most of the group are people that I consider my friends.
At one point I had walked halfway over to join a group, realized that I only knew five of the eight people there, and turned back. I got back to my seat and started wondering what the hell was wrong with me. After all, this isn't the kind of behavior I'd expect from a normal person. Here's what I came up with:
I am the master of killing a conversation. This is one that goes way back. There's a good conversation going, I throw in my two cents, and it just dies right then and there. I'm not talking about a conversation that was fading out, I'm talking about a full-blown, everybody-participating conversation that I can apparently nuke with just a few seconds of speech. I can almost feel the others trying to close the circle a little bit and pinch me off. Which leads me to...
It seems like I'm not so much liked as tolerated. The best example I can think of is my former coworkers. They were all really cool people, people I'd like to go out drinking with. We'd all eat lunch together and chat until the hour ended, then we'd all (there were usually at least half a dozen of us) head back to the office. And I think I saw them after work once. I'd ask at lunch on Friday if anyone was going drinking after work, and they'd say they didn't know. So I'd leave at 5:00 only to find out Monday that everyone had stuck around until 5:30 then 20 people had gone out and had a good time. The same kinds of things happened with my college friends too but that was always mitigated by the fact that I didn't turn 21 until my senior year.
I always feel like I'm imposing. At the reception last night, the group of eight people I mentioned were sitting around one of the tables, which sat eight. For me to join I would have had to bring in a chair, plop it down and try to wedge my way in. It's the same when it's just a group of people standing around, but not as noticeable as hauling a small piece of furniture around. Something in me just doesn't like doing that; I feel like it looks very needy and attention-starved. Granted, I am attention-starved; I just don't like looking attention-starved. So instead I mope over in a corner, which is just as readily apparent as latching onto a group, but it's easier.
I can't dance worth a damn and I know it. I've always felt really conspicuous when I try to dance. I know I have no rythym (like the white skin wasn't enough to tell you that) but unlike other people I just can't seem to shake the mental image of what a retard I must look like while I'm out there. So after a song or two I again retreat to my self-imposed isolation.
This is why I don't like going out -- there's nothing that'll ruin your day like realizing just how fucked up you are. But every once in a while I get talked into it and I go. At first I have a good time, but then what appears to be the natural order of things reestablishes itself and I begin to wonder why I bothered in the first place.
And just think: I was even worse in high school. It's a wonder I didn't go completely insane.