This Must Be What a Social Life Feels Like


October 14, 2009 by Marj Hatzell

I’m so seriously out of the loop when it comes to doing social stuff. Seriously.  No, Srsly.

WRH had this Wednesday Spaghetti thingy at her house (it was on Tuesday. Because we were pretending it was Wednesday because Wednesdays were booked for her).  And I naturally jumped at the chance to go, because I don’t get out much. The last time WRH had a Wednesday Spaghetti, it was on an ACTUAL WEDNESDAY and it just happened to be the ACTUAL DAY my grandmother died.  Hmmmm…socialize with friends or mourn my grandmother?  Hmmmm…tough one.  I think you know which one I picked.

Anyways, I thought it was a joke when my brother called me last night at FIVE O’CLOCK to tell me that my Dad was at the ER having X-rays. For some reason, whenever I actually plan to leave the actual house, something actually happens. Like, I’ll be walking out the door and a kid spews vomit out of his nose or has to get stitches. Or my husband totals his car.  Or I get the worst flu in years.  Or!  Someone dies.  So, I get this call last night and I’m all, “F*CK. F*CK. F*CKITY F*CK.” because I know  I should be worried about my dad and all I care about is getting out of my freaking house. Turns out  my Dad is ok, except for this pesky broken rib thing because his knees have given out on him three times in two weeks. Yeah, needs knee replacement, no, won’t get it because he maintains they, “Effed it up twenty years ago, those dang morons!  I ain’t gettin’ it done!  Grumble, grumble, crotchety, MRSA, SWINE FLU!” Or something like that.

The Dad gets released from the ER, I got the green light from the husband to leave him and Bugaboo behind  and I have to drag the Bug Boy out of the house because DANG IT!  He’s gonna be social, too!  He ain’t playing hangman on the computer all night!  He whined, complained, sighed, rolled his eyes and eventually got in the car, pouting, and warning me that these people had better have DS or Wii. And we drove over to WRH’s house, parked the car, wondered why we’re the only ones there, knock and knock on the door. And wait. And knock. And eventually I find a side door with a doorbell and a surly teen comes over and is all, “Yeah.  Can I help you?”  And I’m all, “Oooohhhh.  This ain’t WRH’s house, is it?”  And he’s all, “They live over there with the light.”  And I turned and looked through the freaking forest that is her neighborhood (Seriously, her neighborhood is wooded and beautiful and reminds me of a State Park in the middle of suburbia. Even has dirt roads) and saw thirty lights. Eventually I find a house with cars and realize I had the house number confuddled and Bug Boy and I parked the car and start walking up the driveway. My heart is racing. What if I don’t know anyone?  What if I say something stupid?  What if they think I’m stupid?  What if I slip and fall or someone accidentally pours red wine all over me like that one time I went to this real ritzy fundraiser…yeah, that’s embarrassing.  We get to the door, I see tons of people (like, thirty) and Bug Boy stops in his tracks and refuses to enter.

So I bribe him with 2 brownies. One with SPRINKLES.  Mother of the year, I tells ya.

He doesn’t budge. Then WRH mentions there are KIDS and a BASEMENT PLAYROOM.  And he thinks, “ELECTRONICS!” and dashes off to play with kids he never met in his life. I’m so proud.

Then I went off to play with adults I never met before in my life.  And I didn’t fall, didn’t get red wine dumped on me, didn’t totally talk my head off and actually had a very nice time talking to people I don’t know.  Imagine that.  Except, I cheated. I saw someone I knew from church and we did chat. But it was only for five minutes, honest. The rest of them were COMPLETE STRANGERS.  And guess what? I had to drag Bug Boy out of there two hours later. We were THE LAST ONES THERE.  And I love her dog.  Looks just like my new little doggy, her little doggy does.  Except mine’s all, “OMG!  HI!  HI!  OMG!”  And hers is, “It’s very nice to meet you.”  And I think I was more comfortable playing with the dog for five minutes because it turns out that sometimes I like dogs more than people.  But I still had a very nice time.

Now, those of you that know me in real life are all, “What gives, DG?  You are totally social!” But see, I’m not.  People I know, I CAN TALK TO.  I’m actually very socially anxious. SHUT UP AND STOP LAUGHING.  I get so worked up in social situations that I laugh WAY TO  MUCH and smile WAY TO MUCH and talk a mile a minute and my palms sweat and I chew my nails and I trip over my words and stammer and I feel feverish.  Crazy, no? Someone that talks as much as I do?  The best part? I cannot stand talking on the phone. HATE IT.  Computers are the best invention, ever.  Because I don’t have to worry about my tone of voice or if I’m laughing too much.  And also? I can’t call and order pizzas or chinese food without rehearsing it in my head for at least fifteen minutes. I have to practice before I call and make a hair appointment. I ignore the phone ringing nine times out of ten because I DID NOT GET A CHANCE TO PRACTICE WHAT I WANT TO SAY.

This may be why people think I’m a totally flighty ball of energy.  And the reality is that I’m not a totally flighty ball of energy, I’m actually a smart ball of energy who has issues with controlling herself and can be a wee bit impulsive and has sensory issues and likes to do, well, EVERYTHING and volunteers a lot because she likes to stay busy because when she’s idle or bored she gets sad and hates being alone. Can you imagine? I have social anxiety, have to practice phone conversations and I HATE TO BE ALONE.

And I wasn’t. Because (Tuesday) Wednesday Spaghetti is the bomb.  And I must have one soon.

3 thoughts on “This Must Be What a Social Life Feels Like

  1. HG says:

    I’ve got to get in on these Weds Spaghettis.

  2. Merlot says:

    You are correct. I would NEVER think of you as someone who hates social situations, or finds thme nerve wracking. It sounds like a cool gathering!

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