Guys, I swear I’m not even a real person.
How does one accidentally dub someone?
I feel like I’m the only person on the planet who consistently offends people without even meaning to. I mean, everybody has their ditsy moments where they hurt someone’s feelings without noticing, but I’m pretty sure I’ve reduced it to a science. Which is pretty hard, considering these things are done unintentionally.
Maybe I spend so much time wandering in my brain that I forgot how to even be in the moment, and so I constantly appear to be disinterested in the people right in front of me.
The ridiculous truth is, I’m actually so interested in the species homo sapiens that I’m too busy over-analyzing their behavior to actually engage with them when necessary.
I was out intentionally socializing the other day—or at least trying to—when a networking opportunity appeared. Someone went out of their way to speak to me and ask me to coffee before I left the scene of my crime. These social outings tend to leave me exhausted, introvert that I am, so all I was thinking about was hopping into my car and not talking to another soul for days.
He raised his hand to get my attention.
“Hey, I was hoping I’d get the chance to talk to you, but it looks like you’re about ready to leave.”
Of course, since he had stopped me mid-getaway I looked like a deer in headlights, or like a child with their hand stuck in the cookie jar.
“Oh, hi,” I replied. Ah, you’re blocking my exit! is what I screamed internally.
“If you have to go that’s fine, but I’d love to get coffee sometime if you don’t mind,“ he continued.
“Oh, um…” Wow, that’s weird. He actually wants to extend this experience, I mused.
He began staring at me. Oh, right. I’m supposed to respond.
“Uh,” I began. So…If I accept I’m going to be stuck in a situation where I have to put on my best human disguise. Can I handle that kind of one on one at the moment?
He continued to stare, cocking his head to the side, confusion beginning to register on his face. Crap. Say something, woman. The pause has become unnatural. Quick, make a decision. That sort of thing was kind of the point of this outing, forcing yourself into uncomfortable situations. Okay. Say yes. Wait, but then I have to actually dooo it…I whined to myself.
He began to open his mouth, signaling he was going to fill the silence himself. Stop being lazy! Say something!
“Yeah,” I blurted, fake smile affixed to the max.
Relief spread across his face that he wouldn’t have to reiterate. “Great, so I live over by…How far are you from there?”
Give him only approximate coordinates. He could be intending to murder your family in the dead of night. “I live around…” I said. That was stupid vague. Don’t be an idiot. The probability of him being a murderer is very slim. Besides you don’t have to narrow it down very much.
“I live in…” I clarified. Much better.
“Okay, so …. seems like about a halfway point,” he smiled.
He’s pausing for confirmation. Smile and nod like you know geography. “Mmhm, just about,” I guessed.
“Here’s my card,” he said handing me a quaint little piece of cardstock. He said other impressively human stuff for a while. “Do you have a card?”
Haha. That’s cute. He thinks I’m a real person. Maybe I should start carrying some around though. Tighten this whole disguise…
“No, unfortunately I don’t,” I replied.
He nodded understandingly and said nothing. Oh, wait. He was digging for information.
“I’m a teacher,” I said, hoping to satisfy the implied question.
No, dummy. Wrong piece of information.
I was very close to bringing a palm to my face at this point, but he kindly continued talking and provided his job description too; As if I had responded appropriately.
Another lull in conversation. This isn’t going very well. Abort conversation mission. I think you’ve satisfied the speech quota.
“So…uh, we’ll be in touch,” I said, quite literally backing away slowly. I even made use of the whole finger guns move and everything.
“Uh, okay,” he replied a little bewildered.
Yeahhh…I don’t really understand what I’m doing either, buddy,
“I’ll see you,” I said, slinking my way to the exit.
“Okay, thanks for coming!” he shouted over the noise of other conversations to my turning back.
When I finally got to the refuge that is my car I realized I hadn’t actually set a time to meet him over coffee. Which I totally didn’t mean to do. Sure, I was trying to shut the conversation down as soon as possible, but I hadn’t meant to actually reject the offer. I wanted to force myself into further uncomfortable situations and effectively get a little better at my act of pretending to be human.
Crap. You totally just dubbed that guy. You didn’t even set a time for coffee and he was genuinely being friendly. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t even just coming onto you either. You’re a terrible person, I scolded myself.
I tend to think I’m observing people too much to respond appropriately in normal social situations, but maybe I have it the other way around. I’m too busy talking to myself to talk to other people.
One day I’ll master the art of humanity, guys.
One day. I promise.