Friday, February 11, 2011
Conor - Can't You See I'm Dying
Last Sunday I poked my head into the lounge of my dorm when the superbowl was just getting started. My RA, Tyler, was in there and I made awkward conversation with him. The awkwardness there was mainly my fault. I think my RA is a really cool guy, and my mind goes into super overdrive mode whenever I run into him. I try extremely hard to be witty and impressive and cool, and usually I come off as pretty weird.
This time though, my autopilot found an especially pathetic way to leave a lasting impression on this guy. I should have known that I was going to fare horribly in this situation anyway. He was watching the superbowl for christ's sake. I was only really qualified to answer a handful of questions about the superbowl* and it would be suicidal for me to ask them an American Football question.
"Hey guys." I say. Confidently. Everyone in the room greets me. I follow this up with "Watching the Superbowl?" Genius. They're obviously fucking watching the superbowl, says me to myself. They confirm my fears and are, in fact, watching the big game. I stumble for what to say yes. Oh right I'm a MUSIC MAJOR here we go conversation saved.
"Who's playing the half time show, do you guys know?" All three in the room don't actually know, but one tosses out a name I don't recognize and things get out of hand as they all laugh and grow closer to one another over their shared love for Wiz Khlaifa. I just had to look him up. Awesome. So now everyone's talking about their shared love of football and rap. I decide to leave.
As I'm leaving though, as like, an afterthought, I mention that it's my birthday. "It's my birthday today," I say, as I turn and leave the room.
TYLER MY RA, WHY CAN'T YOU SEE HOW COOL I AM.
I'm not lonely here in Oklahoma. I know a lot of really cool people, I'm having a really good time. I feel like I'm getting defensive here, but trust me. I'm popular and I have lunch with 4 or 5 people pretty regularly and I never sleep alone, blah blah blah.
I'm just sometimes really, really bad at showing people who I am. As a general rule I try to act more or less the same to and around most everyone I run into, be they authority figures or little kids. But sometimes I just can't be myself around certain people. Or more accurately, sometimes maybe just I, myself, maybe I am really weird and can't really talk to people sometimes. I'd say most of the time it's around people I want to impress, which, you know... of course it is.
I always notice it after it's too late. I same something like "that sounds like a rock n rollin good time!" to somebody whom doesn't know me well enough to understand why I would ever say something like "that sounds like a rocking good time!" and then it just snowballs from there. I question them. I question myself. I question my jokes. But for some reason, I can't stop. I barrel forward. As the situation worsens, I start to find it funny. Which damns the whole ordeal even further, because now I'm saying stupid things and then laughing at the reactions my stupid comments are getting. I say something, allow the silence to become almost overwhelming, and then laugh at the silence that I had created in the first place. A horrible, horrible self-fuffilling prophecy.
I laugh because I understand that things are going badly, and that they're going badly in a comedic way. I can accept comedic failures. Sometimes I prefer comedic failures to boring victories, but I think that's also just a defensive mechanism. I blow things out of proportion the second I just fail to hit it off with a person. It's hard for me to accept that maybe just everybody wouldn't like me, even if they were to get to know me, which is a pretty ridiculous thing to get upset about, I understand. It's not like I want to be perfect, I just want to be good enough in everyone's eyes.
My Uncle David is one of the coolest guys I know, and he's not only a great uncle but a very good friend to me, and when I graduated high school he wrote one of the nicest, most sincere cards to me I have ever received. There was one part of the letter that said something along the lines of "you try to be everything to everyone and you almost succeed." That's so kind of him. I trust David, and for him to tell me that means a lot to me, but the first time I read it I felt it I focused on that implied failure in his statement. Which is preeeeetty pathetic of me. In the face of one of the nicest compliments I'll ever receive I wanted to have earned more. THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS NOT THAT YOU DIDN'T COMPLIMENT ME ENOUGH, UNCLE DAVID. YOU'RE AS COOL AS THEY GET FOR REALZ.
I'm not going to please everyone. I haven't, I'm currently not, and I will not in the future. Yes I understand this. This problem is an easy one to solve when put into context, but it nags at me from time to time. I have a lot and I recognize and appreciate this.
Wanting to please people isn't the worst habit in the world, anyway, as long as I don't let it be an obsession or a need. I never drastically change the way I act in order to achieve the acceptance I want. I honestly believe that. I try to treat everyone with kindness and respect, I just want to get rid of the disappointment of realizing that not everyone wants to be my best friend. I know that. It's not a big deal.
I'm definitely going to stop using "it's my birthday today" as a final play for attention as I leave the room, though. I think we can all agree that's a pretty piss poor strategy that I can safely lose.
Superbowl questions I totally knew: "Who is playing in this year's superbowl?" "Which team does Eliot want to win?" and "What sport will they be playing?"