Monday, April 5, 2010

In Which I Admire

If I were to ask, just about everyone here could probably think of at least one person that they know through their everyday lives that, for any number of reasons that they'd probably be slightly ashamed or embarrassed to admit, they admire. That one guy or girl who always seems to have their shit together, who walks around the office with confidence, who dresses with style, who always says the funniest things in the breakroom that you silently wish you had thought of. There's this one guy I know at work that fits that bill pretty much to the tee, and I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a part of me that admires him. Not in any sexual way, of course, but rather the way that he seems so effortlessly cool in everything he does. 

I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite.

I trip on the floor when I walk. I'm socially awkward and crack jokes that are really quite funny, once I take the time to fully explain it to those who stare blankly at me once I deliver the punchline (Example: A neutron walks into a bar, and asks the bartender how much a beer costs. "For you," he says, "no charge!"). I wear the same black shoes with the same rotating crop of Walmart button-downs, and confidence is something I'll always aspire to. 

We're from two different sides of the track. I blame homeschooling. 

More often than not, I become a bumbling idiot when I'm around this guy. I'm so preoccupied to seem smooth and cool and relaxed that my mind gets too far ahead of my mouth and I'll spout off and say the strangest things. For example, I passed him one day while on the way out of the bathroom when he was walking in. The following conversation ensued:

"Hey, man!" he said in a friendly tone.

"Hey hey hey," I replied a la Fat Albert, startled and caught off guard. "How's it going?"

"Not too bad, and you?"

"Busy, busy!" I said loudly. I sounded like a matronly old woman standing in her kitchen, remarking at all the baking she had to do. "Busy, busy, busy, busy!

It was the first word that came to mind, and I was so unprepared that my mouth got a death grip on that one word and ran with it like the fucking wind. Luckily my little outburst happened as we passed each other by the doorway and I didn't have to face him or continue the conversation. I don't think I could have recovered from that.

I don't know why I'm like this. I honestly don't take much interest in what people think of me. So long as they don't think I'm an idiot or unapproachable, I'm good. Around this guy, though, all that goes out the window. And that frustrates me.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who is like this. Humor me with your stories.

Happy Monday, folks.


Tony said...

Dude, I know exactly what you mean. I feel that way when I read your blog. I feel like you got it all together and you have this great blog while I feel like the scruffy kid in school whose sitting in the back chewing on his pencil, not really understanding the assignment.

It's one thing when you think of the people you admire - but it's something else to think there are people out there that admire you. Oh, and let me add - Iadmire you, but it's not in a sexual way at all, although I've wondered what you look like in a sweaty wife beater and kackie (sp) shorts (I'm ghetto like that) I'm just kidding :)

Mad Woman said...

Um, I have no idea what you're talking about. I am the epitome of cool. No bumbling idiot over here. Ever. Never ever.

uh huh.

Alex said...

You could have claimed a Vonnegut/Bokonon reference....though that probably would have taken as much time to explain as the neutron joke. :-p.

My blog has weekly spaz updates. You are SO not alone. At least you didn't manage to hit yourself in the face with a volleyball during the teacher's game. And then proceed to accidentally whack your superior in the back of the head with the ball. :D

Natalie said...

Maybe cool guy has been talking to the nice lady and he thinks you're just a little special too. If so then you have no need to worry about sounding like an idiot.

Sus said...

Dude, whatever. I think your awesome. And the joke? Hilarious!! You are just too smart for your own good.

Melanie's Randomness said...

I'm the same way, trust me cuz I thought that neutron joke was pretty funny. Whenever I get near one of my friends who really does have everything she could ever want in her life I start stuttering, my stories get all jumbled, my mouth doesn't work right, & I just get nervous. I'm not sure why this happens. GO figure?!?

Nes said...

I guess that happens with everybody. You'll get used to it. (I hope)

And. Hey I like that joke! I for one got it. No need to explain it to me. It's okay badass I guess some people just aren't at our level. Right? Who's with me on this one? Bumbling idiots of the world unite!

TechnoBabe said...

Usually I am like that around type A personalities. The come on so strong and powerful and unrelenting that I am already stomped on and ground in the dirt before I can even say anything.

Mystern said...

You know I don't have this problem . . . Oh wait. I'm the cool guy aren't I?

Though I did get your joke right off the bat.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I'm kind of like that around this guy who comes to band practice. He's not in our band, but he takes lessons from someone there. He's not even cool or anything, he's actually kind of a dork, but I get so flipping embarrassed when he tries to talk to me about bagpipes. I always feel like he's being condescending to me for some reason, and it makes me kind of flustered because I know I'm technically a beginner compared to him, and maybe he's just trying to help me. I don't know. I try to avoid him because of it, but most of the time I can't.

And you know what else? I admire your ability to write and your sense of humor, but I'm not ashamed to admit it. ;)

Mwa said...

Oh, I do just the same. Or used to, when I was still sometimes around cool people. It's a mental defect, and it hurts.

Lily Ruth's Mama said...

When I'm around people that I think are good looking (either gender - it's nonsexual... just a self image thing), I blurt out embarrassing stories about myself that highlight my flaws. It's as though I'm trying to make myself look bad before they can find anything out on their own. I do this even if I've known them forever. My most recent incident involved me telling 'J' that 'it really shouldn't surprise anyone that I displayed poor judgement yet again'. Who says shit like that? Me? Oh, o.k.

Jennifer said...

You crack me up.

I think we all have people like that in our lives that just seem like the Fonz of the office, dormitory hall, class or even neighborhood. Lord knows I've said some dumb things because of it...

Amber Page Writes said...

I would do much better if I could simply type all my conversations instead of speaking. I come off as pretty intelligent in written form.

But around all the cool cats that tend to congregate in ad agencies? I am still the shy zitty girl with coke bottle glasses that I was in high school.

Phoenix said...

I used to try to picture the people I admired in their underwear but that made things more awkward, to be honest. I'm a spaz to the 12th degree and I'm a klutz too so there's a lot of people I admire simply because they can make it across their bedroom without tripping over the cat and a pile of books whereas it doesn't look like I'm gonna acquire that skill anytime soon.

But here's the thing I learned: it wasn't the people I admired, it was their qualities. I didn't KNOW the people I admired enough, otherwise I would have found out that they suck at Scrabble or don't know Star Wars quotes or whatever other thing there is that makes them lame. Nobody is perfect, cool, or has it all together. So instead of fixating on people I focused on qualities I wished I possessed, such as the very handy skill of ending a conversation exactly when it needs to end and not thirty minutes afterward, or leaving a short, concise comment on a blog, which I'm apparently still working on. Once I figured out which qualities I wanted to express in my own life, I quit worrying so much about impressing other people and instead focused on becoming a better version of me.

I'm still a work in progress...but I have a lot more confidence these days. :)

carissa said...

I have a few people who I'm like this around.. mostly guys that I'm interested in... which probably explains why I'm still single.

#1Nana said...

I so agree with Tony's comment. I feel so awkward in the blog world. I'm technologically challenged and all the kids know all the tricks. Everyone but me has hoards of followers and they're writing witty and stimulating posts. Badass is a GOD in the blog world.

Rebecca Jones said...

I get that way when I'm around someone I truly respect. I just can't seem to form complete sentences around them, which means that the respects thing is probably *not* mutual.

Chuck said...

The neutron joke was great! And sorry dude, I AM the other guy in my office! But in the blogosphere you are the one we aspire to be like!

Melissa said...

I get it. Just last week I shrunk a bit with what I thought was pretty witty. I asked my boss "Don't you owe me a dollar?" Which he immediately grabbed his wallet because obviously I was grubbing a dollar then it processed that I worded it differently. HE laughed, as did his partner (not GAY, they are partners in the firm I work for), but the dumbfounded stares I got from the women I work with in our semi cubicle hell I work in made me very embarrased. I did explain it was a joke. They still looked at me like I was an alien. Then I went on to make it worse by saying "he really does owe me more than a dollar, I buy him sodas all the time when he is stuck on the phone for long periods of time when he IM's he is thirsty" Made it worse, like I was asking for a DOLLAR back. The slackjaws went even more slack.

But hell, I wanted a fucking soda and was ripe out of change. At least HE got it.

Little Ms Blogger said...

You realize you have a man crush (and I mean that in a non-sexual way)...

Little Ms Blogger said...

Oh yeah, got the joke right away -- do you really have to explain it to people? If so, that's funnier.

Badass Geek said...

Tony: I sure hope you are. =)

Mad Woman: Sure. Me, too.

Alex: NICE.

Natalie: This is true.

Sus: You think so?

Melanie's Randomness: Frustrating, isn't it?

Nes: Yeah!

TechnoBabe: Exactly.

Mystern: It's a good joke, right?

Aunt Juicebox: That's good to know. =)

Mwa: Yeah, it kind of does.

Lily Ruth's Mama: Me, too.

Jennifer: It's good to know I'm not alone.

Amber Page Writes: I feel your pain.

Phoenix: Knowledge of Star Wars quotes is essential.

Carissa: Maybe. ;)

#1Nana: You are too kind.

Sadako: Thanks!

Rebecca Jones: Probably.

Chuck: Thanks, man. I appreciate it.

Melissa: Gulp. At least the right person got the joke.

Little Ms Blogger: No man-crush here.

WebSavvyMom said...

-->Cool people just want you to laugh at their jokes. Trust me.

Nej said...

I hate it when I'm in the checkout line at a retail store of some kind. The clerk asks how I am, I say "fine, yourself?"

You know, the polite crap.

Anyway, when they are done ringing up my purchases, and hand me my receipt...instead of saying, "have a good day"....they say "thanks, come back again."

It seems to innocent...but since I'm already on the "polite crap" train, I assume they are going to say "have a nice day"...and I reply to their "thanks, come back again" with a "thanks, you too!"

Polite crap fail. :-)

Moonspun said...

Oh I so know what you mean. I would have tripped though on my way by!

Katrine said...

@Nej I fail at polite crap so often too :-) Being a foreigner doesn't help.

Tony and Nana had a great point. I usually sign in to post something, then notice that Geek has something new and realize that mine is so lame in the light of what I read here :) But I still post it.
When I feel very insecure, I try to remember the time when a younger aquaintance of mine confessed that she wished she'd be me. It shocked me so much, but as someone here said, we often overlook the whole picture and knowing people too well tend to idealize them.

Thanks for another good post!

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