Awkward things.

Socially Inept

on January 6, 2014


I met a new person today. This happens quite a lot to me, and you’d think that I’d be used to it by now, but I’m really not. In fact, for every new person I meet I say, on average, three new embarrassing things, fall over, on average, three times, and make exactly no new friends. I suck at meeting new people. It is my anti-skill. If I had to choose between grappling with conversation and grappling with a bear that thinks I’m made of cake, I would choose the bear. Heck, I would probably charm the bear, because that’s what kind of awkward I am.

Throw me at an assortment of animals and we will be having a tea party within the hour, complete with party games and mocktails. Throw me at a group of people and watch me mumble incoherently about how my armpits feel like toothpaste, (I actually said this today. In real life. Stupid awesome deodorant.) and struggle with the floor like a drunk chicken on a bouncy castle. Socialising is not for me. I would quite happily stay inside, making small talk with my books, who love me and think that I’m awesome. Actually, that’s not true. I mean, my books do think I’m awesome, (especially Pride and Prejudice. Darcy totally has a thing for me.) but I wouldn’t be happy to stay inside, alone but for fictional characters, because I have an active imagination and manage to convince myself that outside is a magical haven of future friends.

I don’t know why I think this. Past experience has told me that strangers think I’m strange and outside is full of dangerous things like sideward glances and behind-hand whispers. Even inside is scary if there are people there. You know where high school is? Yep, inside, and look how that turned out. But I am an optimist, despite reality wagging its finger at me. So I wander outside, my eyes wide with expectation and love for every single human being ever, until I meet one. Then I smile so hard that you see a mile of gums, babble about nothing at a million miles an hour and give the distinct impression of being the most excited serial killer you’ve ever met. Go me.

Let’s take today for example. Not only did I mention how nicely icy my armpits felt, I also threatened to burn down a supermarket, talked about the time I set fire to a small collection of courgettes because (of course) I do not like courgettes, and practically ran to the bathroom to escape my need to blurt out a conversation that I’d had earlier about dying from having an orgasm so intense that both of the couple’s hearts explode, leaving them to rot, naked, only to have their horrified parents discover their fly-blanketed bodies. I mean, what the hell is wrong with me?!

Luckily, this new person was a lovely girl, and not the sort of stranger to inform the secret services of my whereabouts and danger level, but because she’s so nice, it makes it worse. When I find people that I like, I want to impress them, I don’t want to send them screaming into the bushes after I’ve mistakenly decided to show them my blowtorch collection.* I want them to think ‘Wow, you’re really cool. You have a healthy sarcasm level, an excellent collection of paperbacks, a constant urge to make cake, and an endless supply of sloth facts. We should be friends.’ They do not think this. They never think this.

I think that I put too much pressure on myself. Instead of wanting to make simple conversation with this random human, I decide that the entire world relies on my ability to make myself seem likeable. And much like a puppy on speed, I discover that humping their leg, licking their face and peeing on their shoes is not the way to make friends. But in the moment, all of those things seem like AMAZING ideas to the puppy. ‘They’ll love this,’ he thinks, letting the pee stream over the carpet, ‘I’m sooo good at this whole socialising thang.’ And like that puppy, I will realise how super terrible I actually am at life when the newspaper comes down. No! Bad Tilly, naughty.

Sometimes I consider giving up, but it’s no use. I look around at my friends, my internet friends, (who are fooled by my ability to clatter at my keyboard until words become sentences that not only make sense, but make me out to be a bit normal) and my acquaintances who totally would be my friends if I could work out the secret formula, and it makes me realise that it’s totally worth it.

Every time I slip up, I’m trying. Every time I accidentally insult someone’s favourite movie, I’m talking. I’m still going because I care. I’m still making conversation because I want people in my life, no matter how many times I get smacked before someone strokes me. I know how much friendships are worth, and I’m willing to fight through the mists of awkward and wade through the swamps of inappropriate for just a glimmer of something golden beyond the mountains of social anxiety. So I will keep talking about my armpits and keep falling over my feet, because every time I do, I’m working towards laughing about it later with someone cool enough to be called a friend.


*There is no blowtorch collection. Yet.


2 responses to “Socially Inept

  1. Anthony Burt says:

    Excellent blog! I think this is all pefectly normal. To me, anyway. If you had told me about your armpits, I would have thought it was hilarious. I get that cold, gammy, toothpaste feeling from those stupid “extra cold” roll-on things. You know, who asked for them? I want to be non-sweaty, not feel as if my armpits have emigrated to Antarctica (leaving the rest of my body behind).

    However, I must confess, I really don’t remember when we first met you doing any kind of humping of my leg, licking of my face and/or peeing on my (Regency) shoes. Im very disappointed.

    But I’ll let you off – you’re a brilliant person, writer and – to those nearest to you (and far away) – you’re a good friend too.


    A xxxx

    • But I love my toothpaste armpits. Perhaps that’s why I feel the need to tell everyone…
      And I certainly remember you licking my face! I was most alarmed.

      Thank you for your super lovely comments Anthony!
      You are also an amazingtastical author, friend and person in general.

      T xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: