Awkward things.


on March 16, 2014


I decided today that I would write a list of things that I’m afraid of. Not because I’m a raging masochist who likes to seek out new and interesting ways to embarrass herself in a public forum, (although if the cap fits… Come to think of it, I’ve never tried on a cap that didn’t fit, apart from kids’ caps that is. I totally understand wanting to wear one of those though. Children know the value of glitter and being so cheeky that they would inadvertently enter a pub brawl involving crocodiles and ninja stars, (that they would definitely lose) if they were a grown up.) but* because I really need to get over the whole being afraid thing, and if I’ve learned two things during my time being alive, the first one is that lists solve EVERYTHING.**** So here is my list of things that freak me out and why:

  • Phone conversations

How can anyone enjoy this?! In old movies, girls would wrap the phone cord around their finger, whereas telephone communication makes me want to wrap it around my neck. You can’t see the person on the other end. They could be saying all this nice stuff whilst simultaneously throwing darts at a hideous picture of you, (taken just after your skin had decided to self-destruct and, in an act of solidarity, pizza decided that its calories totally counted and, oops, hello Shamu) and hacking up your best friend with a collection of sporks duct taped together and dowsed in lemon juice and salt, in order to create a surprisingly effective method of ouch. Ok, it might seem far-fetched, but how can you know for sure? You can’t. And don’t ask me why texting is fine, because I never said that I was logical, just paranoid.

  • Ordering food in restaurants

Now don’t get me wrong, I am sooo awesome at eating food in restaurants. It’s a talent, it really is. But ordering it? Nuh uh. I believe that science should have figured out a way of getting food to you without any form of communication necessary. Why are they dilly dallying with this Higgs boson malarkey when I’m still having to tell an actual person what food I want? Why don’t they know already? Also, why do they want my name in Starbucks? It’s the Illuminati, I tells ya! Alright, I don’t actually believe Starbucks staff are part of an elaborate plot to steal my highly coveted identity, (for one thing, it’s not even lowly coveted) but it does freak me out to have to tell people what I want. I don’t want them to think I’m rude when I correct them, I don’t want them to think that my name is lame or fake, and I don’t want them to spit in my food because I’ve offended their religious beliefs by not wanting a loyalty card. Come on scientists, step it up.

  • Over-Confident Children

Since when did being seven grant you the gall to speak back to your elders? Also, why do you have an iPad?! When I was that age I had a day off school to see the doctor, (being on the brink of death or, as my mother remembers it, a bit sniffly) and I literally shrank down in my seat when I saw secondary school students wander near my mum’s car. I honestly thought that they would attack me. Today, so many children are pretty damn certain of God’s gift-ness, and will let you know about it in their Rihanna-esque attitudes. It scares me, it really does. How does something so small get such an inflated ego? How does someone so young know that a police officer won’t arrest them should they be caught being overly shirty? I don’t understand it and that (just like the knowledge that someone must obviously be buying Justin Bieber’s music) terrifies me.

  • Public Speaking

This seems to be a common one, so I’m feeling pretty normal right now. Standing up in front of a crowd and making words happen is one of those things that can strike the fear of God into someone’s heart, especially since Jesus was pretty swish at it. The last time I had to talk in front of a group, I nearly died. Ok, I didn’t nearly die, but the world went fuzzy and the ground disappeared and my legs became an electric fence. I have no idea what I said, but it was probably a load of nonsense. Plus, imagining your audience naked does NOT work. Have you ever given a talk in front of a colony of nudists? How could you focus when there are all those interesting bits to look at? It might help to imagine that you’re yapping to yourself in the toilet, but then you come out of the daydream and there are a hundred people IN YOUR TOILET. Perhaps the best plan is to not do any public speaking ever. Haven’t these people ever heard of Skype?!

  • Clipboard People

I am walking down the street, happily waving a shopping bag containing more books than I can read in a year, and desperately searching for some vegan cake before I have to eat my best friend’s (non-vegan) arm. Suddenly, from nowhere, a cheery chap with sexy dreads appears. He’s smiling at me. I think I love him. In my mind, we are getting married on a beach. There is a bouncy castle, a pig waddles down the sandy aisle, bearing rings and he’s written his vows in sonnet form. The rose-tinted fog clears and I’m about to embark on a beautiful future with dreadlocked soul mate man when I see it. He has… A clipboard. On one hand, I understand that it is his job to appear friendly and raise funds for worthy causes, but on the other hand, noooooooooooooo. I had everything planned and now I find out that you’re just scamming me with your gorgeousness for charity? Shame on you, no longer future husband of mine. We could have had something special, and now I have to seem REALLY interested in my phone in order to avoid a possible happily ever after, because I already donate to that charity, but if I tell you that, you’ll think I’m stingy or Satan. I hope you’re happy.

  • Making Grown-up Contact with Childhood Bullies

I know, I know, they can’t hurt me anymore, we’re all older and wiser now, blah de blah. You’re speaking gibberish though. In my head, they’re still the same, evil, Satan-spawn that spat in my hair and put gum on my seat. Their words still hurt, because despite the rhyme, actually, words will always bloody hurt you, because they stick in your brain, unlike gum, which can be snipped out of your hair, leaving an impermanent but still mildly scarring bowl haircut. I don’t get how someone so intent on pushing someone over a metaphorical (and possibly physical) ledge could suddenly grow wings and learn to play the harp in the time it takes to bag themselves a job. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I haven’t suddenly discovered the joys of socialising and cigarettes, just because I no longer need to panic that I haven’t done my homework. So every time I see one of the people that made my life hell, I hide. I literally hide. Yeah it’s not cool, but that’s what got me into their bad books in the first place, and as you can tell, I’m into the idea of consistency.

All of these fears can be encapsulated into one scientific-sounding term, which makes me feel as if I can just burrow into a cosy cave, because I have a condition, damn it. That term is ‘social anxiety’. In layman’s terms, people freak me the eff out, and I would be much happier staying in bed and calling in sick on this whole ‘real life’ deal. It’s hard to talk to people and hope that you’re not offending them, or convincing them to hate you, or behaving like you’re high or frisky. Also, who says frisky?! I don’t even say frisky. Well, I guess I do now. But the point of all this isn’t to wallow in my pathetic-ness, but to fix it. Since I haven’t crossed all the way into self-help nut, I’m not planning to toss this list into the fire and do a dance and cry a bit too much on some guy I just met named Paulo, who has a vegan chutney business and a love of hand-woven bracelets. That’s mainly because this is written on a computer though, and not because Paulo doesn’t sound like he’d be good to cry on. If you’re reading this, Paulo… Anyways, yes, self-improvement. I’m going to do things that freak me out. I’m going to talk to strangers, I’m going to phone people, I’m going to order my own houmous, and I’m going to give far too much money to charity, because I need to get the hell over it. People are not demons, (well, some of them probably are) and I need to calm down, go outside and say hello.


*yep, I was in the middle of a sentence back there and drifted off to the subject of child accessories, because it’s my blog and I’m fricking Chuck Norris, so I can do what I like**. Look at me deviating from a point as if I actually had a point in the first place. Girls gone wild!!!***

**I’m not actually Chuck Norris. Sorry to disappoint.

***I’m fully clothed, typing quite sedately in an empty room, and possibly a closet compulsive liar…

****The second one is that I am not cut out for the outside world. At all*****

*****I’m going to stop with the asterisks now because, despite them being pretty and everything, I’m even annoying myself.


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