Bumping Through Life, Dysfunctional Pinball Style

I have this big problem that I’ve discussed before.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t yet been remedied.

A large portion of this weekend was spent hearing those closest to me beg me to please, please, please, for the Love of God, stop talking. And not just in the sense that I was talking too much, but that what I was saying seemed to always be upsetting, frustrating, disturbing or angering someone.  And yet, I still couldn’t stop.  It only led me to wind around long, rambling paths of self-explanation that only made things worse.  Much worse.

This made me realize something: The problem is not necessarily that I talk too much.  No, the problem is, well…me.

I have begun to figure out that it isn’t just some slip-ups here and there.  I am legitimately offensive.  And inappropriate.   And without boundaries. And awkward.

It’s who I am.

The bigger problem is that I don’t see it coming.  I think I am just sharing a regular old story.  Or telling a regular old joke.  Or giving a normal compliment. Or making a generic statement.

And then POW!

There will be chair legs scratching across the floor as people hurry to get up and leave.  Or rolled eyes and “Annie!” said in disgust.  Or side-eyes and a growled, “That’s enough.”  Or the most common, “Annie, please stop talking.  Just stop.  Please stop.  You’re only making it worse.”

It always ends with everyone feeling like crap.

The people around me are upset in one way or another because of what I have said.  I am upset because I feel horrible for upsetting everyone when that wasn’t my intention.  And I feel even worse because I don’t really understand what was so horribly wrong with what I said.  So I can’t even put the blame on this separate ‘something crappy I said.’  No, the blame sits squarely upon the fact that I must be a crappy person.

It’s like I am socially stunted.  Really socially stunted.  Like, much worse than a 4-year-old, apparently, because Carlitos seems to charm everyone he meets with his social graces.  He must have gotten it from his father.

Perhaps the true worst part of it all is that I am a social being.  I love being around people.  Feel the need to talk to people wherever I go.  Want to know as much as possible about everyone I meet.  Am happy to share anything and everything about myself.  Like to party and hang out and TALK.

If only I were an anti-social hermit.  My crappiness could hide itself much easier that way.

Instead, I keep spinning around like a dysfunctional pinball, bumping into people and social situations with my big, obnoxious mouth.  Not knowing what is so uniformly wrong with what I am saying, so not knowing how to fix it.

Unless I just shut up completely.  Which isn’t likely.  They don’t make duct tape rolls that big.

Maybe this weekend I will head to a book store and check out the Self-Help section for any titles that read something like, Help Me! I Don’t Know How to Communicate Like a Normal Person! or Healthy Alternatives to Staple-Gunning My Mouth Closed.

In the meantime, if we meet up in person this week you will probably hear me saying things like, “It is a hot day.” or “Your hair is so pretty.” with a smile on my face.  Don’t worry, I’m not on any pills.  That will just be me trying to get to Saturday without offending anyone before I can make it to Barnes and Noble.

Fake it ’til  you make it, my friends.  Wish me luck.

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6 Responses to Bumping Through Life, Dysfunctional Pinball Style

  1. Julie says:

    It’ a hot day and your hair is very pretty and you are a delightfully entertaining person!

  2. Zoë says:

    You haven’t managed to offend me yet! And I get wounded and offended at the most innocuous, mundane, silly comments and jokes all the f*ing time. Just ask my husband.

    And I bet your kids haven’t complained! They probably still think you are the smartest and kindest person in the universe. Or at least that’s what they TELL you because they know you are in charge of the food and entertainment.

    Good luck, anyway.

  3. Julie – Thank you. If I see you in person soon I shall say the same to you! ;)

  4. Zoe – Ha! Yes, the kids are still pretty into me. But you’re right: I control their food and entertainment, so they could be playing me… ;)

    Very happy to hear I have yet to offend you! Give me time. ;)

  5. Penny says:

    Keep talking Annie!

  6. Penny – Thanks. :) Perhaps we should really, truly, honestly make that dinner happen and I promise I will talk your ear off if you can promise to remember I mean nothing to be offensive nor awkward?

    But seriously, thank you.

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