Socially Inept

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, has been talking to dead people for so long that she forgot how to socialize with live ones. She flees back to her garden where even the flowers seem to be laughing at her.I’ve been talking to dead people for so long that I forgot how to socialize with live ones. So at the reception of the latest memorial (memorials being the highlight of my weeks lately), when two men started two separate conversations with me at the same time, I froze and panicked, and fled the scene as soon as I could, not even stopping for a piece of cake. And at home, I went back to weeding the garden, grumbling to my dead daughter about my lack of the simplest social graces, until I sensed some snarky late-blooming bud of a lily laughing at me.

Life’s too short to beat oneself up about being socially inept. Unfortunately, I can’t blame this on my losses and bereavement. So I’m gonna stick to the garden and Photoshop and the safety of my own kitchen for a while, where I can’t embarrass myself. Catch you next week after I’ve recovered. Cheers!

 

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5 thoughts on “Socially Inept

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Aren’t we all? Even if we put on a good face? My most socially inept moments came during the 5+ years when I could hear almost nothing in noisy environments. How often did I smile in response, having no idea what was said to me? No amount of shouting overcame the deafness, so I smiled, left early, and savored the silence of being alone with Willow who doesn’t demand I hear anything more than an occasional bark. Now with a new cochlear implant, I have to learn to let sound in again, even if it’s chaotic sometimes.

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  2. Pam

    I second the suggestion above about bringing a buddy along, or arranging to go with someone also invited to wherever – it prevents others from the possible surmise that you are in some way ‘available’. I run into this problem mostly after church, oddly, my husband not being there, and I will ‘attach’ myself to other parishioners to avoid awkwardnesses with newcomers. I also wear my ‘Ian button’ so there is a prominent visage besides mine, that hopefully may give someone a signal. There is nothing socially inept about us, especially if we are making an effort to signal our particular circumstance. The ineptness lies with those who don’t pause to discern our situation in life – although this is a rampant insensitivity in our society, I would say.

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    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I never considered the “available” aspect of being alone. It is simply me and my life these days, although I don’t feel SO alone, having Marika at the forefront of my thoughts all the time. But being with a live, physical buddy is definitely an attractive idea. Not easy to convince any-old-buddy that hanging out at a church for a memorial is a great way to spend the day, though. Not much I can do, other than just be myself, to change insensitivity in society, I think. Maybe next time I should try to drag you along for support, eh? Cheers, Pam.

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  3. Lynne Taetzsch

    Robin, I totally identified with your post today! I am always hiding away because of my social ineptness–or the fear of it. I stopped going to any gathering of more than 5 people unless they are my relatives. Even at family reunions I kind of went crazy because I couldn’t deal with so many people in one place. Give yourself permission to not go to these events, or bring a buddy who can help you maneuver through it.

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    1. Robin Botie Post author

      OMG, Lynne. I think you’re right. I think I’m going to have to stop going to some of these events, exposing myself to all this stress. At least for a while. Maybe I can attend some class about dealings in social etiquette. Yeesh, what an embarrassment!

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