Awkward High School Tater

I actually have three different things I considered writing about today. One was another post about the effect of moving 500 miles away from everyone you know and losing contact with all of them. This was brought to mind after a place I worked at in Cincinnati appeared in a dream. It seemed a little sad, so I opted not to do that one today. One was a whiny post about views on the blog, but I figured no one really wants an inside baseball post about how my views have gone down and I think it is because I have to share to a page and people aren’t seeing the page.

The winner was inspired by seeing the following in my TimeHop:

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This post was prompted by a few rejections for jobs. I think it’s funny, but it’s not entirely accurate. I was only rejected for a prom date once. I was only rejected once because I only asked one person. I only asked one person because I was not someone for whom doing something like asking someone out is easy. I was a socially awkward little weirdo who was sure that no one would ever say yes to me. It is a miracle that I ever asked one person. It wasn’t going to happen a second time.  There was no way I was going to go through working up the nerve to do that again only to be told no. I went to prom alone. I only danced a couple of times when two of my neighbors took pity on me and asked me to dance with them. I generally hid from rejection by not asking in the first place.

I went to college and shockingly was still a socially awkward little weirdo. I spent the first year and a half trying to overcome that with alcohol. So, I became a drunken, socially awkward little weirdo with bad grades. That wasn’t working for me, so sophomore year I went cold turkey on the alcohol, started working harder in school and got more active in the Baptist Student Union. At some point around that time, I discovered I could hide some of the socially awkward little weirdo stuff with jokes and sarcasm. I worked hard on honing those skills. I was still a socially awkward weirdo, but now I had jokes. Somehow in college, I convinced someone to go out with me and then somehow convinced them to marry me. Almost 27 years later she still refuses to admit her mistake.

Adult, married Tater is still a socially awkward little weirdo. I still try to cover it up with humor and sarcasm. I have also developed a pretty good fake inflated ego as a new twist to my cover-up. I’m not sure anyone is fooled. Not being in the dating game makes it a little easier. I can’t imagine ever having to go through getting up the courage to ask someone out again. I need to make sure I am always extra nice to Mrs. Tater.

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I am an Awkward Introvert and It’s Still Not Cool

There was a review in the newspaper recently(I think the Washington Post) for this book

Apparently it is now cool to be socially awkward. This is after the recent book Quiet and the movement that made people think it was cool to be an introvert. Suddenly, everyone was an introvert. The Internet was full of articles about introverts. People were sharing them, declaring themselves an introvert. Based on the activity I saw on Facebook there are no extroverts on the planet. Of course, this isn’t true. I’m sure many of the people declaring themselves introverts were actual introverts I’m also sure many of the people were extroverts jumping on the introvert bandwagon. Blockbuster superhero movies, new Star Wars movies, new Star Trek movies, dreck like The Big Bang Theory, etc have made it more mainstream to like things that used to make you a nerd.  The above book now puts the socially awkward in the cool column.

Now, speaking as someone who has been a socially awkward introvert my entire life, I don’t buy the cool thing. Sure, some socially awkward nerds make it big and enter the cool category, but many of us are still just awkward people who tend to stand in a corner alone at a party. I don’t want to be an introvert. I would rather be someone who enjoys being with other people. I don’t want to be socially awkward. I would rather be someone who can attend a party or a social event at a conference and mingle like a normal person. I wasn’t cool in high school, I wasn’t cool in college and I’m not suddenly cool now because the socially awkward have been declared cool. I think my socially awkward introvert culture has been hijacked by people who have always been the “cool kids” and now are “socially awkward” or an introvert because that’s the new in thing.  This cycle will eventually end. It will once again be cool to be an extrovert and at ease in social situations and the cool kids will abandon us once again.

Trust me. Being me is not cool.