Conversation is not a trial

It happened a long time ago.

Me: “Hi”

Her: “Hi”

Me: “You saw me coming this time, didn’t you?”

Her: “Yep. I saw you. I knew you were there.”

Me: “Darn. I was gonna sneak up on you again.”

Her: “Uh-huh. I’m looking for you now.”

Me: “When I snuck up on you earlier, your face turned red – like you were blushing.”

Her: “Oh… Your face is red, too.”

Me: “It is? Really. Oh my.”

Her: “Yep.”

Me: “Oh wow. I guess I’ll have to work on that. Don’t want to let it show…. I was gonna talk to you again, a while ago, but you were over there… on the tray line… unloading the belt.”

Her: “Oh, yeah, I was over there.”

–(Pause for an awkward silence…) —

Me: “Ok. Well, have a nice weekend.”

Her: “You too, have a nice weekend.”

Painful. I’m a grown man and talked like a clueless little kid. I hated myself over this conversation (if you could call it that). I beat myself up like that easily-chagrined character that Chris Farley used to do.

Let’s throw some responses at it, and see what sticks…

(1) But we all have to start somewhere. By definition my lack of experience may not satisfy the first woman I’m with, and maybe a couple more than her, but in the process that’s how I gain experience too. If we had to wait till we had experience before hooking up, no one would ever get together. It’s not magic, and I too can have it.

(2) I once read a comment on a blog: “As far as artificiality, most human behavior is artificial. If you’re saying anything other than, ‘Hey, you want to fuck?’ you’re being phony. And it’s OK.”

(3) Social interactions don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to wait till I have just the right personality or in the ideal mood for social interaction to occur. If everyone thought that way, they would hardly ever do or say anything.

(4) (I screwed up) — Maybe. So what?  Was I doing so much better the way I have been? Not interacting can be a screw-up too. Maybe withdrawing from social contact messes things up, too. It’s not necessary to be alone just because I’m not perfect.

(5)  I’m not on stage, I’m in the audience. It’s okay to be like aw-shucks, a newbie, honestly curious, experiencing situations and people, as if I haven’t before.

(6)  Consider the possibility that, in the process of talking without trying to be funny, your sense of humor just might come out anyway.

(7) Failure is something you do, not who you are.


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