I don’t know if we’ve discussed directly how I’m a neurotic, over-apologetic bundle of nerves.

Yes folks, beneath this deeply fabulous, bad ass exterior (you were all thinking that, right?) lies a hyper-sensitive interior that would sooner eat the steak brought to her at a restaurant than send it back despite being a vegetarian.

yes, I did take a lot of pictures of myself looking pathetic when I had a cold

yes, I did take a lot of pictures of myself looking pathetic when I had a cold

That’s why today I’d like to talk about the Man Who Passed Me on the Street Earlier.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m (relatively) isolated from the social world here.

Generally I don’t consider that a good thing. To a certain extent, humans are social animals. And I crave attention. I also like men a lot which is somewhat impeded by the fact that most of my social time is spent with two (absolutely wonderful) ladies I happen to live with. I’m a chronic approval-seeker, something that increases about 20 fold around male friends, manifesting itself in a desperate attempt to be “one of the guys” (did you know that I’m single? Did you know that many heterosexual males are, as it happens, not interested in dating a lady-friend who acts like a dude-friend? I mean, obviously unless she’s a tiny indie-cute woman of mystery who seems like she’s always seconds away from an exploitative lesbian kiss. I’m not those things).

The de facto alone time has definitely forced self-acceptance out of me. Not that myself and I weren’t on good terms already. But there’s that little extra step between “I am okay with myself” and “I am amazing and anything bad that happens to me is almost definitely everyone else’s fault.” Uh, but in a good way.

To put it another way:

When you’re an American preparing to go abroad, the thing that’s often drummed into your head before you leave is “BE POLITE BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE IMPOLITE.” I mean, that’s generally true. Especially of university students, who like make a big deal of the fact that even though they’re 19, it’s legal for them to drink. Which is fine, I have no problem with people drinking. But there ARE better ways to introduce yourself to a new country than staggering home drunk at 1am singing “Single Ladies” at the top of your lungs (for starters, as great as “Single Ladies” is, you might want to switch to something more universally recognizable. Maybe some Beach Boys. But NOT “California Girls” for obvious reasons).

Anyway, in discussing American impoliteness a lot get said about Americans and their “sense of entitlement.” The clearest example of this I can think of is service in restaurants. It’s subtly different (theoretically this has to do with the fact that other countries actually pay their wait staff a reasonable amount of money so they don’t have to work for tips), and there’s a lot of potential in an eating-at-a-restaurant situation for an American to seem like a demanding jackass.

I don’t usually have this problem. Because I don’t have that sense of entitlement. And for the record, yes I am that person in a restaurant who believes that the waiter specifically likes her even though being incredibly nice to slightly flirtatious is something waiters tend to do for tips. It doesn’t take me long to recognize that I’m being silly generally, but for a few minutes, I’m sold. And I would hate to ever offend anybody who was even slightly nice to me once.

So I’ve never demanded service in this situation. I could sit in a restaurant ignored entirely by a waiter for hours until I would be willing to say anything.

Thankfully, rather than completely destroying me, somehow being alone has built me up and acted against this.

I doubt my restaurant behavior has changed. My example is stupider than this.

Today I was walking home. I’m not a fast walker and I was having skirt vs. wind issues, which of course slowed me down even more.

I may or may not have been walking in the middle of the sidewalk. It’s unlikely. But either way, I saw a man come up from behind me, exasperatedly step into the street, and walk around me.

And for a second, I felt bad. I may have been walking in the center of the sidewalk. I was definitely not in a hurry. And in such situations, I become hyper-aware  of my size and begin to feel bad about the very way I look and that I’m forcibly subjecting others in the outside world to that.

(Yes, I am very, very neurotic.)

But the that second passed. A nicer sensation came. Annoyance. The feeling that I was completely in my right to be a cumbersome lump in the middle of the sidewalk, drifting along at whatever pace. That this guy was an asshole who decided it was acceptable to ironically dress like a cross between Freddy Krueger and an entire denim factory at the same time. Rage swarmed around me like millions of slightly annoyed bees.

And then that passed. And I was normal, and non-obsessed with having potentially annoyed another human, and feeling fine about being a slow-moving mid-sidewalk lump.

God, this all sounds very sad and pathetic and depressing suddenly when it was meant to be uplifting. I’m like a one-woman episode of Freaks and Geeks.

Ugh, nevermind. Let’s all ignore this entry and focus on the fact that the Asian Supermarket carries Dr. Pepper. That’s a positive note I can potentially end on, right?

sweet nectar of the gods

sweet nectar of the gods

The best thing is it’s been a LONG time since I had a Dr. Pepper, so it was even better than I remembered.

This attempt to salvage this entry is not working at all. It’s really just leaving a bad taste in my mouth. That I am going to have to replace with Dr. Pepper.

Jeez. I’m sorry everyone. Wait, I mean not sorry because I’m done apologizing. Or something. Right? What was the point of this again? Oh I think it was this:

Or something like that. Basically, you will never alter drapes in Atlanta again because you DO NOT cross a Sugarbaker woman.

Thus ends the portion of this blog that two people understood. I hope those two people LOVED it at the very least.

I promise good posts in the near future.