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A lot of things make me uncomfortable. Budget airline seating. Running. Too much ice cream. Holding the
not so Little Mister in one arm for five minutes while trying to pay for something at the shops. Anybody else’s pillows except for mine. Kneeling beside the bath each evening, trying to be close enough to make sure the Little Mister doesn’t fall over and sustain an injury (or overdose on the consumption of a random bubble bath brand that you found in the cupboard because he ran out of his normal type and you couldn’t be effed going to the shops that day – parenting fail win).
I mean, those are the physical things.
But what about my social foibles?
Small talk in the supermarket/doctors’ surgery/anywhere.
I suck at it. I’m not talking about small talk at parties, bars or places you go to socialise and stay a while. I’m talking about the places you go in your every day life. The places where you have a task to complete, before moving on. Don’t get me wrong, nine times out of ten I really do like running into nice people that I know. I just don’t know how long to talk for and when to exit the conversation politely (or how)! It’s like you say, “Hi! How are you today? Yes, the Little Mister has grown and yes he is cute. What have you been up to? Oh, not much? Just working and stuff? OK, good to see you…um…”
I know I’m not the only one. Almost all of my conversational colleagues display a similar awkwardness. Maybe there needs to be some universal code/signal where everyone bows out gracefully at some kind of socially pre-approved moment. So no-one has to do the…”Well, I’ll um…let you get back to your shopping…” or the, “Well, I had better keep moving, I suppose…” thing. No matter how nicely put that is, it never feels entirely comfortable. Am I right or am I right?
It’s particularly uncomfortable when you keep running into the exact same person at the supermarket every time. Do you say something? Do you not say anything, just smile or wave? AWKWARD. Just awkward.
Walking onto an aircraft with a small child.
As you look for your seats, you can feel eye balls on you. Just following your every move. Are they going to sit near my seat? Are they not? Oh, phew/dammit they are/not. Suddenly, you’ve become the enemy of air travel society. Public enemy number one. You know this, but you’re trying to act all nonchalant as you panic on the inside. WHAT IF THEY’RE RIGHT? WHAT IF MY CHILD IS AN AWFUL LITTLE CRETIN? PLEASE DON’T BE A LITTLE CRETIN TODAY!! You sit there tense, until the plane takes off. The only relief you get is when there is a child fifteen rows up who is much much worse than your own. You feel the spotlight shift and you start counting down the hours and minutes until you land.
Speaking up when there’s something wrong with my food.
Having worked in customer service for a number of years (you name it I’ve done it – well not anything illegal or…sexy but you get what I mean), I know what it’s like to have b*tch customer after b*tch customer. Some have valid complaints, and others…well, there’s a special place in hell for those people (they are the same people who write weekly complaint letters to the local papers). While I realise the avocado in my pasta dish is brown and the prawns seem a little…off…I will still say, “Yeah, no problems here. Thanks!” when asked if my meal is alright by the waitstaff. Yep. I’ll risk food poisoning in order to be the nice customer. Idiot.
Driving the Little Mister to his immunisation appointments.
For some reason these appointments always end up being in the late morning. That gives just enough time for the Little Mister and I to go through the normal motions of life at home, before I have to bundle him up and into the car for our ride to DOOM. It’s not really doom. It’s a few little jabs in the arms/legs which could ultimately save his life and the lives of all others in the first world, but at the time I feel so much dread. Will he cry lots? Will I then want to cry lots? How many heartbreaking days/nights of grumpy, irritable, feverish side effects are we both in for? Why does he always seem to be extra well behaved, affectionate and cheerful and smart RIGHT BEFORE HIS NEEDLES? It makes it seem all the more cruel. I get that whole, “Why am I stressing? It’s just his needles. Can he tell I’m stressing? Stop stressing!” mindset. I know. It’s dumb. But I find it very uncomfortable.
WHERE DO I PUT MY EYES?? WHY IS THAT GUY LOOKING AT ME??
Thinking too much in hotel rooms.
I don’t mind a nice getaway in a reputable hotel. A great treat. A touch of romance? An escape from the housework and routine at home? Celebration of an anniversary, maybe? Room service and pay TV, anyone?
It’s only when I think about it too much that I get very uncomfortable very quickly. I used to watch a lot of CSI. I’ve seen all those episodes where they spray that stuff on everything and then shine one of those blue light things on the bed and the toilet. All the human bodily fluids lighting up like a pretty neon artwork. I start wondering how many people have stayed here before me. Whether the sheets have been washed properly. Did the cleaners change the blankets out? What is that white, crusty stain on the chair in the corner? God, I hope it’s yoghurt. Do you spell it yogurt or yoghurt? Oops. Got distracted…
OMFG SOMEONE HAD SEX IN THIS HOTEL ROOM BEFORE I GOT HERE.
Well, duh. But still. Makes me uncomfortable. Don’t even talk about how I feel about the spa tub or the occasional pubic hair found between sheets or on the carpet.
People complimenting me on my dodgy DIY manicures.
I can’t often afford to get my nails done professionally. I also like Pinterest. I guess you can see how those two factors fit together. I try different things all the time (usually as a little Friday night pick me up), before showing my husband and having him give the “Is this a trap?” face when I ask if he likes my nails. I admit, it’s pretty hit and miss, but it’s fun to do.
People often notice my *ahem* unique nail designs and say, “Oh wow. I love your nails.”
I then awkwardly try to hide them and mutter, “Thanks…I was just messing about…”
I get scared people will look too closely and discover just how bad they are. Inconsistently placed nail art. Chipped polish. Amateurish shaping of my nails. Eek!
Having tradies working at my house.
I never know the etiquette. Do I offer them a drink? Am I supposed to make small talk? Do I leave them to it? Is it OK to disappear into another room – what if they need to ask me something? Do I act natural? Of course I realise that they (hopefully) have better things to do than analyse what I’m doing, but nonetheless I feel awkward. If I go about my domestic duties, I feel weird. If I don’t and I’m just on the computer or have the TV on, I feel like they think I do nothing all day, every day. I have no idea how to act. What if they ask me a question and I don’t know the answer? What if there’s a chance I’ll say the wrong thing and then everything goes all pear shaped? What if I don’t notice they’re doing a bad job until it’s too late and they’ve gone home?
Maybe it’s just the idea of letting strangers onto my property or something. Gets me all weird. I am just not that cool.
That moment I click “pay now” on an online purchase.
The discomfort only lasts for a few short minutes, but immediately upon committing to an online transaction, I feel this crazy rush of adrenaline and freak out. I think I’m still a kid inside. The kid who shouldn’t be allowed to use a credit card or make decisions on the internet. I feel like I’ve done something naughty and OH MY GOD, WHAT IF I REGRET THIS?
I probably need therapy or something.
Chill out, lady. It’s just a book or something. Hmm. Better make that a self help book. Sigh.
When everyone wants to share their meals in a social situation. But I don’t.
Because I am a hungry, greedy woman who DOES NOT WANT TO SHARE, BUT CAN’T TELL ANYONE BECAUSE THAT’S SELFISH. I am a horrible person.
Please tell me I’m not alone…or let me know where I can get help haha.