Monday, February 16, 2009

Shrimp Cocktail and Slow Dances

One of the things that I hate most in the world is when I am unexpectedly reminded of a random embarrassing moment from my childhood. It can turn any ordinary day into a depressing suck-fest in a matter of seconds. I try not to let these memories wander into the forefront of my mind, but sometimes they just sneak up on me.

This particular repressed memory came back to me when I hugged a friend of my brother. As a general rule I avoid hugs all together, but every now and then I think to myself "sure, why not, normal people hug and I'm normal, right". When I should be thinking "nothing but awkwardness can come from this". So we hugged and a wave of awkward embarrassment came over me like it was eight grade all over again. His tall and "kooshy" frame reminded me of the big guy who asked me to slow dance at a friends 14th birthday party.

I was spending the whole night scarfing down shrimp cocktail and specifically trying not to dance by walking around like I was on my way somewhere important, possibly the bathroom. I lost my focus, stopped moving my feet for two seconds and some big guy from the band zeroed in on me like an injured gazelle separated from the herd.

Just as a slow song began to play he walked right towards me and asked me to dance, I couldn't make any words come out of my mouth so I just went with it. Suddenly I could feel my face burning red, luckily no one could see because he pretty much shaded me from the world. When he finally realized that the geometry of it wasn't working out (picture a watermelon and a toothpick on the dance floor) he actually picked me up and danced me around the room like a rag doll.

I can't even remember the rest of the party because all I could do was think "what the fuck was that about" and "why me?". Looking back I know he was just trying to be nice and make me feel included, but I have never been the kind person who worries that no one will talk to them at a party or ask them to dance. I am just glad when nothing mortifying happens.

1 comment:

  1. my god i know exactly what you mean. me and my friend were talking about this yesterday. we can literally be crippled with embarrassment by just remembering something for a second and then being consumed by it for ages!

    i am learning new techniques to cope with them though. see NLP.

    Help for men who struggle with low self-confidence / esteem