Conforming to social norms has never been my expertise. When I was little the implications were twofold: 1) i felt like an adult stuck in a little person's body. 2) i didn't always have very many friends. Since them, I have mostly been proud of this; exploiting it as a means to make myself feel cooler than other people. For the most part, I have been able stream this quality into charming and cooky expressions like wearing a tiara to the grocery store or making silly movies in which the cathartic moment consists of a high speed chase on sleds down a snowy hill.

And at other times, my lack of conformity seems to be involuntary. In college, my roommate Sarah periodically had to play Fashion Police for the protection of my social life . . . and really for the good of everyone around me. More than once, she saved me from walking out of the house in "outfits" like a linen jumper, wool sweater from South America, and hiking boots with tights. The weirdness just flows - I have been known to moon sweet innocent girls from the south, just because I thrive on their response. It is kind of mean, really. It's not their fault. But I just suck every opportunity from these kinds of situations. And for the most part, I have been able to write these incidents off as being a quirky, free-spirited young gal.

But as I grow older, I am becoming more and more socially awkward. I do things like pick fights with children who are disrupting me in public places. Seriously. Who does that? A few days ago I told a friend that I looked into a beer of the month subscription for his wedding but that is was too expensive. Last week we were out dancing and I recognized the dance instructor. We had never officially met, but I knew him from my former swing dancing days. I also knew that he and his wife walk a lot at the park near my house. So what did I say while we were sharing a dance but, "Are you a chronic walker at Washington Park? I see you there all the time!" Chronic walker????? Hello stalker! He scurried off as soon as the music ended. I felt it was gracious of him to wait that long.

Just last night I met two seminary students for the first time and without any context or time spent getting to know them, I told them that "if you ever want to make-out or get laid, come to our house - 1 out of 3 people get some action while hanging out in our basement!" . . . herb just turned to me and said, "you just LOVE trying to make people feel uncomfortable, don't you!!?!?"

"yes. yes i do."



Blogger Matt said...

Cara, I don't think you're the problem. People are more interested in their hard candy shell than to enjoy the luscious choclate underneath. That may have been a socially awkward statement. I just hope that dance instructor gets help for his chronic walking. I hear if you don't take care of the soon it turns into a wicked rash!

9:03 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

Pick fights with little children? ME TOO!!! And store cashiers. Last night it was a guy at the Goodwill truck. Seriously.

9:30 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

yeah, ever since i worked at a group home i feel it is my right to correct the behavior of all young boys. a few weeks ago, i was so aggitated with a young man at the pool that i yelled and then actually had to clarify with my friend libby, "did i just lay hands on that child?"
rest assured, i did not . . .
but rest assured . . . i wanted to!

and the goodwill guy, huh? nice work!
i have reprimanded telephone operators, lifeguards, and bank tellers. issues!

9:35 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger travis said...

I can totally identify with this behavior. In my case, I think it stems from being bored with everyday routine life and routine people, so I feel the need to shake things up a bit so that I'm not so bored with life and oters' comfort zones are shaken.
Last night my wife, daughter and I went to an annual event that the town we live in holds. It's called 'Thanks with Franks.' Downtown businesses give out free hot dogs as a way fo saying thanks to the community. We met two other couples at the downtown event, who also have babies our daughter's age (awkward in itself).
Some church ladies ran up to me and gave me a plastic bag with some items in it: a church businesss card, hand wipes, mints... I asked them what it was for and they said "It's a God loves you bag," to which I replied, "A moist hand wipe- God wants me to have clean hands. You should have put a pure heart in this bag- that's the hard part."
While at the local Democratic Center hot dog booth I couldn't help but saying, "Are these (hot dogs) made of Anne Coulter (sp?)." The lady looked at me awkwardly and then broke out in laughter. What I really wanted to say was, "Are these made of aborted babies and Anne Coulter?" That would have pleased my desire to shake thing up very much but the presence of my wife kept me from placing all my cards on the table.

10:22 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger HintofDisaster said...

"if you ever want to make-out or get laid, come to our house - 1 out of 3 people get some action while hanging out in our basement!"

Hahaha...I think our basement holds the same promise, but our visitors would know best :)

11:37 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

oh andrew,
a lady NEVER kisses and tells.
unless she DOES kiss and tell . . . twice.

1:55 PM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:09 PM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Lolita said...

what do i need to wash down there? carpets? walls? window sills? not the ceiling????

7:00 PM, June 16, 2006  

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