Today is the last day of school, and my daughter's preschool class is celebrating this by having a pancake breakfast. I know that other parents have no problem showing up and interacting with the children and families, but I always feel like I'm wearing a big neon sign that flashes "CRIPPLINGLY AWKWARD."
A lot of this is my fault. I like to think I'm really good at aping normal human behavior. I am not. For example, if there three people standing in a social area, and one of those people is me, inevitably I will become confident enough to go a step beyond nodding and smiling, at which point I will interject something into the conversation. This remark will be totally innocuous and completely on topic, something like, "This dip is really good," or, "Cameron Diaz was so funny in that movie!" but the other two people will stare at me, looking horrified and offended, like I just shouted, "I love Hitler! Let's dress up like Hitler! Let's find Hitler's bones and we can all clone Hitler!"
I don't know what it is I do wrong, therefore I have no way to correct it, so I end up generally avoiding other people entirely, unless they are known and trusted. But sometimes, you have to go out and consume, generally goods for your daily living needs, or services from people who know how to fix stuff that is broken on you or things that you own. This happened to me yesterday.
AT THE FAST FOOD DRIVE THRU:
Speaker: Welcome to [fast food place], would you like to try a cherry berry chiller today? Order when ready.
Me: I would emphatically not like to try a cherry berry chiller today. I will have... uh... I'm gonna... listen, I am just completely unprepared for this whole thing right now.
EMAILING MY CAR'S MANUFACTURER
Me, via email form: I have a 2006 [car model], the kind where the seat belts come out of the top of the seats. They cut into your neck if you have to make a hard stop. I'm afraid I'm going to get decapitated in the event of an accident. Is there any way to fix this short of wearing a metal collar or never driving again?
Ten minutes later...
Me: They haven't emailed me back yet.
Husband: It's only been ten minutes.
Me: This is about my head not coming off. You'd think they would make it a priority!
Ten more minutes later...
Me: They are being awfully cavalier about my head re: its attachment to my body.
The good news is, they're going to apparently call me today with a solution re: my seat belt, but I'll probably just mess that up, too, as I am utterly hopeless at human interaction.