Friday, April 2, 2010

Asocial Skills

We dare not trust our wit for making our home pleasant to our friend, so we buy ice cream

Emerson
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I learned many things growing up but one thing I never learned was how to be comfortable in the presence of strangers. Even though I always felt comfortable and at home on the stage, I'm always uncomfortable when I am invited to someone's house. I'm a terrible guest. I overcompensate for being uncomfortable by doing things that seem rude and presumptuous or else I sit in a corner and just look, without entering into any conversations.

I always want people to come and visit me, especially now that I live so much alone. They rarely do, but I'm always embarrassed at how my place looks and smells. There will probably still be some dishes in the sink, something around that needs cleaning and a pile of chaos somewhere. People come to see me, if they do, not to look at my apartment. I always forget that.

I guess in some ways it's a mark of vagabondism. Intelligent adults are supposed to have social skills, to know how to say the right thing, do the right think and dress in an appropriate manner. I never learned any of those things. Maybe those graces come from being in a family and learning how to deal with people on a regular basis, I don't know. I didn't have such a family.

Those skills may also come from examples, learning from those around you how to behave. Those around me had the same embarrassing lack of finesse I did, so I didn't learn anything polite and gracious from them. I still leave my spoon in the cup and not on the saucer.

And now, the tail may still be wagging and I can still do roll over and sit, but this old dog is probably not going to gain any new tricks. I'd rather have a nap. If you come to visit me, (please do, someday), you'll have to bring your own ice cream.

DB - The Vagabond
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APRIL FOOLERY

Weekend Contest
This contest is open for the next 3 days.

APRIL FOOLERY
Choose as many numbers as you want and fill in the blanks
Winners will be posted on the evening of April 4.
The decisions of the nasty biased judge are final. Prizes will awarded on the basis of originality and whatever makes me laugh.

3 ENTRIES SO FAR

On the first day of April my true love gave to me
12______
11______
10______
9_______
8_______
7_______
6_______
5_______
4_______
3_______
2_______
and_______

Good luck
DB
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7 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

I like ice cream. It doesn't ask anything of you.

pacifica62 said...

Not sure what put you up to this mission of trying to crucify yourself for what you see as lacking in your life. You are a good person DB. You are who you are. I do know that sense of isolation and aloneness that you call your life as mine is somewhat similar to yours. We live a few thousand miles apart, but in other circumstances I would love to go and visit with you and listen to your stories and hear your thoughts. Never mind the ice cream, put on a pot of coffee. I would love to invite you to my house as well for a meal, for your good company and conversation. I am sure that you would be an exceptional guest.

Gerry said...

One thing that happened when I was growing up is that we children were taught not to call attention to ourselves and to behave very well when we visited people. We would not have dared to act up at all! I remember my girl cousin coming to stay all night and wetting the bed at around 7 years old. I know Mother ached to whip her as she would have done one of us had we done such a thing and she learned about it. I later found that exceptionally small bladders ran in the King family, as one of my sons inherited it as well as my sister's child. She found it out. I probably had one and my fear of my mother was so great about wetting the bed that I developed a very nervous bladder which I have to this day. My son wet the bed until he was over five and so did his son. I always kept a large garbage bag for him to put under him, as he got very nervous when we went anywhere for fear he would wet their beds. Because of my mother punishing so severely for this I never ever spoke crossly to him nor did he to his son. Many a child has been murdered over wetting the bed and blamed. I am afraid that extremely well behaved children might signal there is a disturbed parent around!

Arlene (AJ) said...

Know I'd come visiting if I lived closer to you DB, you'd be a special man to hear speak being about yourself or life experiences. Know you've touched all of our hearts who read your site. Remembert friends who come to visit are coming to see you, not the house. If they are coming to see the house and how clean it is, just give them a mop or broom and cleaning cloth and let them get to the house cleaning. Take care....as always you are in my special thoughts DB,I'll bring the ice cream if I get your way. Happy Easter.

Nance said...

It's the rare introvert who attains real social skills. For my money, I'll take the deep talk over the small talk any day. I've always been awkward as hell at a party, but I'm told I was a really good psychotherapist.

Your place looks really tidy from here. No smell, either. Problem solved. And you always leave the nicest comments when you visit my place, so I'm entirely pleased with your company.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

True conversation and interaction is hard to come by. Better to be real and rare, than false and friendly.

Lori said...

I like to visit "people", not their homes, and I like it when people come to visit "me". In my family, growing up, one of my sisters -- the artist with the genius I.Q. -- always had a hard time socializing. She is much better now, but I know that she consciously strove to be better at it; it never came easily. All of us were a bit backward as children, but grew out of it, and it helped that we had our mother, a very meek person who never put herself forward, who has a natural grace and dignity, as our example. But I can still remember hearing someone pulling into our drive and all of us rushing to the big picture window in front to see who it was -- and then, when we saw that it was a stranger, rushing off to the nether regions of the house. I have often wondered what the salesman or whatever he was would think to see numerous little heads all crowded into that front window, and then get to the door to be greeted by one lone woman and a silent house with only the ticking of the clock in the background.