As a teen-ager I was terrified of the "cool girls" at my school, which, looking back on it, is pretty funny because our entire school was made up of geeks. Really, it was like they gathered all the brainy, geeky kids from the entire district and quarantined us on one campus for our own safety. Think about Anthony Michael Hall, John Cusack and the other guy from 16 Candles, and you have an idea of our school. Don't get me wrong - I loved my school and wouldn't have survived in a normal high school for longer than a week without having a complete and total breakdown.
Even though the girls in our school were all brainy and geeky, there were the "cool chicks," and I was terrified of them, not for any good reason. They were all perfectly nice girls. I just always worried that I'd say or do the wrong thing and they'd think I was a loser. So mostly I didn't talk to them or hang out with them or sit with them at lunch.
Anyway, I've started reading these blogs, and the writers are all these funny, sharp women - the adult equivalent of the "cool girls" from school. And I'm terrified of leaving comments on their blogs, because what if what I write isn't good enough or funny enough.
This is what goes on in my head:
This is so funny. She's such a good writer. I wish I could write funny as well as she does. Am I even cool enough to leave a comment? Will she think I'm a stalker? OK, here goes.
This is such a funny post. I laughed out loud. You're awesome. Blah. Blah. Blah.Ahhhh - I wish I hadn't submitted that. She'll think I'm awful. But if I go back and delete it, she'll think I'm crazy. I can't believe I did this.
Rather, rinse, repeat for just about every blog I read. It's exhausting. So mostly I lurk on these blogs and feel like the geeky outcast watching all the cool girls hang out together. And that makes me feel even stranger, like maybe they're watching me and wondering why I'm staring at them with a goofy look on my face.
Some days it's hard living in my brain.
And lest you think I'm only like this on the interwebs, think again. I do this with pretty much every social interaction that's outside of my tiny comfort zone. This Saturday I went to the monthly Runners' Brunch with people I've been running with for the better part of a decade, and I spent the whole time on edge, worried about how I was behaving. I was so nervous that I swung wildly between talking too much out of nervousness and being silent. I skulked on the edges, using keeping an eye on Elizabeth as an excuse (at least in my mind) for not sitting at the table and chatting. I went home tired and frazzled.
Is it any wonder I verge on being a recluse?