Friday, August 20, 2010

Be Normal. Just Be Normal.

When you have so many idiosyncrasies, it becomes very important to you to appear normal in the eyes of others. Every day is a series of challenges to hide all the things you have to do to in order to avoid a nervous breakdown in public.

Today's Challenge: Eating In Public

First you have to decide where to eat.
Your friend will likely say it is up to you, because that is what always happens.
Be unable to make this simple decision. Panic. Hope that your friend does not notice how hard it is for you to decide between Red Lobster and Chili's. Distract them with unrelated conversation. Convince yourself to make a decision based on which restaurant is closer, that way you're not deciding, geography is. Be pleased.

Arrive at the Red Lobster. Approach the host and give them the number of diners. Remember how you used to be a host and worry that you were not nice enough. Smile. Worry that your smile looked overly panicked. Distract yourself by staring at the lobster tank. Now they will think you were smiling at the lobsters.

Follow the host to your table. Walk quickly so that you will be the first to pick a seat, that way you can have your back to the wall.

Alternate Outcome: Your friend somehow beats you to your preferred seat. Panic. Stand awkwardly and sort of cough. Worry that they will realize you're crazy and quickly sit down. Spend the rest of the meal feeling like someone is going to stab you in the back.

The waiter will come to take your drink order. Want something alcoholic. Let your friend order first. They will order water or soda. Worry that if you order alcohol your friend will think you are an alcoholic and also not want to get in the car with you because you are a drunk. Order soda.

When the waiter returns with your drinks, he will launch into his job-required description of fish specials. Know that this is just part of his job, you were a waiter too. Hate restaurants for making him do this. Be uncomfortable when it goes on too long. Wish you could ask him to stop, but be afraid that he will get angry and spit in your food. Keep smiling. Do not order a special.

Instead, order something with so much butter that it will definitely make you sick. Think you can trick your digestive disorder into ignoring the butter by drinking copious amounts of water. Realize too late that you already had soda. The soda and butter will mix, turning your stomach into a Food Fight Club. Then they will re-enact that scene where Edward Norton (butter) beats up Jared Leto (stomach) while Brad Pitt (soda) watches.

Your stomach will start to rumble violently. Worry that you will get sick in the Red Lobster. Worry that your friend will find out that you have stomach problems. Worry that they will think that your stomach problems are actually Bulimia, like your high school theater teacher. This worry will only make your stomach churn harder. Take deep breaths. You can make it.

Order dessert.

Realize your mistake seconds after finishing dessert.

Somehow manage to calm your stomach down with sheer willpower. Be pleased about this.
Feel like you can do anything. Decide that 'anything' means going to Best Buy.

Suddenly feel overwhelmed from being in a retail store. Decide that it is somehow too crowded and too big.

Your stomach will react to this. Panic. Tell your friend that you are going to go look at something they are not interested in. (Tip: If you are with a female friend, say you are going to look at video games. If you are with a male friend, say washer/dryers.)

Escape undetected to the restroom. The restroom will be full of employees talking on their cell phones. Be unable to use the bathroom while they are there. Pretend to wash your hands (do not actually wash your hands because then they would be wet, causing you further distress and you really cannot handle that right now).

The employees will finally wrap up their conversations, leaving you alone.
Get sick in the Best Buy.

When you are done being sick, feel like you can do anything. Decide 'anything' means buying 3 or 4 dvd's.
If your friend asks where you were, lie.


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  3. Stomach problems rule (in that they are totally awful and therefore rule over what normal people would consider standard behavior.) First rule of everywhere: know where the bathroom is.