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knit me more time...
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
ordinary interactions

Sometimes I am not so good with ordinary interactions or idle conversation. Especially with people I don't know well, or don't know at all. Last night I went to the corner store near where I live to buy something small, thus getting change for my $20 bill so I could do laundry. This guy who regularly works there always greets me as his "future ex-wife." It would be creepy but I know him to be a nice guy. He was working the evening of November 2nd last year. I came in rushing in during a PBS election return break to buy more beer. The night was starting to look really bad and I was in desperate need of more alcohol to numb the growing pain. Anyway, I rushed into the store and plopped my beer down on the counter. He made some funny comment about me rushing in to get beer and I replied with something about how the night couldn't be worse. He agreed and I ended up hanging out with him for a while outside while he smoked a cigarette. We talked about fascism, racism, healthcare and wondered why so many missed Bush's clear "screw everyone who isn't rich" mentality. It was a great connection. So, now, when I see him he calls me his "future ex-wife." Well, last night I had that headache and I didn't want to be going through the motions of doing laundry anyway. When he greeted me, I tried to come back with something funny and failed miserably by saying something like "oh yeah" and then laughing in a way that wasn't meant to sound like I was creeped out, but it did. Then, I ended up making a lame joke about laundry and left. It could have been a funny conversation, but I just couldn't get the interaction part right. So, I am at the laundromat right now. It is a nice little local laundromat. I am very attached to 3 specific washing machines and when I came in one of them had clothes in it (the cycle was done). So, I got one of those rolling baskets and put the person's clothes in it. Like I said- I must use those specific washers. Later on a guy came in and went over the clothes and I explained "Oh, I'm sorry I took those out- I just needed that sized washer" and he joked back that he didn't care. Then, he went to put his clothes in the drier. As he left he said something like "and if you need to use the drier, you could also fold my clothes when you take them out." It was totally meant to be funny and I should've just joked back something clever like "yup- I'll fold them but I don't iron." Instead I half said "oh I won't need that drier anytime soon." A boring comeback for sure. Afterwards I can always think of things to say. But, not during. This is why I don't generally talk to people out in the world I don't know. Its not that I don't want to be friendly, it just doesn't come naturally and ends up being awkward. When Jo and I go shopping, she instantly has a rapport with the cashier. Or if we have to call about the cable not working, or about a bill, she is the one who does this has she is instant friends with the person on the other end and thus ends up getting things to work out the way we want. She is so amazingly good at those types of interactions and I am just not. I'd rather just smile and say "thank you" when I go to the store then try to think of something funny to say that would surely come out wrong or sound strange. Have I had such an awkward interaction with you? If I know you then I'm sure I have. If you only know me from my blog, then no. I'm so much better at writing then speaking.

posted by knit wit | 3/30/2005 10:15:00 PM

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