Friday, July 8, 2011

Univarn on Life: Necessary Rules

Three Moments in Life We Ought to Have Set Rules For

I'm not (that) socially awkward. At least I don't like to think so. When it comes to day in, day out communication I'm often  just fine. But that's not always the case. There are circumstances that come up in life where it seems nobody knows what the right reaction is. It certainly doesn’t help that I have a random imagination and therefore end up spending a lot of time trying to stop myself from saying what will most definitely end up being the wrong thing.

Person: “My mom just died of cancer.”
Univarn: “At least it wasn’t an army of killer bees.”
Person: “…………………………….”
Univarn: “I hear they can be bad this time of year………..”
Person: “………………………………………….”
Univarn: “…………I’m sorry for your loss?”
Person: “Thank you. I think I’m going to go over there now, bye.”

Now that circumstance is a bit of a rarity, and I know you shouldn’t bring up killer bees at a time of sorrow (even if the deceased in question happens to have been a big fan of Tommy Boy). Still, there are some moments in that I think we should have set rules for the code of conduct expected from one another. The outliers of life where there really isn’t a set rule (or socially accepted one) that I think we would greatly benefit from having something put into place. So, here we go:

1. Seeing Is Frustrating: I’m in a hallway, strolling along (admiring the fine wall finishing) when all of a sudden a quick head turn results in me making eye contact with someone at the complete opposite end. My natural instinct is to smile and give a slight nod or wave to say “yes, I know we just made eye contact so please accept this gesture in lieu of me actually speaking to you.” However, at such a distance I’m still left with the awkward smiling and starring for the remaining of the walk down the hall. If I go for the gesture too late however, I may come off cold, creepy, or just dazed. Perhaps the solution is never make eye contact with anyone ever?

2. Push You Damned Dirty Door: Can we make it a law that all doors with bars going across horizontal must be push doors? While any door with a little bar going across vertical must be a pull door? There’s nothing quite like catching a pull door when you were expecting a push door right in the middle of a stride. Of course, this only ever happens when I’m in a hurry; which means I get to spend the following seconds like an idiot trying to re-push the pull door just in case. Then debating if it is locked, before realizing the damned door is a pull because someone comes along and opens it from the other side. And you just know that smirk on their face means they opted to wait a few moments to see if you’d figure it out!

3. You Know That I Know This Conversation is Over: I fully believe there needs to be a set rule (think of it as a ‘safe word’) which tells both parties “this conversation has just ended, time to move on.” Why? Because I hate when you’re in the middle of a heated discussion and all the sudden – flatline. You both just end up standing there staring at one another wondering if there’s possibly any other topic or way of debating the topic at hand. Of course there isn’t, and you both know it. But neither of you want to be the one who says “bye” so you sit there in an in between moment of nothingness. This is especially important on phones where those lovely visual queues that things have headed south are unavailable. Perhaps we should just say break and clap our hands whenever we’re sure the conversation is over (though this might lead to that awkward “I’m not finished speaking yet” moment).

So, now that you know a few of mine, why not tell me some of yours? Got any moments in life that seem to arise often enough and you can never find a happy medium between awkward and social compliance?

4 better thoughts:

Nikhat said...

I've just started I basically need lessons like these at the moment just to talk to people.

I agree about the door thin. Something that often happens with me (off the top of my head cuz a lot of things happen with me) is when random people fall down and instead of helping them, my first instinct is to laugh and then I come off as cruel. Yeah...I have no hope.

Simon said...

1) Eye contact's for pussies and pedophiles.

2) Yes.

3) Fuck yes.

Castor said...

Yes, you are socially awkward.


Unknown said...

Some language/cultural combinations actually make it possible for your condition 3 to exist. Unfortunately, English isn't one of those languages. I had one of those moments today, where I'm internally screaming please shut up and the other person is droning on about something I could care less about.

I generally don't worry about situation's like your second condition. If I randomize my response, I keep people guessing, which is fun.

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