Tag Archives: social anxiety

Getting Our Ducks in a Row

Last year, while on our annual family vacation in the Outer Banks (moment of silence to mourn the fact that we will be missing this year’s trip, which of course makes us sad but it’s obviously for a very good reason– so my vagina can be torn in half), Eric stumbled upon these two ducks in a novelty store.

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Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before (every third post), but Eric loves animals. Obsessed. The obsession is mostly focused on dogs, but he really does not discriminate. Just yesterday I was forced to watch a minutes-long video of a kangaroo on a golf course, sniffing a ball and then slinking away, which elicited a slightly amused chuckle from me, and a maniacal cackle-giggle from Eric, who couldn’t help but repeatedly yell, “I mean, just look at him hop! Look at him! Hoppin’ away like a little hoppin’ machine!”

So he came across these ducks last year and, as you can imagine, absolutely could not in any way control his excitement because a) THEY’RE DUCKS! and b) they happen to have our names. Without even thinking to look at the price tag he grabbed them and declared, “This probably goes without saying, but we need these.”

Now, sometimes I am wiling to be indulgent of this animal addiction, such as last week when I purchased this giraffe toilet paper holder for our bathroom and named it Jaben, after our South African safari guide, for no other reason than I knew it would make Eric smile and think of me with gratitude every time he sits on the pot, which is important in a marriage.

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Other times, such as when he purchased this Corgi welcome mat without my knowledge, IMG_0530.jpeg, I threaten to burn the product should it be anywhere in my direct line of sight (rug has since been moved from front door entrance to his side of the bed, halfway tucked under the bed frame. I can technically still see it when I use the bathroom or clean the bedroom (once a year) but placing his feet on that rug first thing every morning makes him so happy that I don’t quite have the heart to burn it, so it stays. For now.)

As for the ducks, I took one look and said, “We really don’t need more clutter in the apartment.” He stared back at me, expression blank, and then, after 30 seconds of careful contemplation, formed his astute counter-argument: “BUT THEY SAY OUR NAMES!”

I was not convinced, and reminded him of the concerted effort we had been putting into de-cluttering our tight living space, already occupied by a ceramic hedgehog, a camel carrying a dowry, three llamas (two from Abu Dhabi and one Peruvian, and may god have mercy on your soul if you can’t tell the difference), four elephant figurines, a life-sized corgi pillow, and the aforementioned corgi mat.

“Ok, ok, you’re right,” he conceded. So I gave him a warm smile and soft kiss on the cheek to show appreciation for his sacrifice, directly after which he walked up to the cashier and purchased both ducks.

So fine. Now we have these ducks.

But ever since bringing them home, something has bothered me about them (like, aside from the fact that we have the world’s most unnecessary wooden birds taking up our tight, NYC living space), and I haven’t been able to place my finger on it. Then yesterday, almost a year after purchase, I finally figured it out:

THEY’RE WEARING THE WRONG NAMES.

Yes, those were the name tags they were wearing in the store, aka the names the artist thought were accurate and appropriate for each duck. But if you look closely, you’ll see this was a classic mix up.

The one wearing the Emily tag is a short, stumpy, spry little yapper. Literally has NO LEGS. Its lips are open, chatting away, likely about something related to a dog walking by or an hours-long, in-depth retell of “the weirdest dream I had last night.” Eyes are open wide with wonder, like it can’t wait to discover what the day will bring– a kangaroo on a golf course? A corgi playing in a puddle? A squirrel having a good scratch? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

This duck is clearly Eric.

Meanwhile, who is this excitable little Eric duck yapping away to, and clearly being tuned out by? (And to be clear, it’s not a purposeful, spiteful tune-out–  this lanky duck is clearly involuntarily stuck in a thought-loop, berating itself for something embarrassing it did 12 years ago and wondering if the gaggle of geese who witnessed the transgression are still talking about it).

That’s right, this long, chicken-leg-limbed yet too-large-footed figure is clearly Emily duck, staring into the abyss, silent, minding its own business and probably confused about something. If you look closely, its dark, beady little shell-shocked eye screams inner panic attack and the stiff, craned neck says “Hi, I am uncomfortable.” This duck is also the color of pee, which more literally represents what I spend half my time needing to do.

So I switched the name tags and now all is right with the world.

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Best purchased we* ever made.

*we = really 100% Eric, against my will, but now that I’m amused by them, I will take half credit for their discovery and purchase because MARRIAGE.

 

As Usual, I’m Making New Friends Left and Right

We just moved to a new apartment building last week, and I kid you not, Eric already knows the name of every person who works here, from the 7 different doormen to the maintenance crew to the service entrance security guards. He passes them in the lobby and with a huge, happy-to-know-ya smile, says, “Hey, how’s it goin [insert worker’s first name here, because I sure as shit don’t know it]!”, as he is already everyone’s best friend and probably in some form of fantasy sports league with them, as he was with the doormen in our last building.

Me? I’ve interacted with one person. Unwillingly.

It happened in the gym this morning.

Me: <“exercising,” headphones on OBVIOUSLY, and generally minding my own business>

Guy: “Wow, look at you! You’re ready to pop!”

Me: “Well, not quite yet, but yes, end of August…”

Guy: “And you’re allowed to exercise? That doesn’t seem safe! You’re sure that’s safe?”

Me: “I’m on a back-supported bike made for seniors, cycling at level 1. I think I’ll be ok!”

Guy: “I don’t know, you’re making me nervous…”

Me: “Well, you’re making me uncomfortable, so I guess we’re even.”

Guy: < Silent. Shits self. >

So it’s safe to say Eric and I have comparable social skills.

The unfortunate thing is that I know the guy meant no harm, and yeah, dude, OF COURSE I’m making you nervous. You think this situation doesn’t make ME nervous every time I look in the mirror?!

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The fact that I am not straight up face-planting every time I stand is truly defying the laws of physics (I assume. Can’t actually quote any laws of physics.)

But sorry, man, I’m in the home stretch here and the hormones win. Between my rapidly expanding frontal load and a preexisting discomfort with strangers talking to/looking at/being near me, I’m in no mood. If my rascal pouch makes you nervous, that’s fine, but keep it to your damn self.

So yeah I’d say we have about one year in this building before I make so many enemies that it’s simply too uncomfortable to stay. Took me about two years in the old place, but pregnancy is going to speed up this timeline a bit.

But that’s perfectly fine– since college, I’ve established a pattern of living in a place only JUST long enough to serve my needs and then moving out right before EVERYONE writes me off as the unfriendly, awkward weirdo-tenant, and it’s totally worked out for me so far.

Meanwhile, as I type this, Eric is enthusiastically shaking hands and exchanging “good-to-meet-ya!” pleasantries with yet another building occupant.

A corgi.

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Shit. We can never move.

 

 

This Isn’t Even Embarrassing It’s Just My Life

As I’m leaving an hour-long tutoring session…

Kid (to her mom): “Mom, you always say I have to take those off (points to nape of my neck) but Miss Emily didn’t!!”

Me (confused): “Wait, what?”

Parent: “Something tells me Miss Emily did not know it was there. And I was going to try to let her leave without embarrassing her, but I guess that’s not happening now.” (opens drawer, grabs scissors, cuts this off my sweater and hands it to me):

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Like a Robot

There is an old cantankerous man who lives in our building, and every time he walks into the elevator and sees me on my phone (which is always), he makes a snide comment about it. Normally I just smile awkwardly and sort of ignore, but today I decided to defend myself.

Old man: “Those things are ruining people. Nobody talks to each other anymore.”

Me: “Yes, you always say that to me.”

Old man: “Well, it’s true. How’s anyone supposed to meet if they’re always looking at their phone?”

Me: “Actually, I met my husband on my phone.”

Old man: “You mean you were talking on the phone when you met him?”

Me: “No, I literally found him BECAUSE OF my phone. I was in an elevator like this one, and instead of talking to people around me, I was scrolling through a dating app. I came across his profile, read it, and I liked it, so I connected with him and we started talking.”

Old man: “I see…”

Me: “Right, so, if I hadn’t been looking at my phone, if I had been talking to people around me instead, as you always say I should be doing, then I wouldn’t have found my husband.”

Old man (long pause): “Well, young lady, I guess that’s a good point.”

Me (smiling, resisting the urge to literally pat myself on the back): “Thank you.”

(We both step out of the elevator and into the lobby) 

Doorman: “Hey there, Eddie!”

Old man: “The whole world’s gone to shit. This girl met her husband INSIDE A PHONE! Like a ROBOT!”

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The Difference Between Me and Eric

Eric: “The woman breeding our future puppy was so nice when I spoke to her on the phone, and she really just breeds for the love of it– in fact, once the dog is ours she wants us to keep her updated on how he’s doing, because she cares that much about each of her pups, she just likes to know what they’re up to. How nice is that?”

Me: “You mean we have to keep talking to her?”

Conditions for Eloquence

I gave a speech at a friend’s rehearsal dinner last weekend and someone came up to me after and said, “You are an extremely eloquent speaker.” And it got me thinking, you know what, yeah, person I don’t know at all but who is now my new best friend, when it comes to verbal communication, I am extremely eloquent!

….as long as I have an entire 16-size-font, double spaced script in front of me (rehearsed for a minimum of three weeks and approved by no less than five trusted individuals), have at least one glass of wine but no more than three in my system, I am not interrupted once, it’s neither too hot nor too cold in the room, there are zero weird noises, no one looks at me funny, I’m not hungry, the lighting is friendly, I am feeling good about my outfit, my acne is under control, I’m not PMSing, and I remembered to take my Prozac.

Otherwise when I talk it’s this:

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