Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Smart Gift

You know the age-old female paradox of Pretty vs. Smart? Like, you can't look like Megan Fox and...well, do anything else, really.

Anyway, I give up. I refuse to play this game of trying to be both. Not that I think I am ugly and stupid. It's just that I'm a little weird. So I don't fit in anywhere. I seem to be living my own personal paradox of Strange vs. Boring.

Outwardly I am really boring. I am not a "talk first" person and I have trouble remembering names and identifying details. I don't have exciting stories to share. My response time is often slow and I stumble over my own jokes.

But all of this is because really I am just trying to approximate normalcy instead of my default "weird" setting. For example:


Person #1: "Hi Kate, nice to meet you."

Me: "Hi."

Me: (Four seconds later) "Nice to meet you too."

Person #1: "What's new?"

Me: "Nothing. Nothing new."

Me: (Four seconds later) "What about you?"

(Painful. I know.)



Person #1: "Hi Kate. Nice to meet you."

Me: "OMG incoming handshake. Concentrate very hard on shaking hands without pinching and while maintaining eye contact. You want to look like you have normal hands. Shit, totally missed their name."

Person #1: "What's new?"

Me: "Am I sweating? I might be sweating and now they think I have weird hands and a sweating problem. What's new? Everything sucks right now, I can't tell them anything recent. And all the stories I have are about getting hit on in the middle of the street. These are not appropriate stories. Why am I so fucking inappropriate? Don't swear. Did I swear out loud? What did I say out loud? Oh, God I didn't say anything. Now I am sweating and mute."

See? I am totally weird. And by hiding it I just seem weird AND boring. A few people have recently called me out on this. But I am unconvinced that not hiding this would make me any better. For instance, last night I unleashed my stream-of-consciousness-inner-self on M during Scattergories and it didn't go so well.

Scattergories, "Things Found on a Map," Letter "H"

Me: "Hydra"

M: "That doesn't count."

Me: "On a map of where to find hydras."

M: "No. That's cheating."

Me: "What do you have?"

M: "Hiroshima."

Me: "That's not a thing, that's a place. So mine should count."

M did not think this was funny. He thought I was trying to cheat. I was however, NOT trying to cheat. I was trying to be funny. Scattergories is my favorite board game for this very reason. Normally you get points in the form of other people laughing for totally bizarre answers. Last night I realized that my definition of "normally" is that I usually play this game with my dad. Who makes things up too.

My dad is very good with words and his favorite board game is Scrabble. The only time I have come close to beating him was during a late-night rematch over Christmas this year. And I still lost. Scrabble is the only game where my dad does not relent on whether his words are made up and he will make you take your complaint to the 97 pound dictionary displayed prominently throughout the game. The current edition of Scrabble at my parents' house was a joint gift from my mom and I to my dad several years ago. It is now a family fixture. (And by that I mean it gets used only when the whole family is home because my mom hates Scrabble and goes through three magazines while waiting for her turns.)

Also my dad just texted me and asked what a hydra is. I'm a genius.

It turns out that Hydra is actually also a city in Algeria AND an island off of Greece, so suck it Scattergories, but that is not why I thought of it. My brain went like this:

"Hmmm, H for Car Parts...Hydraulics. H for Things Found on a you just used that and it doesn't make sense....Hydraul...No!...wait...Hydra? NO...but maybe..."

And then my brain began drawing an intricate old-timey map of oceans with many-headed serpents sticking out in key places. In green.

This is why I stay mute.


  1. If I had options other than "funny," "interesting," or "cool," I might check them too... ;-) But given my current adjective options, I choose this!! xoxoxo

  2. You mean like "hilarious?" :) Thanks!!