Tuesday, June 25, 2013

MMmm, yes, my Irrational Social Anxiety

I was struck with an interesting idea today after watching this Ted Talk and subsequently destroyed the living room for an hour to take a picture, but I will be revealing things about that on the morrow.
Because I really didn't feel like taking pictures yesterday, I borrowed a Canon from school so I could shoot with the Lens Baby we have, in hopes of being inspired by this alternative technology. I don't know if I've mentioned that I'm a Nikon person, but using a Canon with little experience feels extremely awkward, like trying to talk with a retainer molded for someone else's mouth.

This is the lens I was using–

This model is called Muse, has a fixed aperture with an accordion middle, and you bend/squeeze it to focus. It's sort of difficult to get a perfectly sharp spot in the image, but it's certainly fun to play with.


Alright, the past few posts have been introspective or taciturn, so I think I should write something a little more humorous.
Although my mother insists that I have a gift for making friends (which explains why I'm invited to Total Ragers every weekend and my calendar is overflowing with social events), there are small, seemingly harmless things that trigger social anxiety for me. I'll use my frequent trips to Coffee Talk as an example, because that is where I chilled, much like a villain, after work today.
I went there frequently during the spring semester, but there was a period of two weeks during which I didn't drive and didn't purchase my usual Iced Dirty Chai.

Wait. Will the barista still remember my order? Is he going to notice that I didn't come in for a few weeks? Will he be offended that I didn't come for my Dirty Chai? How do I greet this dude? How long do I hold eye contact? Do I say hello in a knowing sort of way or do I nod my head or curtsey or WHAT DO I DO?!

It really only gets worse when I'm paying for my drink. One time my debit card was rejected, which instilled in me the most violent sense of shame you could imagine in a small then-sixteen-year-old body.

Okay I will take out my card first and put it on the counter just so and now I will take out my stamp card WITHOUT THE LIBRARY CARD THAT STAYS IN THE WALLET okay the stamp card will go here I will sign the receipt now, oh god that's not what my signature really looks like, the guy working today is really cute I screwed up my signature CUTE GUY THAT'S NOT MY REAL SIGNATURE PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

You know in case I end up marrying Cute Guy and he watches me sign the marriage certificate with my actual signature and screams "THAT IS NOT HOW YOU SIGNED FOR YOUR DIRTY CHAI ALL THOSE YEARS, YOU ARE NOT MY WIFE, YOU FILTHY IMPOSTOR!"

There is little exaggeration going on at this point. My anxiety from today, while taking the Lens Baby shots, went like this:

I hope none of the baristas see me taking a picture of my cappuccino, I always hated That Asshat Taking Pics of Their Coffee, but now I am said Asshat. I mean it's not like I can take pictures of those women speaking Japanese over there. Did they just look at me? They are judging my asshat coffee pics. Okay coffee is gone let's take pictures outside NOT BY THE WINDOW I CAN'T LET ANYONE INSIDE SEE ME TAKING PICTURES AGAIN oh man I want to take a picture of this newspaper stand but this is a four-way intersection and there are so many people who are going to wonder why I'm taking a picture of a newspaper stand. Okay I'll walk down this way, cool, jesus christ that woman sitting on that bench stopped her conversation when I walked by SHE WAS JUDGING MY CAMERA, I'M SORRY I AM WALKING AROUND WITH A LARGE CAMERA, EVERYONE.

No, really, it's sort of debilitating sometimes. I also have problems with meeting up with people for Social Events the first couple times. I love being punctual, but I don't want to seem like an anal-rententive psychopath, so I get anxious to the point of nausea while trying to arrive somewhere fashionably late, routing and rerouting through traffic and unforeseen challenges constantly. Is this something I'm going to grow out of? Did I get stuck with the Detail-Oriented Anxiety gene? Dear god I hope not.



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