Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Awkward Complex

I've been very pessimistic today.

Which is something I don't particularly enjoy, especially when it isn't the sort of pessimism where I sit in my room and grumble to myself while wishing I didn't have so many nick-knacks on my shelves. Today I was at work from six in the morning until two in the afternoon grumbling to my coworkers.

And it was embarrassing.

I'm not particularly pessimistic. Granted, there are the semi-occasional pessimistic thoughts that penetrate my otherwise happy-go-lucky firewalls, but I don't often vocalize them. And if I do they are monitored and vented at my parents who generally seem to understand me.

But I have this complex which I have just decided to refer to as the "Awkward Complex." When forced so socialize with a group of people I've just met or barely know, I inwardly panic. This panic shuts off the blood flow to my brain and blocks any cognitive abilities I have hitherto possessed. Thus the Awkward Complex begins. Being physically unable to form a mildly intelligent sentence, but still feeling the overwhelming urge to be myself (which, unsurprisingly, includes some form of speaking), I begin to talk about whatever awkward subject I can; to break the ice. But the Awkward Complex makes me overly aware of how awkward I am feeling, and to avoid appearing awkward it seems reasonable to talk about how I'm feeling awkward, thus eliminating any notion that I'm actually feeling awkward.

As I said, all cognitive abilities shut down once the Awkward Complex is in full swing.

Unfortunately, as I stumble through kindergarten grammared sentences about how I'm feeling so out of place, I tend to attempt to lighten the situation by talking about whoever I am with. But what few appropriate sentences my mind can create get lost in all the shut tubes and blocked barriers from my brain to my voice box, and I say something that, at any other time, would have most likely been a witty and charming statement, but under the Awkward Complex emerges from my lips a biting remark about how my companion is a horrible person. My companion is most commonly Erin. I, victim to the Awkward Complex, have unintentionally called her a whore, a low-selfworthed moron, and a dirtbag, the latter of which translates into a donkey's rear-end in my cleanly vocabulary.

And duly unfortunately for both myself and my not-so-horrible-as-I-happen-to-say-she-is companion, the Awkward Complex also abandons all use of the Restraint Gland. This gland is the particle of the mind that informs you when it is proper to continue to speak, and when it's best to just shut your mouth. With the Restraint Gland out of the picture, the Awkward Complex brings me to rambling non-stop, attempting to recover from my mistaken friend-bashing, but only digging me in a more awkwardly inarticulate hole. And in the depths of this hole I remember how awkward I'm feeling and begin to speak about that again.

And as soon as my companion adds to the "conversation", I once again dim-mindedly retaliate with a statement that makes us both look like foolish, rude vagrants.

This outburst makes me feel beastly awkward, And upon feeling awkward I begin again to draw attention to my awkwardness.

It's a rather vicious cycle, that is usually only broken by whomever I was speaking to breaking the conversation and scurrying away, and is shortly followed by Erin getting upset that I made her out as a dirtbag, and by me apologizing profusely about how my mouth only gets away from me when my brain shuts off, but my apologizing is just as jumbled and awkwardly rude as any other previous statements.

And then comes the Guilt.

But today I wasn't speaking about my awkwardness. I was complaining, and much like the symptoms of the Awkward Complex, it seemed best to stop seeming like I was complaining by continuing to complain.

But there's a difference between complaining or sounding brutally idiotic to someone you just met against complaining to two middle aged women you respect and have worked with for two years and who know you are normally quiet and well-mannered.

People express grief upon failing their parents expectations and losing their trust over something like lying about where they've ventured to. I'm pretty much feeling that now, but it's not so much disappointment at making someone disappointed in me as it is knowledge that I let my half-framed opinions leak in quick and violent succession from my lips and that these women have every right and ability to share my phrases in the gossip circle that is the Bakery.

It feels good to complain on rare and lighthearted occasions, just a statement or two max. But to become victim to the Awkward Complex's close cousin the Complaining Complex, and allow your ill-hearted and vastly untrue complaints to spill out of your pores for hours on end in an attempt to make conversation and not seem like a pessimistic complainer is among the top ten Foot in Mouth moments of your life.

Unfortunately, if counting each Awkward Complex moment individually rather than as a whole, I have some fifteen top ten Foot in Mouth moments.

And today makes sixteen.

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