Confessions Of A Self-Conscious Guy

Is There A Way To Eat Alone Without Looking Lonely?
I’m not currently texting anyone, but the general public will never know that. The way I press, swipe and scroll rapidly as if I’m writing vital messages to my broker regarding stocks (or whatever it is that important people do on their phone) creates an illusion. A bogus sham that makes it appear as if I’m somewhat relevant. But that’s all smoke and mirrors. In reality the façade is intended to make my solo lunch in the mall food court not be judged. In my overly self-aware mind, it’s hard to dine alone without appearing friendless or insignificant. Even Denzel Washington would struggle to make consuming Panda Express look cool all by his lonesome. The origin of my mind’s relation between eating by oneself and having no friends is unidentifiable. However I believe it has something to do with over-thinking, and this scene from Superbad.

Friends With Dogs
I love dogs passionately, but why is it sniffing me so aggressively? Specifically, why is Cujo jamming those cold, wet nostrils into my groin area. I don’t want people under the impression that my junk smells like simmered beef Beneful, can you get this bitch away from me? (Sorry, I’ve just always wanted to use ‘bitch’ by its dictionary definition.)

I Didn’t Steal But I’m Still Scared
The security scanners at the entrance and exit of stores make me extremely uncomfortable. No, I’m not a thief but what if it decides to go off anyway? People will hear it beep, see me and assume that I stole, even if I do my best ‘this thing is malfunctioning’ face. (In defense of my self-consciousness, those things have wrongfully beeped upon my exit, at least 10 times in my life.)

The Complicated Menu Struggle Is A Real Thing
If a restaurant carries an item with a tasty sounding description, but an extremely difficult name to pronounce, I’ll order a different dish. Stupid? Absolutely. But I’d rather not mangle it and save myself the embarrassment. Plus I’m too old to do that little kid thing, where you just point at the spot on a menu and say “I want this!”

Youtube Burdens
Sometimes there’s a song I find amazing, a comedy sketch I find hilarious or a video I find powerful. When showing these to you, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure for you to nod your head, laugh or cry in approval of it. Oh, you just thought it was whatever? No big deal — excuse me while I go be upset, as if the video was my own work.

Is Everybody Who Isn’t Me Having Sex?
It feels like everyone is having sex with each other. Is there a memo sent out every week? Can I be added to the mailing list? I don’t want to join in on the sex or anything, it’s just so that I’m somewhat in the loop. Paranoia sets in when you just found out that so-and-so had sex with what’s-her-name three months after it happened  — but everyone else was aware. It really seems as if others are nonchalantly hooking up and I’d like to be invited to know, even if I have no intention of R.S.V.P.’ing.

The Discomfort Of Wearing A Unique Piece Of Clothing
Those white pants. That lime green and purple shirt. Those sneakers that resemble bowling shoes. We all own a distinct article of clothing that has yet to make its first appearance in public, due to the risk factor. It will draw very specific opinions. Folks will either find it amazing or horrid – no middle ground. When finally donning this gear, it’s an uncomfortable time spent watching others watch you, and scanning their faces for a visible opinion on your wardrobe (e.g. a cringe, widened eyes or small chuckle).

Social Network Admiration
Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘Retweets’ can feel embarrassingly gratifying. I’ll say no more because I’m deeply ashamed of their value.

I’ve Considered That This Could Be One Big Show
This entire ‘life’ of mine is taking place on a massive set with an abundance of cameras endlessly recording – and everyone is just acting. My days are actually part of a highly rated show that I’m the focal point of. The only reason I conveniently stumbled upon The Truman Show years ago was a ploy by producers to make such a concept seem preposterous and unmaintainable. On second thought, contemplating this particular scenario is teetering on a line between extremely self-conscious and tremendously self-absorbed. TC Mark

image – Amazon

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