Stories on the edge of familiarity

To the Coworker Who Called Me Awesome Yesterday:

I’ve never considered myself to be an interesting person.

An oddball, certainly.

Off in my own little world, definitely (it’s okay, they know me here).

But never interesting.

I’m so used to being forgotten, ignored, left out, that the thought never crossed my mind that anyone really noticed me. Me. Just as I am.

So, the fact that you would say anything complimentary about me when we barely know each other… that was a novel experience. A pleasant one, no doubt about it, but definitely one that took me a little aback.

I had this horrible experience once in junior high. It was gym class (ugh), and we were going to practise passing for our basketball unit (yay! I love basketball), which meant we all needed to partner up. In all previous classes when we’d needed to do that, I had one friend who I’d always partner with. This was mostly because she was my only friend in that class, period, but I didn’t mind. Except for that day. That day, she was sick. And I was forgotten.

This was almost ten years ago, but it still hurts. I remember very vividly standing, watching everyone pair up, and not a single person even glancing in my direction, and not a single other person left out. Not even the teacher noticed, until I started crying. Then he came over and put me with two other girls and we did all our passing stuff for the rest of the class in a group of three.

They apologized to me, which I accepted, and then they said: “We didn’t see that you didn’t have a partner.” They didn’t even know who I normally partnered with.

I decided to be nice and refrained from saying: “That’s kind of the point.”

Yeah, it was junior high, that famous time in our lives when everyone’s heads are up their respective asses. But I’m not so much of an oddball that I didn’t also succumb, which meant I concluded that all our collective head-assery was all about me. That it was a confirmation of all I’d feared about myself and how I thought people saw me.

Since then, my self-confidence has made leaps and bounds and bounding leaps and leaping bounds. As a result, I’ve been doing a lot more double-takes lately due to people complimenting me. Did people do that before, or did I just not notice until now? Weird.

Anyways, you might not know this, but awesome is my adjective of choice. When I’ve just about run out of words to explain how great someone is, I use the word awesome. It’s a handy general term that makes sure I can still say something rather than sitting there, staring off into space while trying to think of something original to say.

(Crap, there goes my secret. :P )

But, seriously, I’ve called other people and the stuff they do awesome, because I really do mean it. I’ve just never been called awesome by someone other than family before*.

So, thank you. That meant a lot to me.

Now, I know you creep my website, and I won’t be working next week, so I wanted to make sure you know something. You may have great self-confidence and don’t worry about whether people like you or if it’s all just a lie (or if they only like you because of the you that you present when you’re out in public, etc), but I wanted to make sure I don’t assume and leave things unsaid.

There’s only one reason I talk and joke with people. It’s not because I’m faking anything. Ever. And it’s not because I’m bored/dying for conversation and said people happen to be convenient.

No, the real reason is the same for why I enjoy my conversations with you (and now that I’ve had some time to stare awkwardly off into space, I can articulate this properly):

You enthral me.

And I look forward to our next chat.

:)

 

 

 

*Or maybe this is the first time I’ve noticed that particular compliment. Sorry to anyone reading this who’s feeling left out. I can be really thick-headed sometimes a lot. Just smack me the next time you see me, okay? And do so with vigour. Because I obviously can’t take a hint.

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