May 20, 2008
Evasion 101
If you've read more than three of my posts, you know that at some point I stocked up on fear multi-packs on special. As a child, I had a diagnosable dread of someone finding my underwear while at a sleepover. It mattered not if they were dirty or clean, I made sure I buried those suckers in the bowels of my bag, past the mouse traps and land mines to which I imagined crafty 9-year-olds were resistant. I'd fake cramps and other teen illnesses so I wouldn't have to play in my piano recitals. Because it is a well-established fact that screwing up Clair de Lune has ruined many a young life.These days, I'll pop you a good one should you make fun of my fear of roller coasters, as everyone of sound mind knows that there's no real reason to propel yourself to Mach 5 wearing little more than a purse strap. And group sports? When I know I'll have to play softball, I hope for locusts and leprosy and yes, even pregnancy – anything that will prevent me from having to get up to bat, assuming a position of failure for all to witness. My hands sweat and I silently invite a pitch to the temple, anything that will get me out of the line of sight and into a more comfortable place, like the dentist's chair. Ah, the calming hum of that drill.

I will also admit to having a pathological fear of people. Not just the cell phone, which we all know I wish would die the horrible death of any period piece starring Scarlett Johanssen, but of real, live people, the ones who breath oxygen and steal labeled food from group refrigerators. I absolutely hate how I feel
when meeting them. Any of them. I'm clammy, I feel clumsy with my words, I'm wondering until just how long I have until it's polite to use the restroom. Then while in the restroom, I'm likely drying my armpits with a toilet seat cover and wondering what I have left on Tivo and just why everyone else in the world is that much better at this than I am.

This, my friends, does not bode well for finding a life mate. I've only realized recently that I have a pathological fear of dating. I am under the assumption that, upon meeting a man, he will deem me insufficient and way too chunky and funnier in email than in person. Whoever I am won't be quite right. That all of it – the straightening of the hair and the current highlights, the carefully scheduled post-work meet up and the cab fare in the oppressive humidity so as to avoid your normal level of disheveled, the search
for a venue that's not too loud but not too quiet and has enough wine should you need to drink your weight in it – all of the blah blah blah
will amount to little more than a blog post. They'll want perfection or what they saw on a page, and I won't be able to deliver. I've already failed before I've even gotten up to bat.

I understand what this means. Avoidance virtually ensures the life I don't want, of solo attendance at Celine concerts and sad efficiency at stamping Cricket's paw onto homemade cards. But like daily leg shaving, it's just so damn hard, and truthfully, I just don't want to do it.


Blogger mysterygirl! said...

At a wedding this weekend, I spent some time hiding in the bathroom. I came out, everyone was drunk, and I was suddenly far more self-assured and popular. If that's not an endorsement of hiding, I don't know what is.

You'll come around. And if not, I will help you stamp cards with Cricket's paw. Teamwork!

Blogger Karen said...

Life mate? Took me till I was 37 y.o. to find mine and if anything happened to him, well, I think it would be easier to just get another cat.

Karen in DE

Blogger Gwen said...

I agree with Karen. If anything happens to my man, I will join you for card stamping (maybe Celine, not so much). Dating seems, quite honestly, awful. Does it help to think that the guy is probably feeling the same pressure?

Blogger t2ed said...

I'm pretty sure robots will soon be replacing people on dates anyway. So you probably shouldn't sweat this very much.

We all know Other People are the cause of all our problems.

Blogger kris said...

And we all know how much I love robots, Ahat. Expect your Best of Celine remix in the mail tomorrow.

Kisses to the rest of you. :)

Anonymous Cobwebs said...

Don't underestimate the "funny in e-mail" approach. I met my husband in an internet chat room. We lived on opposite sides of the continent at the time, and only met in person after we'd been friends online for months.

So if you aren't comfortable meeting people face to face, I can definitely recommend the method of becoming friends electronically first.

Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

Alaska's resurfaced and I fessed up to a friend. I said something like I just don't have the energy to date. To which he said, "So you'll just put up with shit instead." Well gee, when you put it that way.

Sometimes I like to get all purdy and flirt with boys but these days I want the bed all to myself. I'm not driven by fear, though. Simple indifference is to blame for this one. Pour me a glass while you're at it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is, of course, possible that you'll be cuter and funnier in person. And someone who is right for you will get your special brand of charm.

Maybe do the dating site thing and post unattractive pictures of yourself?

I'm very similar in that I fear rejection or generally not measuring up. But when you stop caring, things start happening.

Blogger Elise said...

Oh! I have the solution! It is your lucky day! You just need to meet someone with whom you fall into immediate, uncontrollable lust, and vice-versa. Then you'll be too busy making out and breathing heavily to remember anything about being scared. And by the time the lust dies down, you'll be pretty comfortable.

Give it a shot :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help with the dating avoidance, but I know exactly what you mean about the other kinds of avoidance and how it ensures a life you don't want. I sometimes think about all the "things I don't like," and I realize what a little 'fraidy cat I am.

I think dating is odd, and I don't know how anyone could be comfortable with it. I say, change the dating rules.

Blogger MereCat said...

Oh girl, dating sucks. All fears aside, it's just not fun. I turned dating into a spectator sport wherein I watched myself and my date from a quirky, narrative third person point of view just to distract myself from all of the self-doubt, embarassment, and disappointment of it all. And I did this sport dating on Match which always was ridiculous anyways... until I met my husband. Keep on keeping on, sista. If a mate is what you want, a mate you will have.

Blogger thebestmichelle said...

i guess i did the right thing then... i'm a lurker de-lurking. i saw you in target the other day and totally freaked out. and said nothing and didn't want to walk up to you and sound like a complete idiot.

just know i'm a fan, and i completely understand. weird thing about blogs... you think you totally know someone and then you see them in person and realize that you're a complete stranger to them.

perhaps this awkwardness we all share is a result of the use of technology in order to communicate, or even initiate communication without having to actually be in the same room with someone. it's so easier to delete, edit, and start over... in person, not so much. maybe we'll learn how to be in the same room with other humans again, without feeling like our skin is covered in scales.

maybe i'll have the balls to walk up to you and say hi next time and that i appreciate what you do, and we'll smile and have a nice "small talk" conversation, and chalk it up as one for "that wasn't so bad."
let's hope for the best...

Blogger Ulysses said...

There's no awkward situation that people don't know how to make worse.

skip this paragraph, it's the ironic case in point I avoid public restrooms whenever I can, no real reason why, just the public nature of it. There was one time I tried not to, but couldn't avoid it. Was glad to find the place empty. Sat down, relaxed for a second. Heard someone come in, they walked up to the stall door and PUT THEIR FUCKING EYE UP TO THE CRACK BESIDE THE DOOR. WHO FUCKING DOES THAT?!

People. As a group there's nothing to recommend them. Still, there seems to be some redeeming qualities you can find in each individual (maybe not 'eyeball'). Know what yours are, expect someone will find them.

Blogger WildbillthePirate said...

First of all, Celine is Not the shining example of the dating life I'd want to emulate- How old is her geezer husband anyway?

Second, being short,fat & balding with glasses is a LOT worse than trying to meet some standard of perfection I will NEVER measure up to. or shaving your legs for. Most woman never gave me a second look under ANY circumstance!

Third, don't look at your negatives; look at all your positives: you're young (at least younger than me) Hawt, intelligent and witty,empolyed
not disabled or vapid and will make the right guy the luckiest man in DC!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might I suggest a comparison?

Placing your fear of cyborgs against your fear of people may lead you to an easier time meeting people.

I cite this case, Mama vs. Ontario:

Blogger KB said...

It should be very clear that I feel the same way about myself.

I, however, happen to know for a fact that you are a very pretty girl who is just as funny, if not funnier in person.

I fucking hate dating, too.

Blogger Ryane said...

You know, I'm beginning to suspect that it's dating in DC that is so heinous. There should be some sort of punch-card for bad dates, and then once it's full, single people should be able to take it their favorite bar for a free glass of vino. You a reward for enduring all the BS.

If someone were disappointed in you, Kris...then I say he's an asshat of transcontinental proportions, and deserves to sit at the table alone. =-)

Blogger Kim said...

You're right, you are funnier on email and even then you're not that funny.


Anonymous Food Rockz Man said...

It's refreshing to know that many women feel just as awkward about dating as I do. I've done a fair bit of Internet dating, with ok . . . but less than stellar results. Last weekend I met a woman in person, was digging on her but was too shy to ask her out. But, afterwards, I decided that life's too short . . . I needed to get her phone number from a mutual friend and call her . . . period. So I did. I paced for awhile before I made the call . . . fearing rejection, of course . . . nervous as all get out . . . then, like pulling the bandaid off a scab, I hit the dial button on my cell phone. No turning back. I cut right to the chase . . . no small talk. And she actually agreed to go out with me. I shouldn't have been surprised. I'm a pretty good catch, I think. But I was surprised. Who know's what'll happen next. But I'm glad I called.

Blogger bandick said...

Krisser, we're in the same boat. After a year of avoiding it, I've decided it's time. Even after making the decision, I've come up with dozens of reasons why I shouldn't do it.

As far as the funny, I would recommend going to the bathroom and writing down and rehearsing the next topic of conversation. He'll most definitely think you have a chronic bowel issue (and you could possibly run into someone peering into your stall) but it will be totally worth it!

Our being scared of dating is just another confirmation that you are my bosom blogger. Good luck to us both!

Blogger Mia said...

I am totally hearin' ya on this post...

Blogger John said...

RE: "...Whoever I am won't be quite right.

I think you just became my personal Goddess. I cannot even express to you how DEAD ON ACCURATE this entire paragraph and especially this little excerpt is (true to my own personal experience anyway). You articulated these sentiments so perfectly; this post really helped me. I've been re-reading it since yesterday. It helped me get one step closer to accepting (or resigning myself to) this reality. Sure, I suppose someday, it'll all "work out," but somehow I take no comfort in the thought of finding love when I'm 60.

Thank you.

seriously, i agree! lady, you are fabulous. the more of your posts i read, the more positive i become that we are total kindred spirits. keep 'em coming!

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