Fair Warning

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Fair Warning

You are probably not like me, and thusly this warning will not be applicable to you, but in the case you that might be, I thought I'd share.

First, Me (as usual). I am not a particularly private person in the way of big things, I love to brag of anything positive and will share the pain of failure with people around me; I'll even talk of my most peculiar perversions casually. And I enjoy these social interactions - but I dread the little things. The constant threat of social responsibilities as mundane as holding doors open or matching (or even initiating, if I am so unlucky) a greeting thoroughly terrify me. I grade myself on my door holding etiquette, but it never seems to improve. Today I handled the situation correctly 6 out of 10 times, an outlier, probably because I didn't have to go into the communications building which has heavy doors near corners of hallways. This building typically gives me 4 out of 6 failures, the 2 successes due only to luck. I don't even like walking down the street all that much. Sometimes I enjoy a stroll but the presence of passersby irritate and stress me out.

I can make pretty good guesses about where they are going, or what they were doing, or how they are feeling, just be watching them walk. And this terrifies me. I don't want to know, I force myself to forget them and when I look at someone (which I will to anyone goes by) it is only to check if they are looking at me. I hate when they do.

I force an air of "I've really got to get where I'm going" to make these interactions as brief as possible, and to give them a compelling knee-jerk answer to the question, "What's he doing?". I am going somewhere, and I'm in a hurry. Neither of those conditions are true all that often but if I make it appear so, they won't stop to wonder too deeply about my actual motivations. Not that these motivations are unusual or interesting, mind you. I just don't want them to know.

I lock my door at home (Buffalo home) every time I go in my room. I don't need to, and after years of doing this no one even tries the knob, they just knock. This started well before I had anything to hide. At college I'm always afraid that my roommate will come back, for basically no reason. He doesn't annoy me, we're not at all interested in each other's lives, and really nothing changes whether he is here or he isn't. And I don't mind when he's here. I only mind when he comes back - the first few minutes after I've been alone, to having someone there.

If this lunacy is foreign to you then you don't have to worry. If you can relate, first of all, I apologize and wish you the best of luck. But I've found that my life features a small, but ever-increasing amount of stress based primarily around the fact that people see me more frequently than they ever have before in my life. In my room, on my way to lunch, on my way 'home', and every step in between. How much I miss being the only one in a bathroom is something I cannot begin to quantify. So that is my warning to those of you not in college, although hopefully it won't apply.

But tonight I went to the movie theatre on campus and saw Up in the Air, and it was fantastic. The movie was good, yes, but it was too dark for anyone to have seen me, and if they had, they would've had an instant answer to "What's he doing?" and this time, it'd even be correct. They would have no reason to consider me any further, and I would've faded from their memory as quickly as any person ever had. What bliss! To be unknown and unseen, the object of total disinterest! My accumulated stress lessened dramatically with just 2 hours of purely alone time. I feel very good right now.


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Fair Warning :: Comments


Post on Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:01 pm by strangerthanfiction

I know what you mean. I get paranoid about my roommate coming in, too. It's like you get settled down in being alone and then they come in and you're like... not stunned for a moment, but I always feel like "oh is she judging me based on what I'm doing right now" sort of thing. We hardly talk, it's never hugely different whether she's in or out (well if she's in then the telly's normally on) but I always worry that she'll catch me doing something, you know what I mean?

It also feels really awkward just going to the loo at school if only because everything echoes. However, my floor is spiffy and occasionally we have parties where we crowd around the sinks and just hang out. (Okay, so this only happened once where my friend was dyeing her hair and someone else was helping her and it ended up with about six or seven of us just hanging out and talking while watching the process.) But still.

I also have issues holding doors open. There are times when I just start and then I can't stop, because there are like a bajillion people coming. Or I hold it open for someone who is too far away. I have trouble Judging Distances, I suppose.

-hug- It's okay, you're not alone in this situation/with these feelings, even if you do ultimately want to have some alone time.
Also I really want to see Up In the Air because I am partially in love with Jason Reitman.

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Post on Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:50 pm by dohnage18

According to Mr. Fisher, holding doors is a Western New York thing. Is this true? I was just wondering.

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Post on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:26 pm by J-Mads

At JMU everyone holds doors open for each other. Actually a lot more than what I'm used to. People tend to wait, holding a door open for a few extra seconds here, rather than let it shut and keep their pace.

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Post on Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:32 pm by The Prez

I can say that from experience throughout the Midwest that people do hold doors outside of Western New York.

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