I live on my own, have a successful career and am a mature adult (at least most of the time.) But there are still other adults that make me second guess myself, question my instincts, and either frighten me, intimidate me, or make me feel uncomfortable.
These are the following people:
The dentist may be the only adult I still lie to. When I make my once a year visit, I’m always asked: “how many times a week do you floss?” I’m a grown man, with a job, with purpose, with responsibility, but suddenly I feel like a little boy. I instinctively lie because I don’t want the dentist to yell at me. I also brush my teeth furiously right before the appointment; the goal being that this will trick the dentist into thinking I’m taking care of my teeth. But he knows the truth. I don’t know why I’m so afraid of the dentist, but I know I’m not the only one.
THE BANKING AND FINANCE GUY
As I get older, more people talk about money. It seems everywhere I go, there’s always a group of banking and finance guys. They speak in acronyms, wear blue button down shirts, and make me feel insecure because I have no idea what they’re talking about. But to save face, I nod my head, bitch about the economy, and pretend to be on the same page. I’ll never admit my ignorance because I don’t want to be lectured, teased, or patronized.
Bouncers hate me and I hate them even more. I’ve never met another adult that makes me feel so self-conscious. Here’s something from an old entry:
A picture of me must be presented at the annual Bouncer’s Convention labeled: “Treat him like shit and do not let him in.” No matter where I go, I always seem to have a run-in with one of these muscle heads (my friends know exactly what I’m talking about.) I’m never on the right list, wearing the right clothes, or know the right people.
I try to be friendly and treat the bouncer like a human being: “So how’s the night going? Where are you from? Did you see that game?” Nothing. No response. It’s like they are programmed to be sub-human.
I try to keep my cool as hot chicks cut me in line. I guess it makes sense; they’re hot. But when I see D-bags with gelled hair and gold chains skip in front of me, that’s when I start to lose it.
When it’s finally my turn to enter the club, I have to deal with being judged by the bouncer. I endure the ridicule as he teases me about my clothes, hair style, and lack of dope jewelry. Sometimes I ignore it, pay the absurd cover, and then walk in. But sometimes they don’t let me in so I snap. I criticize the overgrown man for being narrow-minded and irrationally threaten to sue him and the entire club for sexism. That’s when more bouncers/security guards come out, stare me down, and tell me to go home. As I walk away with my tail between my legs, one thought comes to mind…
I am a Bouncist. I have no problems with people of different ethnicities, races, sexual orientation, age, height, or religion. But I do have a problem with bouncers. It is not fair to stereotype or generalize, but all bouncers are evil and terrible people. I am a full-fledged Bouncist. I think bad thoughts about them and if there were rallies against bouncers, I would probably attend. Maybe I am ignorant. Maybe there are nice bouncers out there. But until I meet one, I am committed to my beliefs, and will embrace my bouncism.
Many people become cops in order to intimidate people. Well, it works on me. I probably have an issue with authority (hence, several of the people on this list.) I get scared when a cop comes towards me or even looks in my direction. Coincidentally, I’ve never had a direct issue with a cop (knock on wood.) Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of them.
One time, a cop approached me on the subway. I didn’t do anything wrong. I had dropped off some of my high school students, and now was just sitting there. But I started to get nervous. Maybe I did something by mistake. I was suddenly sweating. The cop leaned over and I was ready to get reprimanded. Instead, he complimented me for reaching out and helping the kids. I was definitely flattered for just a moment. Then he yelled at someone near me and I became intimidated again.
THE CLEANING LADY
I’m a pretty messy guy. I occasionally make my bed and put away the dishes, but normally, I’m very lazy (just ask past and present roommates.) The only day I feel a sense of urgency is the hours before the cleaning lady arrives. (I use the term “cleaning lady” because that’s all I know. I’ve never met a cleaning dude, but maybe they exist as well.)
Suddenly, my bed is made, my clothes are folded, and the kitchen counter is spotless. It’s a subconscious act that clearly makes no sense. Her job is to CLEAN the place, but for some reason, I have to clean beforehand and make it presentable. The last thing I want is for the cleaning lady to arrive and judge me. She has a special power that cannot be explained.
These things freaked me out even before I saw Stephen King’s It. I remember once staying in a hotel decorated with clown statues; they were everywhere! I don’t who the hell would do this, but it scared the crap out of me. I thought these things were gonna spring to life and attack me in my sleep. What were my parents thinking…why would we stay at this place?
I was frightened of clowns as a kid, and I’m still frightened today. I won’t even go to the circus. I am clown-phobic.
THE BETTER ATHLETE
I was jogging the other day, and this bastard zipped right by me. My instincts immediately kicked in and I picked up the pace (much like a dog chasing a car.) I passed him for a moment. And then he caught up again. Then we were side by side. Finally, he shifted into high gear and was gone. I ate his dust, and hung my head in shame.
No matter how old I am, I hate losing in sports. I cried when I lost as a kid, and I cry when I lose now. I’m pretty good at sports, but for every court, field or track I’m on, there’s always gonna be someone that’s better.
Sometimes, when I lose, I make excuses like: I wasn’t trying, I’m too old, or I’m hungover. But in the end, there are just a lot of really good athletes out there. These athletes force me to question my athletic ability, confidence, and work ethic.
Sure, they make me try harder, and dig deeper, but they also make me lose so I don’t like them very much.
I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty good bosses over the years (Yes, I am kissing up. I don’t know who’s reading this.) But even around the best boss, I am very self-conscious.
When I’m around the boss, I feel like the FCC is in my brain censoring every joke that pops into my mind. It’s one thing to crack up the boss, but it’s another thing to offend him/her. As a result, I tend to tiptoe around the boss, and talk about mundane things such as the weather, good lunch spots, or vacation plans. I do not talk about which co-workers I think are hot or what I really did on my vacation in Vegas. As a result, I can never fully be myself.
THE CELEBRITY & THE HOT WOMAN
I sweat, turn red with embarrassment, and continue to trip over my words. Eventually, the celebrity/hot woman retreats, and then my friends make fun of me.
Then I take that story, and put it into my blog. (Larry David, Matt Groening, Eliza Dushku, Hank Azaria, Seth Rogen)
I don’t care if it’s for a car, a pair of jeans, or for a charity, please stay away from me. My heart pounds in fear any time a salesman comes into my general direction. It could be a simple “Hi, how are you?” and I already start to freak out.
And I never know who’s really out to help me or who is gonna rip me off. Plus, they’re gonna force me to make a choice about something. I hate that. I’d prefer if they just left me alone.
As far as dealing with Greenpeace, these people are hawks. They eye you as you walk towards them, and get ready to pitch their latest world saving speech. The first few times I crossed their path, I was sucked into 15 minute conversations that were just the worst. But I eventually learned to avoid them by using my cell phone. I’ve created a 3 minute conversation template where I pretend to talk to someone on the other line. After 2 minutes, they usually stop following me. And for one minute, I get to act cool like someone actually called me.
So far, so good.
Trivia Q&A: December 12
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