Monday, September 14, 2009
Being socially inept.
I don’t do parlor games, and to the best of my ability I employ every skill I have to avoid having to participate in them. I suppose that if everybody playing were really, really good close personal friends, then a game or two wouldn’t inflict much suffering. But playing parlor games as a way of knowing perfect strangers presents an experience second only to waking up next to a dead horse on the horror meter.
I remember this one time when a parlor game was introduced as “getting to know you” activity. The whole group, about 30 people or so, had to pick out a piece of paper from a bowl. These pieces of paper contained the names of farm animals – a cow, chicken, goat, duck and sheep. Once the participants had read what’s on the paper, they should close their eyes and find their group mates by making the appropriate barnyard noise.
I was able to convince the organizer that I will document the whole thing, and I spent the next minutes watching 30 grown men and women mooing and clucking and baaing all over the room. After many painful seconds witnessing this, everybody found their animal friends, except for the ducks. There were two groups of duck. Not everybody was quacking the same way!
Of course those who participated in the games seemed to enjoy it thoroughly. I was the odd person out. A non-quacking, non-bleating, non-parlor-game-playing party pooper.
In all honesty, I would much rather sit and stare at a blank wall than play a party game.
I guess this quirk, like most dysfunctions in a human being, is rooted in some childhood trauma or another. I wish I knew what. I tried going through the traumatic events that I remember almost drowning, being in a fast ferriswheel going downward with out holding, being the last kid eating lunch with classes already starting, and a few more.
But none seemed particularly related to social ineptitude.
Maybe it’s just me!