The Life of Bon: When you can't talk

Sunday, April 15, 2012

When you can't talk

Extra credit points if you can figure out what the post has to do with the picture.

I am awkward.

This is a shocking new discovery for me.  I have always considered myself completely adept in the field of social skills.  Back in my single days I could easily carry on a conversation with anybody- be it an axe murderer or an 80 year old grandma with Alzheimers.  My skill was sociality and I prided myself in it.

The discovery was made Saturday at The Bijou Market- a boutique held twice a year, filled with 20 something year old hipster moms, bloggers, and vintage shop owners.  I don't necessarily consider myself any of those things, although if I had to pick one, I would definitely go with hipster mom.
My best friend, CrazyA, who owns a small jewelry shop, suggested I show up at the market to make some connections, "Show up the last hour, tell people you're a blogger, and find some people to host giveaways for you," she commanded.

Naturally, I obeyed.

I was nervous about the whole thing.  To start with, I don't like the term "blogger".  I feel weird in that title- as if it is a borrowed dress from a friend that I am wearing for the weekend.  Something that doesn't really belong to me, that must be returned later.  Somewhere deep in the channels of my brain, I am convinced that I am not, in fact, a "blogger", that I am merely faking it, and one day soon someone is beyond to see through the facade.

As uncomfortable as I was with the term "blogger", I decided to go anyway.  To leave my comfort zone, and go talk to a bunch of adorable women in skinny jeans and glaring red lipstick.

When I showed up, CrazyA was already there, running around like a chicken with its head cut off, saying hi to everyone, trading products, making connections, and doing other things that headless chicken deem fit to do.  I walked around, pretended to be busy, and feigned interest in hand crocheted baby hats. 

"Bonnie!  Do you want me to introduce you to this lady?  She's got an adorable shop and she loves doing giveaways!"  CrazyA called from across the venue.  I was on the verge of saying "Oh, no, don't worry about it, I'll just grab her card and shoot her an email" when it struck me.  I am becoming socially inept.  I was avoiding contact with fellow human beings.

I remembered the blogger meet up I had attended a month ago where I stood awkwardly in a corner, texted Hubs, "this is weird" and pretended to sip water.  (Because really what ISN'T weird about meeting a bunch of women who you know only through stalking their blogs, twitter accounts, and instagrams?)  I stood there until I found another girl who seemed every bit as awkward as I was and struck up a conversation using the ever so smooth line that I had just texted Hubs.  "This is weird."

Looking back on that moment, I should have realized before Saturday that I am awkward in my social skills. 

You'll be happy to know, however, that I did succesfully talk to the shop owner, we did successfully make plans for a future giveaway.  So there.  Points for Bonnie.

On the way home I got to thinking about it.  What had happened to my incredible social skill?  My inability to talk to anyone about anything?   I racked my mind long and hard, and I came up with only one clear solution:  Hubs.  This was all Hubs' fault.

Not really.
But really.
Hear me out on this theory:  The more time I spend alone with Hubs, the less time I am spending making conversation with strangers/ acquaintances/ friends.  The more time I spend with one select person- cuddling, giggling, referring to inside jokes, sitting there comfortably without having to say a word- the less I am able to identify with and relate to other people.  I am not practicing this "people" skill like I used to when I was single- constantly meeting and having to make conversation with perfect strangers.

What do you think?  Can your social skills actually decrease if you are not practicing them consistently enough?  Is it like basketball or piano- a lack of practice brings a lack of skill?  And if so, how do you go about mainitaing this ever-important ability?

I feel weird about this whole post.  Like the entire thing has been every bit as awkward as my latest conversations with perfect strangers.  HELP ME!


  1. Oh my gosh. For the past 2.5 years, I have been working from home full-time and moved half-way across the country, away from all my family/friends. I only talk to my husband & dog....and I find that whenever I talk to anyone in the store/post office/out for a dog walk....I either have to talk about 1) my husband being in law school, 2) how much my dog poops or 3) the weather. For real....I have zero social skills now and I thought I used to be cool. I am proof that if you don't use it, you lose it.

    I hope one day I stop talking about how much my dog poops to strangers, but seriously....he poops a lot and it is quite the conversation starter.

  2. Okay, all I have to say is that I freaking lOVED you at the blogger meet up. Remember? You did not sit in the corner the entire time. I talked to you.
    BUT OKAY. Just forget about that. It's cool.

  3. I do feel pretty awkward in social situations. I've always been pretty shy. Now I'm a stay at home mom so I converse with my 7 month old son all the time and my dog. I could definitely use a tune up with my social skills!

  4. Part of me wants to write "If you don't use it, you lose it" and leave it at that.

    But that would probably be awkward.


    I think you can lose it! So you've got to keep practicing it, keep making yourself feel awkward, because eventually your skills will re-sharpen, and you'll be every bit the outgoing youth you once were!

  5. I think I would have been the same way. I am so shy at first. :)

    Have a great day lady!


  6. just wait until you become a mom and get used to talking to a baby all day. It makes you super awkward in the real world.

  7. I always feel awkward in those types of situations. Never know what to say, even though there's something I probably should be saying. I think part of it is the context you find yourself operating within.

  8. Oh my word - the same has happened to me! Jurg and I spend so much time together and are so comfortable together that in certain contexts I'm not confident, especially if a guy comes up to talk to me (even in a non creepy way).

    Glad you snagged a giveaway though :)


  9. Sometimes small talk is so exhausting... I probably would have been really awkward in a situation like that, too!

  10. bahahahahaha. Thank you for making my day with that picture!

  11. It's ok, Bon. I blame Paul for my decreasing lack of social skills, too. No seriously.

  12. I've been thinking how socially awkward I have become lately too. I used to be able to talk to anybody & everybody. Nowadays I can barely start up a conversation. It's sad. I think it's because I am married too. But my reason is, why talk to all these lame people when I can goof off with my husband. I need to get better at it though. I'll be moving to another state in a few weeks so I better put the awkwardness away so I can make friends.

  13. I went to a birthday party on Saturday and I knew the birthday girl really well (duh) and the other girls I only sort of knew. And before my friend came, I was sitting there while they all talked and I kept thinking, "Please don't try to make me feel included. Please just let me not conversate right now. . ."

  14. We are the same person. What is up with husbands robbing us of our social skills?! For me, he's also taken away my desire to have friends.

    Not Really
    But kind of

    Maybe I should just try to co-exist with him and not enjoy his company so much that way I can get my Cool back?

  15. yep, i agree that it can happen. i am the same way. i find myself in awkward situations because i forget how to communicate sometimes. it's all my hubby's fault, haha.
    you're so cute. i love your writing.

  16. hahaha love this post. cute picture. also, thanks for stopping by my blog :) yours is lovely!

  17. Ok I just read your description of yourself and omgoodness I think we are two little peas in a pod. My fav afternoon treat is a diet coke, an at home pedi and a good trashy tele show (I rotate between kardashians and housewives). Your blog is great:)

    xo Taylor

    ps. Thanks for all your kind words!