Summer UnSocial

Dear Lois,

Lois dear, do you ever stop and look up through the skylight of your windowless office at the beating rain and doubt every skill you once thought you had down? Do you ever start stuttering like one of those big self-esteem-less losers that you ordinarily make fun of because you figure it’s better than half-assed pity? YOU DO? Thank god.

Umm. Yeah. Ok. I don’t know. I am experiencing waves and waves of self-doubt right now. Take for instance, me being a cool cat from way back. I thought i had gone through the years and years of akwardness, embraced it, and then became cool by wallowing in my own retardness. I said, “Yes it’s ok to mention punky brewster during small talk.” When delivered with the appropriate panache, it makes one seem quirky in that comfortable detached and ironic sort of way, even if you are neither detached nor ironic. But it has become painfully aware to me (and possibly to you) in the past few weeks that my social skills have dried up and blown away.

The worst has happened. I’ve forgotten how to do everything. Either i’ve made too much or too little eye contact. I may not realize that the conversation we’re engaged in is “just small talk”, and i may keep talking long after you’ve considered fake fainting as a ruse to go get another drink, make that two actually. I keep inserting uninformed non-sequiturs involving the Eight Fold Path when all you really wanted to know was if i was the line for the bathroom. Aside: If you want a steady stream of captive small-talkers, just keep waiting in line for the bathroom at a club or party all night long. And naturally, my daily hits are taking a graceful double pike dive this month.

It’s ok though, it’s that sort of overly dramatic devil-may-care self-doubt that does not respond well to encouraging words or reassurances that i am indeed Lovely And Amazing (a great movie – go see it now). It’s the kind, that like a long overdue western forest fire, needs to devour everything dead or alive in it’s path for a few months, and then peter out simply because continuing on would be too much effort. So occasionally i put on lipstick in hopes of digging out a gram or two of self-esteem from between the couch cushions. I assume i could even paint my toenails once or twice this year. But mostly i’ll be spilling drinks and saying the wrong thing on streets and buildings all over Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan for the rest of the summer.

Big kisses,

n

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