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  • Writer's pictureErin Spineto

Socially Retarded- Who Me?

It has been so long since I have felt so socially retarded. For those of you who knew me in high school and college you know how socially inept I can be. Get me in small groups or in a card game or around any sport and I am on my game.

But when that group grows to fifteen or twenty or it becomes a party carried only by conversation and I freak out. I go someplace in my mind and can't seem to come back out. And the worst part, I think, is that I get this look on my face as if I were going to kill somebody. Don't really know why. I guess that's just the way my face kinks up when I go to that place.

So, today my social ineptitude hit again without any warning. But I think I found at least one of the many triggers. I am trying to make my way into a new group of people. Trying to befriend a couple people. I went to a party with about twenty-five to thirty people. First mistake.

And its a post-marathon party. Mistake number two. The conversation naturally went from did you race today to how did you do? So I am getting stories of P.R.'s and beating personal goals. And I start doing a little math on their numbers and am realizing just how fast they are and how slow I am.

Now running has never been my strength, I am really more of a swimmer, but in the last year I made some huge improvements in my running. I could dismiss a few people as being faster than me, (my dad told me long ago, there will always be someone smarter, someone faster, someone more talented), but every one of them was far and away way faster than I could ever dream to be.

The slowest person ran 13.1 miles at a faster pace than I can even run one. And so I am all of a sudden thoroughly intimidated and feeling like crap.

Not to mention that I am already completely intimidated by a few of the Ironman triathletes in the group. You know those insane people who swim 2.4 MILES, then get on a bike and ride 112 MILES and then, because that couldn't be enough, they run a marathon, 26.2 MILES.

Some of these guys I am so intimidated by that I can't seem to carry on a normal conversation without either stumbling over my words or resorting to my old standby, sarcasm, and not the kind-hearted type.

So after thirty-four years on this planet and finally, post-high school, learning to fake it pretty well, I am back in that 6th grade dance paralyzed with the fear of a huge group of people and no idea of how to navigate it. I guess I can get over it, just need a good-nights sleep and a fast run tomorrow. I just hope people had enough to drink to overlook that stupid girl in the corner not saying a word and looking like someone just drank her last beer.

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