Friday, February 8, 2013

In Which I Must Converse

“Are you actually going to converse with people?” Tom asked.

“Depends. If they have an I Love Twilight shirt on, probably not,” I answered.

Tom frowned. “Amber.”


“You need to make sure you talk.”

He was referring to the marriage retreat we are going to. It’s Friday-Sunday and it’s for couples who will be experiencing deployment. It gives ways to cope and all that fun stuff.

And yes, there will be conversing.

It’s just, I’m awkward in social situations. I tend to say things that I THINK are funny in my head but when I say them I’m met with blank stares. Or Tom will say, “This is my wife Amber,” and I’ll repeat dumbly, “Hi, I’m Amber,” like I’m Leonardo DiCaprio from the Gilbert Grape movie even though Tom has just said my name. So the person is staring at me curiously as if waiting for me to say again, “I’m Amber,” while thumping my chest like a monkey.

Someone once asked me what perfume I was wearing. I admitted I rubbed it on from a magazine sample and was looked at as though I admitted to loving thongs.

So yeah. While I’m looking forward to this weekend, I’m also nervous.

There’s also a worrying fear that they’ll make us play cheesy getting to know you games. You know, where some usually peppy person is all, “Okay, write down two truths and a lie and we’ll all guess what the lie is. Haha!” No one likes those games. Well, maybe some people do. The ones that like to please everyone. But the general population gets tired of those games after the age of 10. I prefer to give my name like a normal human being.

I also hate trust games. No, I’m not going to fall back and trust that everyone is going to catch me. That has nothing to do with life. Or maybe it does, but not really.

A lot of these classes start early in the morning. I am not a morning person. And on Saturday morning, there’s an optional breakfast with the base commander and I informed Tom I’d rather not go.

“You should go. It’s the base commander. It’ll make me feel better since I’m deploying soon.”

“She won’t even remember me,” I insisted.

“She might. You can be a memorable person,” Tom answered. (See: magazine perfume comment.)

The thing is, that breakfast begins at 8, and like I said, I am not a morning person. This means I have to wake up even earlier to look presentable—I don’t think I could show up in my Happy Bunny pajamas.

I’ll go, to make Tom happy, but I’ll try to down some caffeine before I show up. Not too much though, or else I’ll behave like a spastic bunny and scare everyone.

We’ll see how it goes. I am hoping to find ways to cope better with Tom being away. There are times when I’ve had freak outs and I’m going to try and eliminate those. Although I am NOT like one of those wives who behaves as though everything is rainbows and glitter whenever she speaks to her deployed husband. No, I tell the truth. I just have to work on saying, “The kids have been driving me bat shit crazy and you know that airplane model you had? It died. It must be so nice to have down time over there because I don’t even remember what down time is,” in a better manner.

I’ll be sure to report how it all goes!


  1. I don't feel awkward until AFTER the social encounters when I realize I've probably embarrassed or offended the new people I just met. I'm sure you'll be a conversing champ. Have fun!

  2. I've never been good at conversing with strangers. I am so socially awkward. You'll get through it. Good Luck!

  3. If you are as witty as you are on this blog, people will love you to pieces. And if they don't, who cares. Converse with the best of them and smile!

    Keep on keeping on and being YOU!

  4. Hope you have a great time conversing with strangers! Who knows, maybe they will be even more awkward than you :D

  5. Aww, I hope it goes better than expected!

  6. I love every.single.thing. about this post. Oh my Jesus, it is SO FUNNY!! I was crying with laughter...and the end is just honest and real!!!

  7. I'm not good with group activities and 'forced fun' - I end up eyeballing my husband like "Are you freaking kidding me?" and then he gives me the stink eye back and suddenly we have an entire fight without saying anything at all. Good luck, I hope it goes better than you think it will. :)

  8. oh I hate those get to know you games too :(

  9. Oh they're totally going to do those getting to know your games. They go hand in hand with anything labeled as a retreat. I've totally rubbed a magazine perfume ad on myself and made people smell it and told them it was from a magazine. So maybe i'm with you on the weird scale.

  10. I'm pretty awkward around strangers too, so I feel your pain. And dont get me started on getting to know you and trust games.
    The worst one is 'tell me something you like that begins with the first letter of your name'. My name begins with V. It's all downhill from there.

  11. Oh good luck! I'm too socially awkward to even think about going to something like that.

  12. Good luck! Marriage retreats can be fun!

  13. You make me laugh. I'm sure that even if people stare at you when you say something later they are thinking that lady was funny!

    My husband gets mad at me because he doesn't really like people, I mean he likes people he knows but pretty much anyone else he doesn't want to give the time of day. Me on the other hand will talk to anyone, mostly because I start to feel awkward when there is silence & so I just start talking. I have been reminded many a time by him as well as my sisters to try really hard to filter what comes out. Don't talk so personally & don't tell them your entire life story they say a lot of the time. Ehhh whatever if they like me they like me & if they don't...

  14. I would gladly converse any day of the week with someone so smart and cool that they can throw down a Gilbert Grape reference at the drop of a hat.

    I, too, hate trust games and writing down what kind of animal best represents me. UGH.

    I hope it's better than you're anticipating! Hang in there!!

  15. Oh...Ashley left the first comment earlier and I (Lisa) left the second comment. I thought I should point that out so you didn't think that one person did these and we'd lost our mind. --Lisa :)

  16. Well, if you show up in your happy bunny pj's you'll definitely be remembered... and likely not invited back.

    Win, Win!

  17. I think, sometimes, getting all my worries out on paper ( literally or figuratively) beforehand, makes them less likely to actually happen. I hope this is the case for you!

  18. I would have laughed when you said your name after your husband introduced you! Good luck this weekend! I've been know to avoid those social encounters whenever possible.

  19. My sister is like you, having to go thru the deployments. And she has had her ups and downs. Ugh. I don't envy you :( I get the socializing issues... we have to go to annual trainings where they want us to bond with co-workers that we only see at these once-a-year shin-digs. And we count the seconds to the next smoke break... so we can sneak out (Mr smokes, I just suck it in second hand, while effectively avoiding other people). I have a hard time bothering to bond with people that I don't have to deal with on a regular basis.

  20. You should just relax and be yourself!! If they don't "get" you, who cares?? You're there for you and Tom. Period.

    Deployments are hard and anything that can make them easier is worthwhile. Good luck and have some FUN!!!

    And hotel sex. Have some!!!!

  21. Good luck! I can't wait to read all about it!

  22. I would love to meet you in person :) Those kinds of comments are very welcome in our socially awkward home!

  23. I bet you do even better than you think-- as really most people are so worried about what kind of impression they are making that they don't notice the little things.

    How long is your husband going to be deployed for?

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