Living away from home has brought up some serious issues in my day to day survival. As it turns out, I actually require many things to survive never before considered. Surprising things, like laundry. I wake up and say "I know exactly what I need! I need new socks to put on my feet! I shall open up my sock drawer now!" and alas. No socks are to be found. Dirty laundry is to be found, but no socks. (That whole scenario originally involved underpants, but I actually have plenty of underpants. So if you were thinking about giving me a gift, socks would be better than underpants. If enough people give me socks, I'll never have to wash the dirty ones. You should buy me socks.)
Half the time I find myself yelling "What do you mean I need money for that? Give it to me!" or "Why are you standing in the hallway where I need to walk?" or "WHY IS THERE SO MUCH SHRUBBERY??" There are no clear answers. However, regardless of all my new-found responsibility, there is one other more pressing matter.
Some day to day occurrences are so mind-bogglingly awkward, I look up at the sky and whisper "whyyyyy?!" except I don't whisper very quietly and so most people stop and look at me and hope I don't have a knife on my person because I look like the kind of unstable psycho that might have a knife and use it irresponsibly. Like for incorrect buttering. Or stabbing.
Being unable to care for myself in even the most basic of fashions has led to an apparent inability to deal with normal occurrences with any degree of fortitude. My awkwardness has increased about 3487 percent. That's a rough estimate.
Naturally, I'm an awkward person. It's one of the weapons that the Universe uses in its vendetta against my general health and well-being. Recently, however, this has multiplied with my new level of responsibility to create my current method of dealing with life. I am incapable of any kind of adult reaction. This has led to very immature, anti-adult, reactions. Such as stomping on inanimate objects. Especially stairs. I don't know why I do that. Stairs don't care if I stomp on them. In fact, that's more action than stairs have probably seen in a while. Stairs are probably all "That's right, stomp harder! Is that all you got, you little wuss?" and then stairs invert gravity for a moment and alter their molecular shape, causing me to fall.
Which brings me to point number one.
Stairs that are either too short or too long for feet.
You probably know exactly what I'm talking about. These stairs completely exacerbate my awkwardness. Stairs usually work like this:
Stairs, when properly designed, allow the user to walk comfortably downward or upward without much thought. Any falling, tripping, or various methods of pain and death are direct results of the user's own physical failings, such as clumsiness or allergies.
Meet Stairs of Doom:
The above stairs are an example of perilous death. These stairs are either a cruel joke or were built by people with extremely tiny feet and incredible balance. These stairs cause you to topple down them mercilessly. You will walk down them cautiously. You will feel the slight pitch in gravity indicating your imminent fall. You will brace yourself, and attempt to regain precious balance by flapping your arms uselessly and possibly uttering a grating shriek. You will then hurtle to the ground.
When you are crumpled into a pathetic heap of shame and imbalance at the foot of the stairs, every bystander in the area will freeze for approximately three seconds before composing themselves enough to offer assistance. You will pretend to be invisible. It will become clear that you will be unable to pretend you are invisible. You will raise your worthless carcass into a sitting position, mumble feebly that you are okay, and walk away as quickly as possible, registering the various bruises and abrasions now splashed across your elbows and knees. You will hope that no one from the "stair incident" will ever see you in any other setting. (Kind of like how I feel about Doug. Doug works in the library. Every time I see him, I wonder whether or not I should mention the fact that I almost ended his life on our first meeting. I generally talk about it until things get awkward, which is immediately, and then I regret bringing it up. Good times.)
Falling down these stairs will create a plethora of Dougs for your enjoyment.
Then there is this abomination:
Getting locked out.
Living in a dorm isn't all that bad for normal people. You go to class, you shower in a stall, you return home and gossip with your roommate while watching various chick flicks. For the regular, socially confident, not psychotic populace, it's a pretty good deal. Then there's me. My first week living in the dorms, I was locked out twice on accident after leaving my key inside the dorm, and then once due to my inability to perform simple functions like not lose my keys. It didn't take long for every staff member who was even tenuously linked to keys to be able to recognize me on sight.
My mental well-being usually relies on the certainty that I am not burdening any strangers with my existence. I have this guilt issue. For example: Last night I had a dream that I got hit by a semi-truck, damaging the truck in the process. The driver got out of the car and yelled at me for ruining the truck and as I sat there on the street, I felt an overwhelming wave of guilt. I felt guilty for causing minor damage to a semi-truck that had just flattened me. Moments like these make me think I probably need to reevaluate my priorities.
Anyway. The point is, I've been locked out a million times, and have to choose one of two options. I either have to wait for my roommate to return, or go find someone with a master key to open the door for me. I agonize over the decision, weighing the pros and cons, seeing only cons in both options, and finally I decide to find someone to open the door for me. This always, without fail, leads to awkward conversation. I live on the third floor. The office is on the first floor. I walk up seemingly endless flights of stairs next to someone who is as uncomfortable with making small talk as I am.
Helpful Key Person: .......So. Locked out, huh?
Me: Um. Yep.
Helpful Key Person: Yeah. [Silence as we continue to climb the stairs.] So. Third floor?
Me: Uh huh. Third floor.
Helpful Key Person: Okay. [More silence. More stairs.] It sure is a long walk to the third floor.
Me: Yeah, the third floor is about three floors up, I think.
Helpful Key Person: Yes I think that's about correct.
Helpful Key Person: ................
Me: ...............[Still more stairs. Finally, third floor hallway. A long walk to my door.]
Helpful Key Person: Okay here we are. [Opens door]
Me: Okay, um, thanks a lot. [Worries for the rest of the night that Helpful Key Person hates me and I'll never be friends with Helpful Key Person and now the state of Utah is going to explode and it will be all my fault for losing my keys.]
Pants in general.
I often wonder what pants' problem is. What the heck, pants? Who invented you, anyway? Why are you so annoying? Especially jeans. What kind of a person decided that jeans were a good idea?
The dreaded double-double door.
This is a double door:
Invariably, some kind-hearted soul will hold open the first set of doors. "What a nice gesture!" I think to myself as I carry on through the open door, saying "thank you!" loudly to Nice Guy. Nice Guy then enters behind me, and we find ourselves at the second set of doors. Having entered first, I am closer to the second set of doors than Nice Person. I awkwardly reach for the handle. Nice Guy awkwardly reaches for the handle, intent on continuing his kind deed of the day. At this point, there's chivalry to think about. Should I let Nice Guy hold open the door for me again? If he does, do I mumble "Thank you" again? Does the first "Thank you" carry over here, or should I ecstatically say it again? Or should I hold the door open for Nice Guy? What if Nice Guy expects me to? What if he wants to be chivalrous, though? What if opening the door tells him that I didn't appreciate the first door? WHAT IF NICE GUY DOESN'T LIKE ME ANYMORE?!
At this point my face usually betrays my inner turmoil. 99 times out of 100, Nice Guy is perfectly normal and simply holds the door open for me a second time, smiles politely, and walks away. Nice Guy probably doesn't think about this at all as the day goes on. I am not so lucky.
I usually end up knocking over a desk or something later though, so that gives me something else to agonize over.