Monday, January 16, 2006

My Invisible T-Shirt Says Please Talk To Me

Have any of you ever been shopping, or just out in public in general, and started asking complete strangers for advice? And maybe I am what is wrong with society. I am shy.

I can understand the genuine person trying to pick up on anther person - how else do you meet people? I can understand striking up a casual conversation in line at the grocery store or something. But I always seem to draw the totally insane individual directly to my side, whereupon they ask me questions or say things that just feel terribly out of place.

Saturday Mr. Zoom and I went clothing shopping for him. Since he has a new job, he wanted to update his business clothes a bit. We hit many stores, and one of them was having an absolutely insane sale.

I normally HATE sales. I hate people digging through stuff, throwing it around and shoving each other out of the way all in the name of saving 50 - 70%. Because we had just wandered into said sale, I figured I'd poke around and see if there wasn't anything I couldn't live without.

It was a little crazy, but overall people were polite to each other. Clothing was strewn all over the place, but it was still searchable. It wasn't long before I found myself with a complete stranger, who was talking to me as if I was her mentor/sister/mother/best friend.

She started out with: "Oooh, there was this great shirt right here a few minutes ago that I was considering trying on. But...........I can't find it now.................of course........." and she was looking DIRECTLY at me. I smiled a weak smile and shifted over a bit ... away from her. That was a mistake.

She then found a shirt she apparently liked better, and wanted me to tell her whether it would look good on her or not?!! She said "WHAT DO YOU THINK? It's one of those that goes around your neck, and it's sexy. It's velvet. I couldn't wear it to work though. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you think it's too chunky? Huh? Huh? Huh?

And there was no mistaking me as an employee of this store. I had waaaaay to frumpy a sweater on and I am not a size 2.

I finally said "uhhhh, I uhhhh, not so good with other peoples' clothing choices" and then I bolted.

Sunday Mr. Zoom and I needed some food and fast. We ended up at McDonalds. It's the most godawful thing we could eat, we know. But damn it tastes good for being so horrible. Anyway, I wasn't feeling that great so I went ahead and went to the McD's in basically my pj bottoms, slippers, a torn up t-shirt and my hair piled up on my head. No makeup, no preparation, just pure, unaltered, post nap nappiness.

I figured "Heck. It's a McD's. Nobody there is going to know who you are or ever see you again." And I was right.

The thing I didn't count on was that a lady would approach me (Mr. Zoom was still wranglling napkins and ketchup when this happened) and say to me "Well, I just don't know where to sit."


She was there with her husband. She had a Sunday paper with her. He was ordering food and I guess she was in charge of locating a table.

I'd really like to wash my invisible T-shirt. If I could just see it.


Aisha T. said...

*shaking head* I am scared to see the result of what would happen if we were to ever meet up. Frightened. The difference is, I talk to everybody. Good ol' Montana style. It drives D nuts. He tries not to talk to anybody. He actually asked if it was imperative I talk to EVERYBODY. I told him I could try to be Mr. Stoic like him but, I'd have a hard time keeping a straight face. Buuuuutttt....I think I have this really 'safe' look. I'm the person that always gets sat next to on the train or subway, asked for directions on the street, and yes, asked for clothes advice. Half the time people think I work in the store. I must also have some type of store clerk look, even in my sweaty yoga clothes. My friend Jeff says he tries to pick the safest place possible in any bar, restaurant or cafe but he insists the weirdos somehow sniff me out and we end up conversing with said whacko trying to find an out.

theresa said...

You're so funny.
Aisha and I would be the people you'd write blogs about if you didn't already know us.

Early in my life, I was convinced that I have "I Care" stamped across my forehead. It seemed like everyone told me their problems. Eventually, I made it my career and became a social worker.

I'm from Iowa. By definition, we're friendly, open folk. My friends love to travel with me because I always meet sweet interesting people.
A long time ago I had a long distance relationship with a guy in New York. He used to fret everytime I came to visit. He'd say, "Theresa, you can't act like you do at home. The people of New York will think you're crazy." And, I'd proceed to prove him right. But, I always had a great time.

Al said...

I get alot of questions as well. Being in Florida makes it worse "how do you get to Disney/Universal/SeaWorld/Gatorland" (the correct answer is ummmmm by car?) "Can you tell me where a great (insert type) restaraunt?"
"Where can we find cheap t-shirts made in sweatshops by children forced to silkscreen under threat of beatings?"
This one time, at Target (inside Al is laughing, then wonders why he refered to himself in the third person and why I still am) some random lady asked me where the extention cords were. I gave her the "how the hell should I know look" and said "I think they are somewhere over there" and walked away. A few minutes later the whackjob lady was asking for a manager about the rude employee - and pointing at me. I wasn't even wearing a red shirt.

AndyT13 said...

You just have a face that says
"Hi! I'm Zoomy! Talk to me!"
You could try washing your face but the look will probably stay.
Heck I came out of the clear blue blog-o-sphere and started talking to you and I'm about as weird as weird gets. In a totally harmless and non-threatening way of course.

Ryan said...

I'm split. I'm from the South - so I know how to talk and be courteous and be sensitive and all that sh*t. Then, I'm from the Northeast - so I don't care about anybody but my self. Hmmm... I think that traslates to becoming a self-described blabber mouth after somebody asks me something first - I guess.

That girl in the mall was asking the wrong people! She needs to track down that guy and girl on "What Not To Wear" - they'll give her all the help she needs. By the way, you can ask me something if ya want. I like you. ;)

ZooooM said...

Ryan, as I told the story to Mr. Zoom, I actually said "I'm not Stacy from What Not To Wear!"

But thank you all of you for commenting. Because I DO often wonder if I'm being terribly hard on the world. I know it's my insecurity that causes the uncomfortable. And deep down I wish I could be Ms. Talks A Lot to anyone and everyone.

T and Aisha, Andy, Al - You are all friendly wonderful people. I'm assuming anyway, from your blogs and comments. I guess if I knew it was Ts, Andys, Aishas, Brandys, and Als I was getting out there in the world, I'd be all chatterbox too. I'd know it was safe, because the person already knows I'm broken.

Just today at the Salad Trough (a restaurant called Soup Plantation) a lady asked me where the little cups for dressing were. But it made sense because she was right next to me in line and I had a cup, so it was obvious I knew where they were.

And I love helping people when I can. I really do.

I think I need to lighten up a bit. It's left over from my kidhood - insecurities and all. Plus, people out here just don't tend to talk to strangers much, or they are mostly considered "nuts."