Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 74: being a dick and shutting up.

One of the reasons I stopped drinking was because I was sick of making a cock of myself all the time and then feeling embarrassed about it. Last night I went out with a group of friends, some of whom it was the first time I’d met, and I’m pretty sure I behaved like a bit of a dick. Not in an obnoxious, nasty, arrogant kind of way. It was more a saying too much, gesticulating too much, contorting my face too much, overly theatrical brand of dickishness. I’ve always envied and respected people who have the presence of mind and calm confidence to keep their mouths more shut than open. Not being one of these awesome individuals, I tend to blither and joke my way through any silence that presents itself, particularly when in the company of new acquaintances. I also err on the side of flamboyant physical gesture, loud laughing, and “comical” acting out of scenes from whatever enormously entertaining story I’m telling. Yeah. Cool aye. OTT behaviour like this brings to mind what one of the young, partying-ish boys at work said to me after having seen at close range what I’m like obliterated on alcohol. He said that instead of being called Claire Falloon (as I was christened), I should be known as Claire Full-on (his powers of creativity were obviously entirely wasted in studio). Only last night I wasn’t obliterated. I was stone cold sober. Does this mean I’m just naturally a full-on social cockhead? Oh man. Here I was thinking that by staying away from booze I was safely tucked away from the humiliation of my own dork-ish behaviour, and now I discover the dork itself is alive and well living happily in my sober veins? At least if you act like a dick when you’re drunk you can blame the alcohol. When you’re sober, the blame rests entirely on your own dork-like personality. To be fair, I don’t think my company last night felt alarmed or assaulted by my form. They are all well developed, animated conversationalists in their own rights. But there were moments when I compared my bouffant arm gesture to their serene drink sipping, or my flabber wonk Woo! to their measured vocal brevity, and thought, woa calm down dickhead. Is my non-drinking giving me too much energy? Do I need to develop a Valium habit to calm myself down in company? Or am I thinking about this way too much? Maybe the real problem is that when you’re sober you are acutely aware of exactly what’s happening and can remember every nitty grit of what went on. If you’re drunk, your nice, relaxed mind lets a few things slide. It cuts you some slack. And maybe that’s why I’ve liked alcohol so much in the past; because my unrelenting standards of perfection can be a bit much to live up to all the time. Sometimes you need someone (or thing) to say “Mehhh, forget aboudit. Give yourself a break and be the mess you secretly know you are for a while.” Oh gosh, and there I go saying too much again. Here’s a thought, maybe I should just learn to shut up.

P.S. Does anyone think anything about our song (see Day 73)? Please comment! I need to know! (If you think it's weird, it's perfectly alright to say so.)

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