Stodgy Stuck Up and Not Fun at All

I had a nice Christmas Eve at my cousin’s house. I even drank a little wine which I seem to have developed some kind of liking for. It used to be that alcohol pretty much tasted terrible to me but if I wanted to get drunk, I would just tough it out and either ignore the taste or bury it with orange juice or Coke. Even with this new found liking for alcohol, though, I still don’t drink much. Or enough. Wink, wink. If I were a drinker, I might still have a job.

My cousin’s neighbor joined us later on that Eve. I’ve met this neighbor many times before. We never hit it off or anything but I can live with that and we have conversed in the past so it wasn’t a problem her coming over.

We ladies had been chatting for awhile when she turned to me and said she wanted to tell me something and she hoped I didn’t mind and she didn’t know if she should or not and if she said too much, please, just tell her it was too much and that she had stepped over the line and to stop.

Here we go. This kind of thing happens to me all the time. People often feel compelled to tell me exactly what thought just popped into their little heads. People have said some pretty unusual things to me over the years.

This time I smiled because I kind of suspected what was coming. Then she said that when she first met me, she thought I was very stodgy and not much fun. This made me laugh out loud. This is not news! I am aware that I make a certain kind of first impression. People who can only see surfaces are frequently left with a very basic and somewhat unfair impression of me. It became even funnier when my cousin piped up with, “People say that about ME, too!!!” A fellow traveler! Thank you, cuz!

I don’t know if the neighbor lady was relieved at my “fun” reaction to what she said or if she really didn’t think about the conversation that much at all. The only reason I care to think about this, and write about it, is because it reminded me of previous similar conversations people have had with me and my realization that I would NOT say such a thing to someone. I would not say, basically, “I used to not like you but now I do. Before, you fell well short of my requirements but now I think you’re A-okay.” Why, thank you! What a sweet thing to say. Wink, wink.

Well, it hurts my feelings when people tell me these things and I know not to do that to someone else. At least not on purpose.

As a kid, I was considered stuck-up by several of the school cliques. The popular kids couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t popular; they thought I should be, but I was not. Yes, somebody told me this. The not popular kids didn’t like me because they thought I was popular. Yes, someone told me that, as well.

On my long walks home from school by myself, passersby would say, Smile, it’s not that bad! Even though I wasn’t feeling bad and was just thinking about things on those long solitary walks. I guess I should have been tap dancing on the shoulder of the road and talking to myself.

Many years into the terrible job, one of my former co-workers said, “Man, that first day, when you first got hired, I told Lisa, ‘man, she isn’t going to be any fun at all!'” She told me this because I had finally passed the Fun Test. I was so relieved that I had passed the Fun Test. I do fit in! I thought I never would. Life is good.

Except that I didn’t fit in and life wasn’t good at all. The terrible job was really just a Red Flag Parade. Grab one of these here flags and swing it in the air with us! It took a long time for me to see it that way.

Last week I visited my mother. It was a pretty good visit. I stayed pretty laid back while I listened to Show ‘n’ Tell. At one point, she asked me if I wanted something to eat. She was hungry and didn’t want to eat in front of me. I told her to go ahead, I didn’t mind, I wasn’t hungry. But she kept asking me if I wanted something to eat. She tried tempting me with ever more delicious treats. But I truly wasn’t hungry and kept turning her down. “Oh, you’re no FUN!” Thanks, Mom.

Apparently, “fun” doesn’t mean what I think it means. Neither does “stodgy” or “stuck up.”

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3 Comments

Filed under family, first impressions, honesty, opinion

3 responses to “Stodgy Stuck Up and Not Fun at All

  1. gloriad54

    It’s called “resting bitch face”, which I recently learned about on a couple of highly sensitive person facebook groups. Apparently, when we deep thinkers and deep feelers are in our groove, we tend to have a scowl on our face, not because we’re unhappy but because we are into some deep thoughts and feelings. I, too, have been told the same thing throughout my life. As well as conversely, that I first came across as fun and personable but that didn’t last, probably because they developed high expectations of me which couldn’t last once I had a job that I was responsible for. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Resting Bitch Face”! Hahaha! I have seen pictures of myself scowling while I was intently working on something–it’s kind of how I focus, I guess. Now, I didn’t think of the other side of it, that if you do start out “fun” and can’t keep it up, then they turn on you. That might be part of what was happening during my school days when the cliques couldn’t decide which one them I went with–so it turned out to be none of them. And it’s sort of like how working really hard also sets up expectations and then no one helps you when you need it, etc. How I wish people were less judgmental and could go with the flow more. Life is hard enough, and intense enough for us HSPs, without all these rigid expectations. Perhaps it is other people’s lack of self-confidence at play here, not just ours…..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At least she prefaced it, implying that she might be crossing a line. That’s something.
    And when I fail the “fun” test, it’s often because I don’t share the same idea of “fun”. Unless by “fun” you mean talking normally to more than two people: I’m not against it, I just suck at that..

    High school? Not fun, not “fun”, not anything good. Just three years of purgatory until I transferred to a different school. My fella teaches in a highschool. He often complains about the lack of intellectual curiosity shown by his students. I just think about how much of my teenage years were spent wanting to crawl into a deep dark hole (and conversely how much I wanted the cool – not popular – kids to like me) and I just feel sympathy for them. Don’t blame them for not wanting to stick their necks out.

    Liked by 1 person

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