There have been a few times in my life when I felt awkward and/or unsure of myself at a social gathering. One time that has stayed in my mind (and perhaps never shall leave) is when I was at Webelo camp as a 4th grader. Webelos are essentially Jr. Boy Scouts. The name stands for We Be Loyal Scouts. I was the only kid in the “Den” who did not go to school with everyone else. I went to private school and these kids were not exactly rough and tumble, but they did go to public school. They made me stay in my tent when they had smores and wouldn’t let me come out. When the DenMaster (who was one of the kids Dads) found out about this, he blew a gasket and had me hang out with the same kids who ostracized me. It was terribly awkward. They clearly did not want to hang out with me and I was of course, intimidated. I tried to break the ice by telling a joke but I stuttered. That was my last year as a Webelo.
I love spending time alone. It’s nice to take care of things around the house and have some “me time”. While I do enjoy spending time with my friends (both in real life and online), I feel the most comfortable chilling by myself. I keep a diary and have done so since about the 2nd grade. One of my favorite activities is to read a random passage and then try to write a short story about what I read. I currently boast a collection of about 400+ short stories.
I have totally “bombed” an attempt at trying to strike up a conversation with a stranger. 2 springs ago I had a long beard and gave up my earthly possessions, save a shovel and a 20lb bag of rice. I saw a father with his son in the parking lot. The son was dressed up for a Boy Scout gathering and it really struck a chord with me. I saw my childhood flash before my eyes, smoreless Phillip and all. I approached the father and son, holding my shovel and with a scraggly beard and stuttered out, “C-c-c-c-cute Kid.” The father pulled his son away from me and threatened to call the cops.
I have felt left out of group activities a few times. I used to be a judge for youth chili cook-offs. One time, another judge called my palate into question and did not allow me to taste any chili. This was a rather dark time in my life and judging the chili was all that I had. He and the other 2 judges physically restrained me from coming to the judges table, I felt like the wind was taken out of my sails. (I have never sailed, but I imagine the metaphor works). I will never talk to those three men again, even if they are my uncles.