Share with me your moments of feeling self conscious

Yesterday I’m at the grocer. There’s a happy couple in front of me and a happy couple behind me. In the middle is me. I’ve got a bag of kitty litter, a 12 pack of beer and a frozen pizza. Oh, and the cherry on top of this loser sundae, as I’m waiting in line, I notice I have a mustard stain on my shirt, great!
LOL, I don’t know man, something about those combination of groceries made me feel like a total loser. It’s almost as if I could feel the couple behind me feeling sorry for me, as in: “Awe, poor guy, he’s got nothing but his cats and his alcohol to keep him company.”

Shut up! I have dogs too…

My entire life.

But to provide a more specific example - any time I have to buy sanitary pads. Or use a public washroom (especially if people I know are in there too, which I try to avoid.)

Like many people, I enjoy a nice cold beer after work. But working the night shift for over 20 years “after work” was 7 o’clock in the morning. You should’ve seen the looks I would get from the people standing in line at the 7 eleven with their coffee and me with my 12 pack of Budweiser. :o

For my first post, I believe I should dive right in to being embarrassed.

I always feel self conscious when I eat alone in public. Perhaps it’s something you have to ease yourself into.

Psshhh, grass is greener.

I’ll bet that beer, pizza and a bit of solitude (despite your pets) sounds like heaven to either individual in both parties. Everyone gets mustard stains. I’m sure I have one now.

Shakes, that’s funny, I too get really self conscious at the grocery check-out line. When I’m doing my regular shopping it’s not an issue, but if I am going in for an easy/frozen meal or some obviously unhealthy combination of ‘bachelor’ groceries, I feel judged. In fact, I will often add things to my purchase to make it look more well-rounded, even if I don’t really want them.

I do this sometimes with take-out as well. I’ll order twice as much (a large pizza instead of a small, or two chinese combo meals, for example) so it looks like I am getting food for multiple people (who are going to have a good time, yeah!) instead of just spending money on take out for my quiet party of one.

(Ugh. Yes, I know those both sound pretty pathetic, and it’s certainly an issue I have and try to keep under control. I promise that I’m not as messed up in most aspects of my life. For some reason I have some extreme self-consciousness/psychological issues around food and what other people think I am eating. Sometimes.)

Shakes you could have told them you were going to add some Pop Rocks to the kitty litter and sit back and watch the fun. Then they would have wanted to go home with you.

I spent over half my life feeling self-conscious, then I almost lost it. I no longer sweat the small stuff or feel “wrong” in some way.

I only feel self-conscious eating alone when I’m sitting in a relatively empty restaurant/food court and someone then sits down at a nearby table in such a way that they’re facing me.

Yeah, I’m weird.

I’m not all the time. Just the period between waking and falling asleep.

Feel lucky, in some places you can’t even purchase beer that early (especially on Sundays).

It is socially acceptable to get drunk at 7am as long as orange juice or tomato juice is involved.

That is not weird. Your eyes naturally wander and knowing you could accidentally make eye contact, would make me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps that isn’t your “fear” and I’m the weird one! LOL.

I just hate the idea of people thinking “Look, no one wants to eat lunch with her.”

Books are great when one is eating alone. It allows you to be pampered (nice servers bringing you food and drinks) and also gives the impression that you are reading because you want to spend some alone time with a book and food.

Its the questions about kids that always gets me. I had an unfortunate pregnancy when I was very young. It resulted in me not needing to use birth control and my user name. Every single time someone asks me if we have kids, I feel like I’ve violated some social rule when I say “No.” and then don’t elaborate.

8th grade gym class.
In January and February we did square dancing for six weeks. I was beyond insecure and astonishingly shy around girls. No worse then that.
Two weeks into the dancing I notice a group of 5 girls standing in a circle whispering and glancing over at me every so often and then one of them Robin Kolm and yes I still remember her name, jabbed her finger at me and said in a stage whisper, “And he eats them too” which was met with a chorus of “GROSS!!!” by the other girls.

Yes she had just told them that not only did I pick my nose but I ate the boogers as well.

All of this was true. And before you go “THAS SO GROSS!!!” EVERYONE picks their nose, probably more people than who masturbate. You pick or have picked your nose.

Anyway, the upshot of this was fourfold.

  1. Of course the news got all over the school by next days lunchtime which commenced with everyone getting up and leaving me sitting by myself at the lunch table when I sat down, and calling me “Booger eater!!!” as they left.

  2. All the girls in gym class now adamantly refused to hold my hand. Most of them crossed their arms when it was their turn to be my partner, while I, like a jackass, held my hands out and did all the stupid squaredance motions.

  3. Our gym teacher finally noticed this a week or so later and stopped the record, actually drawing the needle across, and walked over to me shouting all the way, “What the hell is going on? What the hell are you doing? What the hell is this?” makes spastic motions with his hands “Why the hell aren’t you holding hands with these girls?!!”

I stood there and did nothing except sweat and kind of zoned out. Robin Kolm’s voice wafts across the gym sneeringly, “He’s so GROSS!! He picks his nose and eats the boogers!!! So disgusting!”

Every other kid in the class starts laughing and snickering.

The teacher looks from me to Robin, then back to me. “You eat your boogers? You’re a sick little weirdo aren’t you. Creep.”

The next three weeks went by slowly, nothing changed in gym, I held out my hands, the girls folded their arms.

  1. Come report card time my parents and I find out that I am failing gym and along with my other crappy grades this means I have a good chance of failing 8th grade for the second time. (First time was at a private school that Henry Rollins attended. No, I never met him) There was a VERY unpleasant meeting involving at the school involving me, my parents, the gym teacher, all 3 school counselors and the principal. I had told my parents what the gym teacher had said to me and what he had called me, but was too scared and shy to repeat it at the meeting so of course the gym teacher called me a liar. In front of my parents. There was a LOT of shouting by my parents at the gym teacher who asked repeatedly why the teacher hadn’t failed all of the girls for refusing to hold my hand. The teacher hemmed and hawed and finally agreed to change my grade to a B.

A friend was showing me her wedding pictures. She’d gotten married maybe 10 years earlier and had had a cold/flu that day, so she looked a little different in the photo. Her wedding dress was unusual too, and I ended up asking, “What, is that your mother?”

Trying to fix it just made it worse (sigh).

Most of the week I prepare good, healthy meals for my kids. But, as a dad with virtually sole custody of his children, it’s nice to take a break from that chore every once in a while. So, perhaps once a week, I’ll visit one of the fine fast food establishments on the way back from work and place an order, usually from the dollar menu, for my daughters and I. I’ll buy enough for dinner that that night and often lunch the next day (gotta put that microwave to good use once in a while). Sometimes I’ll even buy a burger or two for the dog and maybe a couple more if my girls plan on having friends over. So, my burger tally usually runs quite high.

It’s a better value to buy one large order of fries and then split them than to buy multiple orders of small fries, so that’s what I do. I also order a small diet coke for myself for the ride home. We have drinks at home for the family.

My self consciousness begins as soon as I enter the eating establishment and escalates as I’m waiting in line with more and more customers seeming to close in around me, waiting to hear what I order. And then the gates of hell open and I find myself in McDante’s Inferno. It’s my turn to place my order.

“I’d like a large fry, small diet coke and…uh…15 cheeseburgers.” Almost imperceptibly, but obvious to me, one of the cashiers eyebrows never fails to rise in an accusing fashion, accompanied by what I’m pretty sure is a tiny smirk. (why is a baseball bat never available when you need one?)

To push the dagger in further, they always repeat [loudly], “did you say 15 cheeseburgers?” Now every single busy body customer is looking at me with their stick up the ass facial expression of disgust and righteous condescension. (why is a battle ax never available when you need one?)

“Yes, 15 cheeseburgers”, I say sheepishly.

And then, with sweat beading on my forehead, I wait for the cashier’s inevitable coup de grâce. Time feels frozen. And then the final blow arrives: “is that for here or to go?” That’s what the cashier asks, but I’m certain what the cashier thinks is: *“why don’t you just park your fat ass over there, Mr. Pigman, and we’ll grind up your large fries and 15 cheeseburgers into a fine mash and slop it into a feedbag for you to strap around your ears so you can chew your cud to your hearts desire, at least till it explodes from congestive heart failure” *

What I’m thinking at this point is, *“why you low down smirking mutha f@!#er, your ass is a lot fatter than mine, if anybody needs a feedbag it’s you, McAsshole.” *

But, what I actually say is, *“it’s to go…for my family, thank you.” *

If you insist…here’s one more:

So I’m at the fertility clinic doing the husband’s part of our donor egg in-vitro fertilization procedure and frankly, I’m quite self-conscious about the whole ordeal. It was the small (~1.5’ x 1.5’) window about 5 feet up from the floor in the wall just behind the TV set that had me worried. The window had a small, wooden, double door closure that we donors were instructed to knock on when the specimen jar had at least a few cc’s of specimen in it. The double door was opaque, but there was no lock on it. I didn’t like that.

I also did not like the chatter coming from behind the little window. It was a little too close for comfort and distracting me from my duty of raising the flag.

The TV was there to watch porn tapes (this was a while ago), but I didn’t want to go that route. There were also a lot of porn magazines in the rack, but I didn’t want to go that route either (particularly because they looked old, stained and…pretty soft-core: Playboy, Sears Catalog, National Geographic, National Enquirer, Boy’s Life (?)…). So, it was just up to me and my imagination.

I started to relax. The people behind the little window are professionals and they deal with this situation every day. They are not about to open the double door while I’m in here. Not a chance. They would never do that until they hear me knock on the door (it should have been a buzzer system and there should have been a lock, I think, but no problem…they’re just cheapskates). But, still, those voices behind the wall are distracting. Sounds like a large, obnoxious lady and a small, soft spoken gay man in there (not that there is anything wrong with either of those).

So, I’m really starting to go to town now. I’m thinking about engaging in a bit of flagrante delicto starring me and Betty White (alright, I’m kidding, but this was a while ago remember). And I’m also starting to think of the beautiful kid (s) that will come from all this effort.

Okey Dokey…almost there. The dams about to burst! The missile is about to launch! And just then…the little double door bursts open and there looking right at me, at full mast, is a very large battle-axe of a woman. She says, “whoops, I thought I heard you knock. Sorry.” It seemed like eternity before she shut the door, but it was probably just a second or two. To make matters worse, as she was closing the door, I saw the head of a man with a well manicured haircut pop up from behind the lady’s enormous shoulder to see what was going on (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Houston, we have a problem. Scrub the mission and start again. I did, and the launch succeeded the second time.

Embarrassing, yes, but I got two wonderful daughters out of it. They like to embarrass me, too. Ditched the wife, though. She reminded me of the lady behind the door.