Okay, I’ve been writing about this kind of thing a lot lately, but I have to own something embarrassing.
In my condo I have bay windows in the family room. My windows look out over a courtyard and also across the way at my neighbor’s unit. Since there’s only thirty-three units in the building we all sort of know each other. If you don’t know somebody’s first name you certainly know their face.
I actually haven’t formally met the owner of that unit. I think he just recently bought it, or maybe he was renting it out the first six years. Either way, he’s in there now. I can tell just by looking at him that he’s a nice guy.
Even though we’re told not to judge someone on their looks, can’t we tell, most of the time, whether somebody sucks or not based solely on their looks? I definitely can. People that suck look like they suck.
Well, tonight I am writing this post from my bedroom. So, why am I not in my family room, the preferred place of writing?
Because my neighbor is having a party on his porch. We have these huge wooden decks (never figured out the difference between porches and decks) that you probably associate with Chicago. They’re 10′x20′. He’s got fifteen guys sitting on his porch having cocktails and talking.
My plan tonight was to sit at my coffee table and write. What I mean by this is to literally sit on the floor with my back against the couch and legs under the table, with the laptop on top. It’s very comfortable to me, but I’m sure it looks completely stupid to anyone else.
The truth is that I don’t want these fifteen guys seeing me do this. Okay, fine, so I just won’t write. I just ordered a video game and I’ll play that. No, I don’t want them to see an adult playing a video game. Fine, I’ll watch Doctor Who. No, I don’t want them to see me alone on a Saturday night watching television.
I know this is a shame thing. By thinking they’re looking at me (they’re not), I assume they’re judging me (they’re not) and that somehow shames me for not doing more responsible “adult” activities. It also must mean that I have no friends (I have friends). So, I am self-banished to my room because I don’t want them to see the real me. In a way it’s kind of funny – I sent myself to my room because I’ve been bad.
And I’m just waiting for them to go out for the evening. Now, I have big curtains, and technically I could close them on the guys. But I would feel like a dick doing that, and I wouldn’t want them to think I was pissed at them.
So, I won’t shut the blinds. I can’t stay there because I don’t want them to see me. I’m in my room.
I’m thirty-six years old and not socially awkward. I’m 100% convinced I could go over and hang out with these men. They appear to be friendly dudes. But I won’t go.
This only happens like twice a year, so I’m not constantly removing myself from view, but it is indicative of my self-judgment. I can’t wait until I can just think, “Oh yeah, I guess there are a bunch of people over there partying. Good for them. Hey, that sexy Cinemax movie is coming on – let’s peel down to my skivvies and flip it on!”
Okay, I went too far there. I just wanted to say “skivvies.”
So, I’m going to do something courageous (at least to me). I’m about done writing. I’m going to head into my family room, turn the lights on, and start playing my video game in full view of the party. And everything will be okay and nobody will point and laugh. I’ll be uncomfortable but I’ll forget they’re there after an hour or so.
Oh, and nobody tweet me during the Cinemax movie that comes on at 10:30pm – I’m going to be busy. VERY BUSY.