She Liked My Whole “Look” (But I Never Showed Her My Bluetooth)

by D.J. Paris on December 10, 2012

Okay, this is going to sound benign but it really bothered me today.

I was embarrassed to be wearing my bluetooth headset while grocery shopping. Now, had I been having a conversation with an actual person, I would have felt more comfortable. But all I was doing was listening to a podcast. Sometimes I bring my headphones with me because, in my mind, it’s socially acceptable to be wearing headphones in public. But having a bluetooth headset is geeky and lame.

A few things. First, nobody is looking at me. On Sunday afternoons it’s a couples’ shopping experience. I was in a trendy part of Chicago and it was a lot of guys pushing strollers while their wives held up scraps of paper while shelf-scanning. I saw many women in sweatpants and other “fell out of bed” gear. This is something my sister has never understood about Chicago. That women can walk around so casually without normal clothing. She lives in the West Village in NYC, however, where the most beautiful people in this country congregate.

The other piece is that even if a woman (I don’t seem to care about judgment from men) does pay attention to me, the odds she’s judging me as lame is minimal. I’ve learned that people think a lot less about (not of) me that I would have expected. Everyone has their insecurities we think are scarlet letters for the world to shame. It almost never happens. If I see an overweight woman I don’t think ugly thoughts or pity or love or whatever other judgments I might have. I just keep walking because I don’t care what she weighs. I hardly notice.

I’m sure the same is for me and my dopey bluetooth. I just kept thinking that some beautiful goddess will stop me and ask where the gourd aisle is and then I’ll quickly rip the electronic from my ear and stick it in my sweater-coat. Somehow I’ll get her approval because I’m not a geek.

I know we all have some version of this. Something we hide away to keep people from seeing us as we are.

Even though I dealt with a little embarrassment internally, I kept it in my ear during my shopping. I did take it out while at the deli counter because I didn’t want the meat cutter ladies to think I was a jerk barking orders while talking to somebody more important. Same thing when they were ringing up the totals.

There are things that screw me up a little that keeps this craziness alive and well. I was doing some work at one of our offices yesterday and a young woman walked in to do something. We chatted a bit about nothing, and as I was leaving she said, “You have great style – I like the whole ‘look’.”

This is funny because I have no ‘look.’ I wear a solid color t-shirt, jeans, and cheap Aldo shoes. I wear the same Banana Republic sweater coat everywhere I go. So, to hear that out of nowhere was flattering. Maybe she was flirting or just being nice, or maybe even lying. Who knows? Either way, it’s comments like that where I start paying attention to my looks.

What’s important is that I notice when I run those patterns of, “Uh oh – they won’t like me if they saw/knew/heard X.” That’s about me and my shame. The truth is though that some people will judge you and run away based on who you are. But, it’s been my experience that the ones who love you almost never run. And, if they do – screw ‘em. They were just a big fatso with a terrible haircut anyway.

Judgment Day

Who needs God’s judgment when I have my own? And why is that dude taking a dump with the sun as a backdrop? I judge this.

photo credit: Leonard John Matthews via photopin cc

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9 comments… read them below or add one

AngusMcMahan1 December 10, 2012 at 1:19 am

“I don’t thing ugly thoughts” – D.J., buddy, if you can’t be compelled to read your posts a second time, why should we be compelled to read them a first time?

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D.J. Paris December 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

AngusMcMahan1 Fixed! After 220k words in a year, even after the third read (I really do this) I miss stuff. I’m just the creative – a horrible editor. In fact, the book I’m putting together now is going to be solely edited by readers, since I am not to be trusted. Ha. Thanks for pointing that out.

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ladyjess78 December 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

tfpHumorBlog AngusMcMahan1 It’s nearly impossible to perfectly proof your own work. Your brain knows what you meant and corrects it for you.

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KateHall December 11, 2012 at 12:25 am

AngusMcMahan1 I didn’t even notice it. Don’t come to my blog. It’s a mess.

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bluenotebacker December 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

She was flirting man, accept it! 
I know I often feel self-conscious when I’m at the store by myself but I too am rarely giving much thought to what the people around me look like. Sounds and smells, that’s another story, but I think whether we like it or not, try as we may, almost every day is judgement day, to some degree.

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Julie DeNeen December 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Interesting. I didn’t realize the bluetooth in the ear was lame?! Where have I been?

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KateHall December 11, 2012 at 12:30 am

The evaluation of the guy taking a dump cracked me up. It totally looks like that. I think why I like your blog so much is that you’re not ashamed of who you are. You don’t hide. I’m wanting to write a post about shame. It’s half-written, but I still think its crap, so it’s just sitting there. I think one of my goals with my blog is to make others feel normal, or less ashamed of who they are, by making fun of myself. Shame sucks.

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Mom of A and a December 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm

It’s the people who talk loudly into their Bluetooth that irritate me. You wouldn’t get a second glance from me….I mean this in a complimentary way, of course!! :p

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shannonfornari December 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I remember the first time I saw someone talking on a Bluetooth thingy.  It was outside of the mall and I thought she was a crazy homeless person.  I almost offered to buy her something from the Food Court.  Luckily I saw the thingy in her ear and didn’t, because that would have been really awkward.  
I have given up on on the “they won’t like me if they saw/knew/heard X” train of thought.  I just let my freak flag fly.  And, while I’m no socialite, the friends I do have are like family to me.  Although, there may be a few fatsos with bad haircuts….

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