It’s the first day of school/ work/ prison therapy group and EVERY TIME the teacher / HR rep / psychologist does the SAME DAMN THING. “Let’s go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves,” they say.
I have always hated these kinds of introductions.
“Oh, and tell us something about yourself,” they add.
“Go sit on a zucchini filled with razor blades,” I reply.
I don’t actually reply that, for the record. But I do actually hate that whole open-ended “explain how fascinating you are” junk. For some reason, these free-form questions do absolutely nothing for my creativity. I find them weirdly stifling. Tell you something interesting about myself? That’s impossible, sir. I have nothing to say. I am the most boring girl in the world.
Put on the spot like that, I freeze. I’ve resorted to a few stock answers in the past: I once bit my tongue so hard part of it needed to be sewn back together (a lovely visual, I know). My great-uncle played for the Yankees (a pretty cool fact, but it has nothing to do with me). Or….
See? I can’t even think of another one, even a lame one.
The same freezing-up often occurs when I am asked the innocuous “how was your day?” or “How have you been?” I literally could have just returned from a month of backpacking through Tibet and answer that question “Oh, ya know. Good.” or “Same ol’, same ol’!”
And then, three hours later, I remember wait I did save that baby from a fire this morning but by that time the question’s been asked and answered and the statute of limitations of response-embellishment has long since expired.
I’ve never saved a baby from a fire, for the record. But I have often unintentionally glossed over some VERY IMPORTANT details that would better answer those types of questions. “How was work?” I was once asked, on the day that some nutso called and threatened to blow up our place of work and we called the police on him, et cetera, et cetera.
“Oh, kinda slow,” was my response.
Or “How was your summer?” after I’d had several agonizing oral surgeries to remove, like, a million teeth over the course of a few months.
“Pretty standard,” I replied.
The thing that really gets me here is that sometimes, while this super-interesting thing is happening to me, I am actually thinking OH MY GOSH I CAN’T WAIT TO TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THIS.
Yesterday, I did something I was super-proud of. “Oh, man, I can wait to tell Schmoop*!” I thought at the time. And later, when he asked me how my day was, I had nothin’. “What did I do all day?” I LITERALLY ASKED THIS QUESTION OUT LOUD TO MYSELF.
*I don’t know where this came from, but I started calling Boyfriend “Schmoopie” as sort of the ultimate sappy-cheesy-stupid-over-the-top nickname, because we have the least sappy-cheesy-stupid-over-the-top relationship ever. Schmoopie has too many syllables, apparently, so it’s since been shortened.