Curing 30 Years One Month At A Time

March 3, 2009

Yeah, After Second Thought I Am Going To Need That Rose And Ring Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 11:05 pm

 

When Reality TV Goes Too Far...

When Reality TV Goes Too Far...

My life up to this point has had its fair share of awkward moments. Take for instance the day in 7th grade when I wasn’t paying attention and walked straight into the wrong bathroom. Or what about the time while in the crowded mall I came up behind my wife and gave her a cozy hug only to find out from the slap in the face I had suffered a bad case of mistake identity. Then there was the time I fell in a six-foot ditch after being chased by a pack of wild geese while on vacation.

Some would say that my luck, or lack thereof, is on par with Greg Focker from Meet The Parents. One of the reasons I trust Jenn and I are meant to be together is due to the fact it required a miracle from the God for this to take place after the wealth of awkward experiences that occurred while getting to know my in-laws. The summer after graduating college I spent out in Carmel, California where Jenn grew up.

This domesticated city boy looked really out of place during the family camping trip. The level of discomfort was taken up a notch when my tiny bladder decided to act up causing me to spend the majority of time in the state park restroom. A few weeks later Jenn and I were settling down to watch a movie when her parents decided they weren’t tired and instead staid up and joined us. The movie we watched this evening just happened to be Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. I do not remember much of this Rob Schneider movie masterpiece because my hands were glued to my face the entire time out of shear embarrassment. There were probably other moments that summer that were on par with this, but I have attempted my best to erase then from my memory.

As awkward as all of these moments might be, nothing compares to the painful interaction I witnessed last night. It was a train wreck of epic proportions. Even though I wanted to divert my eyes, I never mustered enough strength to change the channel.  Like most of America, I remained on the edge of my seat befuddled at what I was watching wondering if reality television had finally reached the breaking point of bad taste. The dirty moment that made me want to go take a shower was none other than The Bachelor: After The Final Rose.

After losing interest in Heroes, I flipped over to watch The Bachelor (Jason Mesnick) give an engagement ring to Melissa. At first, it appeared much like previous seasons where the two cuddled and kissed as the credits ran. I went to go mark my calendar for a year from now so I could be sure to catch the TMZ episode that would report the couple destined to be together sent out press release through their agent saying they decided to part ways and were now “just friends.” Before I could even put the pen to paper, Jenn was urging me to get back in here.

What I then proceed to watch for the next hour made me feel completely uncomfortable. I kept asking myself if this was actually happening. This has to be scripted, didn’t it? If I could sense the awkwardness emanating from the television screen, I cannot imagine what Melissa went through in real time. I mean how do you respond to your fiancé when he says, “yeah, I think I am going to need that rose and ring back from you?”  I guess when your on primetime television you use the word Melissa uttered that rhymes with dastard.

Only six weeks after proposing to Melissa, Jason had a change of heart and decided to see if runner-up Molly wanted to grab “coffee or something.” Talk about being a flip flopper. How is it possible that he couldn’t make up his mind after devoting his entire focus to finding a mate from 25 eligible women? And to think I thought I struggled with being indecisive.

Every month so far I have enlisted the help of a few people to hold me accountable about changing my behavior and attitude. The first 30 days of becoming a man I relied on the strength from the guys in my small group. I sought the wisdom of outgoing people who were comfortable being in a crowd to get over being socially stunted. Last month involved reading articles from relationship experts and asking advice from husbands in strong marriages I admire. Knowing I wouldn’t hear the end of it from Jenn’s friends if I dropped the ball also kept me on my best behavior. Needless to say, the flip-flopping Bachelor will not be on my board of advisors for this month’s focus.  

January 25, 2009

A Scientist With A Stop Watch Makes For One Doozie Of A Third Wheel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 10:10 pm

 

Can Someone Throw Me A Bone And Carry A Conversation?

Can Someone Throw Me A Bone And Carry A Conversation?

Having a person there who sees all my faults, but loves me anyway. The security knowing there is a least one individual who every once in a blue moon will laugh at one of my jokes. Note how I said one in the singular sense. Jenn doesn’t think I am nearly as clever as I do. There is nothing better than after a hard day of work opening the door to a house that smells like a freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. These are just a few reasons why I am thankful to have a ring around my finger.

Tonight I get to add another thanks to something I uncovered during my research on how relationships evolve. Research shows that awkward silence occurs every 7 minutes in a normal conversation, but every 3 and half minutes when you are on a date. This means I have an extra 3 and half minutes to come with something to say that is intelligent and insightful or muster the strength to eek out a grunt when I am faced with dead silence. On a side note, maybe the reason why the awkward silence occurred more frequently on a date is that a scientist with a stopwatch makes for one doozie of a third wheel.

In my attempt to be proactive in pursuing relationships this month, I have experienced my fair share of blank stares and glossed over eyes when striking up a conversation. I was hoping people would notice my feeble attempt at improving myself and throw me a bone by taking the lead in the conversation. Unfortunately, the utter shock they experienced when this former mute actually opened up his mouth was too great for them to handle.

After one to many long pauses that ended in “um…well Tony…it was..um…great talking to you,” I decided to seek words of wisdom from people much wiser than myself: online relationship gurus. Yet another letdown. The social “experts” suggested asking safe questions on random topics like sports, movies or the weather to start lines of communication. Wow, I don’t know what shocks me more: they actually believe people never thought to do this before or that one can earn a substantial living doling out this type of advice.

Since it appears that people will listen to just about anyone for direction in their relationships, I figured why not throw my hat into the ring. So, for what they are worth, which is probably not a lot, here are a few tips of the trade this socially stunted individual came up with in dealing with awkward silence in conversations:

TIP #1 – Instead of asking about the weather or sports, my suggestion would be to cut to the chase and ask the person staring blankly at you what the best way is to break a moment of awkward silence?

TIP #2 – The plain and simple fact is that people are vain. They love to talk about themselves. Start asking questions left and right about their interests, hobbies or job. You earn brownie points because you seem genuinely interested in what they have to say when in actuality your thoughts are focused on whether you are going to have Italian or Chinese for dinner tonight. I hesitated to include this one since chances are good that because you already struggle to create dialogue with this person that you could give two rips about their love for woodworking or clogging. 

TIP #3 – Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, you can only utilize this tip in a large social setting while you are attempting to mingle. If you are in the middle of a business meeting, catching up with someone at a coffee shop or eating dinner at a friend’s house and use said trick, people will become concerned and slip you pamphlets with diagrams of your prostate plastered all over the cover.

TIP #4 – Flatulence always does the trick. All farts that is except for the silent but deadly variety. When funk suddenly appears out of nowhere and continues to mingle it only adds to the awkwardness. If you are going to use this trick make sure you farts are loud and proud.

TIP #5 – Open your eyes really wide, let out a huge sigh, wipe your hands together and then simply walk away. When the person stops you and asks where you are going, turn around and say in your best Forrest Gump voice, “I might not be a smart man, but I know what a dead conversation is.”

January 8, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the wall…who is the fairest of them all?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — 30tocure30 @ 11:02 pm

 

The Result Of Talking To Yourself In The Mirror Too Much

The Result Of Talking To Yourself In The Mirror Too Much

Where does one go on to sharpen their small talk skills? A typical (or should I say sane) person would seek out social gatherings like the water cooler at work, a city park, cocktail parties or a get together with friends. If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you realize that is not how I roll.  My first stop in curing my nervous social tics is my bathroom mirror.

The mirror has no significance or deeper meaning. There was no ‘coming to Jesus’ moment where I dragged in an old school boom box and start blaring Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror while I confront the reflection staring back at me. Neither does it involve giving myself a Stuart Smalley motivational speech that “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and gosh darn it…people like me!” Even though I contemplate it, I do not even ask where the beach is and respond by flexing my muscles and saying in a deep voice, “it’s over there.”

Step #6 from eHow.com’s “How To Make Small Talk” is the reason I find myself huddled up in the bathroom staring at a mirror in desperate need of some Windex. For those of us who are at the Hunch Back of Notre Dame recluse level, they suggest “talk to yourself in the mirror. Make a random list of topics and see what you have to say on the subjects. Baseball, Russia, butter, hip-hop, shoes…the more varied your list, the better.”  That list is definitely varied. Can you picture how one can weave all of those topics in one conversation. Going from Pujols, Pumas to Putin and ending how much butter P. Diddy puts in his pasta is quite the feat.

 

I have my doubts, but I decide to give this a shot. Here’s how it went:

 

“Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?”

“C’mon Tony…be serious.”

“Well, if we have any chance of breakthrough I have to let you know you have a bear in the cave and it really is distracting me.”

“Thanks….wow the gray sure is showing. No wonder you wear hats all the time. If it’s not the gray, it’s got to be to conceal the fact you are going bald.”

“Hold up a second chief….that’s a pretty bold comment for small talk.”

“Chief? You don’t even know my name, do you? What? Are you going to call me buddy or cowboy next time you see me?”

 

Conversation suddenly interrupted when Madison opens the door.

 

Maddie: “Daddy, what are you doing?”

Me: “Um….I’m just talking to myself….”

Maddie: “Not again daddy…That’s silly…now give me some privacy, I have to poop.”

Me: “Seems fitting, beautiful. I dropped a load on this experience…”

Maddie: “What, daddy?”

Me: “Nothing, hunny, nothing.”

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