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Friday, May 6, 2011

3 Groups of People Who Might Actually Kill Me


I would consider myself shy.

Shut up.  I am.

I was devastatingly shy for most of my life, and then, mostly for professional reasons, I trained myself to act as though I wasn't inches from death every time I spoke to another human being.

Some psychologists believe that shyness is the result of an innate inability to correctly read facial expressions.  I'd agree with that assessment.  I'm pretty sure that I've been in a bar or two, where a guy's facial expression was meant to read, "You are pretty.  I'd like to buy you a drink and find out more about you," while I interpreted his expression as "I am about to stun you by licking your face and then drag you back to my dead mother's house and make it rub the lotion on its skin."

I've also asked friends (I'm told these are people who still like you even if you do something to annoy them) to go out for coffee where, intellectually, I'm pretty sure their facial expression was reading, "It's nothing personal, but I really don't feel like going out for coffee and I'm kind of hoping you'll let me off the hook without me having to make up a ridiculous excuse."  I've been known to interpret this facial expression as, "I'd rather dig up a half-decayed turtle and have coffee with THAT than with you.  In fact, the only reason I'm even talking to you right now is because my agent is terrible and this is the part I got stuck with in the movie that is your life that we're all in on, except you."

Where my version of shyness/merciless paranoia truly takes the shape of a DSM IV anomaly is in the fact that, while crippled by people's reactions to my personality, speech, and behavior, I am also unable to censor myself in a timely enough fashion to avoid interpersonal bloodshed.

I have church giggle tourette's of the worst kind.

Example:

Former Business Colleague (aka The Insufferable Turd-a-saurus): "You know, you're the only person whose ever said they have a problem with the way I conduct business."

Me: "I assure you, I am not the only one who has serious concerns with some of the judgment calls you've made." (*Acceptable Response*)

Insufferable Turd-a-saurus: "Well that's interesting, because I've never heard any of these concerns voiced."

Me: "That's because nobody likes you." (*Uh Oh*)

Turd-a-saurus: "Oh is that so?" (Scary lotion-on-its-skin face)

Me: "Well, maybe it's not that they don't like you.  Maybe it's that none of us think you had very many friends as a kid that weren't imaginary and we don't like paying for it."  (*Giggles. Fear.*)

So, it's no wonder that over the years, in spite of a deep seeded desire to avoid controversy and interaction of any kind, I have still managed to become the center of hatred for some people....and some groups of people.  The Internet has not helped this, in that, the little grasp I have gained on reading body language and facial expressions that might otherwise alert me to danger is not available to me.  So when I indeed turn up dead with most of my skin removed and an empty bottle of Jergens laying next to me, here are three groups of people who should immediately be investigated:

Kelly Bensimon Fans

Once upon a time, I innocently tweeted a link to a blog article that might have allegedly detailed how Kelly Bensimon fit the diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder.

Jelly beans and word salad.  That's all I'm sayin'.

What I didn't expect was to be tweeted back by Ms. Bensimon.  Here's how this interaction went.

Me - "We have a name for what is wrong w/ @kikilet – schizoaffective disorder http://bit.ly/bWOWP8 let’s hope she gets help for her kids #RHONY"

Kelly Bensimon -  "@annbransom ah? No. Its called bored with filming with fake “reality stars,” ahh hello. Are we not watching the same show!"

Scared Me - "@kikilet I believe you truly believe the things that you say. Get some help. It can’t hurt and maybe you’ll prove everyone wrong. Good luck!"

Crazsimon - "@annbransom  I am officially bored discussing what u watch on tv."

Believe it or not, this was in the top 10 greatest days of my life.  Unlike Ms. Bensimon, I LOVE "fake reality stars" and even if she was pissed off at me and then blocked me (le boo), Kelly Bensimon took time out of her day to have a crazy little moment with me.

Like a little gift from baby Jesus wrapped in bacon.

Until her fans turned on me.

I have gotten comments ranging from "You are a total narcissist and a bully!  Quit victimizing Kelly!" to "You really should not use your name as your twitter handle.  It's easy to figure out who you are and where you live."

I tweeted this over a year ago.  However, every time Kelly Bensimon does something nuts this blog gets bumped in the search engines and I get a whole new batch of crazy, sand angel making, delusional Kellettes that think they are her personal friend and that I should be smothered to death with jelly beans.

Kelly has since changed her twitter handle.  I am scared for my life every time an episode of Real Housewives of New York airs.  For the love of God, people, let's move on.  Mea Culpa.  Kelly's not crazy.

(but she totally is)

British Girls with Eating Disorders

I know.  I didn't see this coming, either.  Many moons ago, I wrote a blog entitled, "How To Develop An Eating Disorder In Under 12 Weeks!!".  Obviously, tongue and cheek, about my brief obsession with weight loss at the time.  And by obsession, I mean portion control and exercise.

Fast forward a couple of years.  The Google Algorithm, once again, decided I needed to sleep with the machete under my pillow, and bumped this blog up under several important key words relating to eating disorders...but only in the UK.

Cue a herd of 14 year old British girls with eating disorders storming my blog castle and inbox.  Let me tell you, those girls might look like fragile flowers, but they are like a pack of rabid badgers on red bull...who are really hungry.

(See, I just can't help myself?)

It is the first time I've been called a "bloody idiot", though.  So I have that going for me.

Toothless Rednecks from Rockcastle County

Man beats 9 year old with baseball bat.  Nine year old goes to hospital with severe head injuries.  Man gets arrested for assault.  Man's friends and family members take to the Mountain News Wire (which I am so happy to know exists now) and defend him, because "he 'tossed' that ther' bat at the couch 'n dn't know the kid was ther'".

So....I MIGHT have insinuated/used these exact words that I was hopeful these people would be representing the dad at trial as they were "toothless, drooling, backwood child abuse enablers."

I'm now in a pretty heavy back and forth with these folks that you couldn't pull me away from with a tractor.  At least when I have time to decipher a language resembling a second grader whose been shot with a sedative dart.

If I'm beaten to death with a baseball bat, IT WASN'T AN ACCIDENT.

There are some other groups to watch out for as well.  The BabyCenter.com mothers who smoke while pregnant.  The kids at the skate park that I like to watch fall down.  Anyone who has ever defended Charlie Sheen.  And currently the "Give Obama No Credit" people and their counterparts the "Martin Luther King Misquoting Intolerably Self Righteous" people.

Just know, when you yell at me and poke me with a stick...I will say things that I shouldn't.  But deep down, I'm scared you're going to eat my face.  You win.

5 comments :

John said...

You should start packin! Or maybe not???

Heather said...

Hilarious!!! And anyway, my money's on the scary pregnant lady. ;)

Ann said...

Add the tourette's people to that list. It's only a matter of time. Crap.

Mike Kayser said...

Do you know where I could find an article on that theory of shyness? I'm curious (probably to a fault) about lots of things. I was thinking about the root of my own shyness the other week and think most of it is due to something else.

I think I have a crippling fear of the unknown, at least some of the time. When I was in situations that I was familiar with, I was described as talking too much (as a kid). One of my sister-in-law's favorite stories is when I grabbed her mother's face to get her to listen to me (I was a remarkably smart child). When I was in new situations I said nothing. Heck, they didn't want to let me in kindergarten because they didn't think I could talk. I can tell you speech class in high school was torture (despite the teacher not noticing my nervousness, still not sure how) although it was a lot better in college.

Then again, I probably can't read people's faces very well either, and being picked on as a child tends to make your default assumption of a person's intentions negative. I'm also glad to see that nothing has happened to you yet. Remember though, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Ann Bransom said...

@Mike - There have been several studies done on shyness and it's link to reading facial expressions and body language. Here is just one: http://www.health.am/ab/more/shy_kids_react_differently_to_facial_expressions/

That study actually found a link between shyness and an increased risk of social phobias and anxiety disorders, which is what I have, and sounds like maybe you may have had too. I think the important thing to remember is that regardless of how you label it, if there is a part of your psyche, personality, biology, or just what makes you YOU that is a hindrance or an obstacle, you have to look for ways to overcome it. Those of us with neurosis have to address them just like a diabetic person would address a blood sugar problem.

And, yes, the Bensimon fan base has given me a reprieve. ;)

Thanks for reading!