Recently I watched Mike Barbiglia’s stand up comedy special “What I Should Have Said Was Nothing.” The title refers to the many many times he has said something that turned a fairly normal situation into a perfectly awful one. He could have just said nothing and avoided the whole mess.
I wish I’d thought of that clever way to describe my constant run-ins with myself in public places. I hear myself saying something stupid, and somewhere inside my head, there is a much cooler version of myself shouting, “STOP IT! JUST SHUT UP AND GET OUT OF HERE!”
I’ve written about this here, and here, and here (see! it happens a lot!). Yes, I suck at being around other people. But that’s not a catchy way to say it. So, until I think of a creative title for my idiocy, here’s my latest installment of What I Should Have Said Was Nothing:
I was at the grocery store after work, picking up a few things for dinner. Just before heading to the checkout, I remembered we were low on Coke Zero, which I don’t care for but which Devin drinks entirely too much of. And because I’m a wonderful fiancé, I buy him some whenever I’m at the store.
While debating if I should buy 3 2-liter bottles to take advantage of the Vons Club sale, a young couple wandered into the aisle. I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but they looked like the sort of people I typically hate. For some reason, I began to focus all of my attention on them, instead of simply grabbing the bottles of soda and minding my own business.
“Baaaabe,” she whined, “I can’t find any diet root beer.”
“Maybe they don’t have it, babe.”
“I guess…but I want it.”
Now, what I should have said was nothing. And I very nearly stopped myself. I knew that there was in fact diet root beer because I bought it before. And she was actually standing right near it.
Then, I must have thought I would save the day by being helpful, so I marched right over and blerted out, “It’s right there. There is diet root beer!”
Trying to salvage my dignity, I started to immediately walk away.
“Oh…thanks,” said the girl. I couldn’t help but notice that she didn’t lean in to grab the 6 pack I’d pointed to. Somehow my lameness made her want nothing to do with that root beer.
In case you are thinking this interaction isn’t so bad, allow me to tell you what I said next.
“Yeah, no problem. Didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation, but I heard you about the diet root beer. Just listenin’. “
At this point the tiny cool version of me inside my head some how took control and jerked my body so that I turned around and began walking away.
Just listenin’? I said that!
Just listenin, little lady. Didn’t want ya to go without yer sodypop.