Social expectations


There are people who have fake ailments and who put on an act for any number of reasons, from benefits to attention. There are then those of us on this side of politics who give most malingering short shrift – people have to stand on their own two feet etc.

That’s fine and I agree but sometimes there are things, genuine things and I’m going to describe one of mine because something came up I read about.

I have a severe case of “have to get out, have to get away”.

I’ve always had it.  An example from Russia.  We went to a film and first ate in the cafe.  I wasn’t fussed about the film but in the cafe, I couldn’t handle it any more and the worst sinus attack I’ve ever had came on, I had to get out of there and did.

Surprisingly, she knew but it still wasn’t great behaviour on my part in front of a lady. But to be brutally honest, what brought it on was that I felt trapped.  I was “expected” to sit there, making small talk – if we’d been having a row, I bet it wouldn’t have happened. We of course put it down to the smoke and the film was OK – Anthony Zimmer with Sophie Marceau – so between Marceau and my lady, there were no further occurrences.

It took 15 minutes to recover and during that time, it was very real, quite physically so, not put-on in the least.  And that’s the thing – the mind can trigger physical things quite easily.  And that is why I always go into medical situations making jokes.

For some reason, when I had to do these symposia and conferences over in Russia, often up on stage sitting in a row with all the other dignitaries, couldn’t escape, I was fine.  I was not even worried about the speech [I always had a particular lady as my translator], so that was not an issue – that was work, it was business, it was the project in hand.

No, it was in social situations that I had the issue and so I’d always have to ask the lady if she’d come onto the balcony, that sort of thing – I could only deal one-on-one.  Now I see you looking upwards and I fully admit that that factor was there – of course I was trying it on.

But there was also that other thing lurking back there, it would well up and I had to get out.  By myself or with someone, didn’t matter, although with someone was preferable.

Dancing – hate it. However, if comfortable with someone who likes me and who is a bit crazy too, I can start crazily dancing or close-in dancing, whatever, coz I’m not thinking it through. I love dancing but not when judgemental eyes are on me.  If I’ve started the wild dancing – used to love the rose between the teeth biz – then obviously people are watching and it’s fine.  Is that insane?

What I’m saying, bottom line, is that things sometimes appear to be the product of someone’s whim, someone’s peccadillo, his own bloodymindedness, his anti-social attitude, even his wanting his own way.

I swear that though those things may be present, it’s mainly this other factor that rules, this fear of being trapped in a social situation I can’t escape.  With one other person at a time, I’m fine socially, I can spend days with that person without the slightest issue, doing what she wants, not what I want.

No, it’s always been the social expectation which has gripped me from the back of the neck, working its way forward.  Now you can call that insane and I’d agree if that meant I couldn’t relate to you, dear reader … but I can relate to you as you know and thus that’s not an issue.

In business, on a blog, you can press me all you want because a rhinoceros has no thicker hide than I do when in action, on a roll … it’s only in a relaxed social scene where there is this element of, “I have to get the hell out of here.”

Which plays merry havoc with one’s personal life.

Now, one last thing – have a look at all the blog headers N.O. has used and every time, if you look, you see a foreground scene taking up most of the space, usually set in a room [not always] and then there is always an escape route – something “out there”, “something beyond”, somewhere I can escape to.

You have any eccentricity like that yourself you can bring yourself to mention? Axe murderer?  Whatever?

20 comments for “Social expectations

  1. Distant Relative
    July 24, 2018 at 17:59

    “You have any eccentricity like that yourself you can bring yourself to mention?”

    Doing the opposite of what everyone other than my better half expects of me. 🙂

    “Get me out of here moment” usually happens inside bars and cafes esp French old high-ceilinged buildings as they start to fill up. Something with the acoustics and raised voices brings on earache swiftly followed by a migraine if I don’t exit pronto.

  2. The Blocked Dwarf
    July 24, 2018 at 18:15

    I empathise with the whole ‘let me the f**k outta here!’ thing. My own worst case was in church! A church that was light, roomy and bright-so not claustrophobic in the slightest ; a priest who wrote sermons so good I used to get them on tape. But that Sunday I just HAD to get out.
    To this day I don’t understand what triggered it.

    Upside was the Mother In Law was so offended at this open display of heathenism on my part I think she barely spoke to me the rest of that day, just shot me ‘you put the nails through my hands’ looks. Mind you her daughter, my wife, was pretty pissed at me too.

  3. July 24, 2018 at 18:29

    I experience it too after a certain amount of time around crowds. Though it usually happens towards the end of the day.
    Too much empty mental stimulation, if there is such a thing.
    A sign of introversion.
    The mind needs solitude to breathe after awhile.

  4. July 24, 2018 at 18:32

    Interim comment – thanks, gentlemen.

  5. Ubermouth
    July 24, 2018 at 19:59

    I have a few serious phobias,one being clowns(God,I hate clowns).To me they are scary monsters!
    I also have a phobia when it comes to midgets. Not just looking at them but being around them.They freak me out.It is not me being an asshole,this is a recognized phobia.I think it is their stumpiness.
    I also do not like being trapped(esp with other people(and their fucking germs).This is why I detest flying,or being in someone else’s car,because I can’t do a runner when I need.
    I also do not like people visiting my home(sanctuary) and prefer to visit them so that I can leave when I have had enough.
    I need a lot of alone time,off of planes,away from midgets and clowns and other people’s cooties.
    But other than that,no,no peccadillos to speak of.

    • July 26, 2018 at 05:24

      You have any eccentricity like that yourself you can bring yourself to mention?

      Music. I cannot stand music in public places. I do not see why I have to endure music just because I happen to need to buy something in the supermarket. There is music in all public spaces these days and I detest it. I’ve even encountered the canned music thing in doctors’ waiting rooms!

      Partly it’s because I object to being subjected to some else’s music choices. If I wanted to listen to crap songs from the 80s or whatever I’d buy myself an iPod thingy and load it up with crappy 80s songs. But really I don’t want to listen to music at all. I choose to live a music-free life.

      Imposing music upon others without their consent is rude. In fact it is assault.

      • July 26, 2018 at 06:04

        Yes, I’ve complained to my supermarket about that.

  6. Ubermouth
    July 24, 2018 at 20:01

    *I apologize to any midgets or clowns who may be reading N.O.(Nothing personal).

  7. Toodles McGhee
    July 24, 2018 at 20:24

    None taken, Uber.

  8. Ubermouth
    July 24, 2018 at 21:10

    Toodles Are you a clown or a gidget?

  9. Toodles McGhee
    July 24, 2018 at 21:27

    I am a ‘gidget’.

  10. Toodles McGhee
    July 24, 2018 at 22:04

    Uber, remember the movies…the Gidget and Moon Doggie ones? I am not a dwarf but a shrimp…gidget. I am not just so ‘adorable’ as she is. I make friends with tall people. I can pick up things they drop and they can reach tall shelves for me. The can beat up bullies for me too, like James!

    Every person has a hang up I believe. We all try to cope the best way we can. Mine is similar to James. The other day I was at a funeral…regular hang out these day. Spoke with some folks I had not seen in in years. We were chatting about something and someone asked my opinion. I answered. One of the people there said, ‘You should be a motivational speaker.’ ‘ Ha! Whaaa?’ says I. I followed with,’I am shy, actually an introvert.’ To that most in the group laughed. Another lady joined in saying she understood what I was saying. She said by nature she was an introvert, but that she had become a ‘Trained extrovert.’ Hmmmm, interesting. Maybe. We do what we must.

    Still, if someone does something unseemly with their hand, for example, and then shakes my hand before I had a chance to refuse….bye, bye there goes Toodles in a puddle. I faint nearly every time.

    Swooning,fainting, the vapors whatever…it ain’t pretty and it ain’t fun. I try and stave it off…have little mental devices I try and use. Mind over matter, ‘Toods, don’t give in. Breathe. Put you stupid head down before youuuuuu.’ Plop too late. Better luck next time.

    Oh Cuddles!?! ‘ Yep Sweetie, you did it again. But you are improving.’


    • July 25, 2018 at 01:58

      Coincidentally, Moondoggie and I share a real name, albeit one as generic as one could imagine.

  11. dearieme
    July 24, 2018 at 22:57

    I strongly dislike wearing a tie. I’m not a fan of the lounge suit. I don’t care for the dinner jacket/black tie outfit. If lumbered with any of them I long to escape.

    I have, however, enjoyed being dressed properly for a wedding, with top hat and tailcoat. If you must be dressed up, do it properly and swagger about a bit, that’s what I say. Tweed jacket and kilt is also fine for a wedding.

    I also have an aversion to women who wear lots of make-up, or who stink of scent. I flee their presence.

  12. Toodles McGhee
    July 24, 2018 at 23:17

    When it rains it….fill in the blank. Too much of me real quick like in one day. I have an addendum or correcetion to my previous comment just in case someone, maybe JH read it, ahem.

    I did not mean to imply that Professor was a fainter. What I should have said was that we had, possibly, the fight or flight tendencies in common.

  13. Ubermouth
    July 25, 2018 at 02:25

    Well,maybe your size is a blessing,for if you are a fainter at least you don’t have as far to fall. (Do we look like giants to you?)… any of your people have phobias about tall people or being stepped on or something ?

    I blame James for this thread btw…so let’s turn it into things we love or are obsessed with….

    I have a thing for afros.I just love them.If I did not have radioactive red hair I would have one myself.
    I don’t understand why more people don’t have them,they are so beautiful!When you look at film from the 70s everyone looked so great,then they all went and straightened their hair and bought wigs!Shame.

  14. Toodles McGhee
    July 25, 2018 at 05:01

    I just woke up from dosing. I was commenting on another post and kept falling asleep. If I bore you all, I am so sorry. But can you imagine being me and dosing off in the middle of commenting on a post? I have done that before several weeks ago. I put myself right to sleep. The thing is, I sleep post, go from post to post in my sleep. I must really not have awaken, but instead, I am dream post floating this very minute in this post right now. I can tell you it is one craaaaaazzzzy dream ride I am having. No one will believe this tomorrow when I wake and tell you all about my wild dream post floats. Peaceful sleep out until tooooooommmoorrrrrrooooowzzzz.

  15. July 26, 2018 at 06:05

    Too many to comment on but all read, cheers.

  16. Nunya
    July 28, 2018 at 16:53

    I have a serious dislike for noise and unruly children, especially in public. Oh, and people . Well, not all . Older and less tolerant of certain behaviors.

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