On the fourth of July I was playing bags over at Slinger's house, and although it's a wonderful game of douchebaggery, usually I'm not bad. Not first draft or anything, but decent enough where playing is not some thoroughly humiliating experience and partnering up with me isn't a chore. I hold my own.
But on that day, I was god awful. I couldn't properly throw, the bags were heavy, the boards were slick, I can make excuses until the Rapture, but the fact is I sucked, and I knew it, and I was pissed.
So CrazyLiz made a mockery of my sad skills.
Normally, I crave that kind of attention, and completely prefer some good-spirited ridicule to relentless encouragement. For some reason, however, this time aggravation set in. Big time. To the point where instead of tossing a bag at the board, I threw it at her laughing head.
Mind you, this was not some slick fastball, it was the awkward, elbow-first rainbow throw with the motor functions of a three-year old, and I completely missed her head and nearly knocked over a Tiki torch.
Which just pissed me off even more. Here I am, someone who has a small amount of pride in her skills in all things tossing after twenty years of mediocre athleticism, and I looked like a complete amateur asshole. Infuriated, punctuated by deep emotional chagrin for the mere fact that I was, in fact, pissed off at something so pointless.
Perhaps I can only take a beatdown when I'm not already upset. If I had started self-ridicule, that gives everyone free reign to jeer all they want. But until I'm comfortable with making fun of myself, I can't take the criticism.
So for the past two weeks, I've been afraid to participate in things, whether I think I'm decent or not. I'm afraid that if I try, I'll get derided for failing.
This is not a good mindset to have, and it's fairly new for me. Usually in those situations I would just throw myself into things, and fuck fear. But lately I've been holding myself back, like when I get intimidated by other bicyclists in the bike lane.
Obviously, with certain things I've always held myself back, but not something as fucking futile as bags. Or Rock Band. Or karaoke, or softball.
CrazyLiz can't be blamed for this at all, because she knows that I've got that masochistic attraction to public mockery, but for some reason, at that point in time, it was uninvited. I'm not upset with her at all, I'm upset with myself. If anyone had made fun of me I would have overreacted the same annoying way.
I wonder what spurred that reaction in me?
Most likely it was because the other players were so much better than I, and frustration set in. When people are obviously and painfully good at something, I'm always apprehensive to join in, as if I'll ruin their game. I shouldn't be, I shouldn't have that self-doubt. But it exists.
It doesn't make it much easier that my friends all seem to be so undeniably good at something. What am I good at? Well, I'm very good at shoving my nose into other people's business. Nigh unbeatable. Usually, though, I think my involvement is invited and I just run with it real far away, which is odd because I can't run fast at all, and you'd think they'd catch up with me and snatch their problems right back, but instead they just watch me skedaddle in slow motion and wait for me to return with solvent.
So I'm good at that.
I feel like things I used to feel pride in doing are being ripped out of me and tacked onto a tray for dissection, cheapened alongside everyone else's innards.
Blogging is like bouncing my self-perception off of others. I spend so much time giving welcomed advice, analyzing my friends, because it's what I do, and sometimes I feel like I would like to be analyzed myself.
And then I realize that I'm acting completely self-obsessed, and should shut up and start doing again, but I seem to have misplaced my balls.