Someone called me quirky recently. I was confused and a bit insulted. I am not quirky. At least I don't think I'm quirky.
"Quirky" suggests a gleeful pride in your own peculiarities, whereas I don't think I'm very peculiar at all. Everyone else is peculiar for thinking I'm peculiar. I am just me. Peculiar is highly underused, as far as words are concerned.
But this guy was just so lame. I have to talk to strangers at networking events; it's a non-profit hazard. But do they all have to suck at the art of conversation? I don't give a shit about where you went to college. I don't think it's interesting that one time you and your buddies took a road trip to Miami and it was so wild, you just like got drunk and just acted stupid, your friends are so crazy! You're just like the guys in Entourage!
Sometimes having a conversation with strangers is like...it's like hypothetically, I'm fucking awesome at double dutch. But my turners are a T-Rex and a kangaroo and their quaint little arms just ain't fit for rope skipping. So I get all tangled up because they just don't have the skill to play, and after encouraging them to try and coaxing with candied meats and repeated failures at both, I snag the rope in frustration and jump alone while they watch. And I'm hammering the shit out of tricks and spins, I'm a butterfly on cocaine and I try to pass them the rope and they just look at me, and the kangaroo giggles to the T-rex, "someone has a lot of time on their hands. You're quirky." Fuck you. I just gave an Olympic oratory performance, you jealous fuck.
"You can't just ask people if they can hear punctuation," CrazyLiz says. "It's weird."
"How is that weird? Have you ever had a conversation with someone who only speaks in run-on sentences? It's infuriating, and I never get a turn."
"But you have to do small talk first, that's how it works. Those are the rules."
"Those rules are fucking stupid. Stupid."
"People need to be eased into your thoughts sometimes," she explains lightly.
"That's ridiculous. If you can't play, I don't want to talk to you anyway."
CrazyLiz laughs. "You are such a bitch."
"I have rhetorical fucking standards, is what it is. Quirky. They called me quirky. Who the fuck are you?"
"Well Rass, you've got your quirks."
I remain silent in protest and rub my forehead, because I've been drinking for about nine hours.
"Okay, for example: you bought a pair of boots. Instead of saying, 'hey, do you like my new shoes?' you throw yourself into a ten-minute expose about 'gratuitous boots' and 'buckle-fashion' and 'equestrian-decked pedestrians' or whatever, and you can say it to me because we've been friends for fifteen years, but strangers are just going to think you're crazy."
"They can't handle my shit. Charlie Sheen could handle my shit. And then this other girl starts talking to us and she's all adorable with big deer eyes and boring and she laughs at everything, and the guys are like spilling out of their seats to snag her attention. I'm sorry that I'll only laugh at your jokes when they're fucking funny."
"I thought that was a different conversation...didn't you already tell me this?"
"It happens all the fucking time."
"Okay, Rass, I'm going to bed, I can't have the same conversation again. I'm tired."
"It's just fucking bullshit. 'Oh, you drove a car? And you had a beer? In Miami? That's sooooo funny.' Spoons and gagging. Fucking trollop."
"It's six AM, can't we talk about this tomorrow?"
"And it's like, is that what they want? They would rather talk to someone who just fucking fawns over their insignificance and offers no actual thoughts or sentences to a conversation and I hand them fucking gemstones and ingots and it's like, 'oh, you're quirky. Oh, you're feisty.' Fuck you. I am brilliant."