Friday, March 25th
I end up spending a lot of time by myself out here. I’ve been working on videos, doing things online, just a lot of stuff on the computer. I don’t mind it too much, I can get by. I don’t think we’re meant to by ourselves too much though. The greatest example of that is the fact that we punish prisoners by forcing them into solitary confinement. Isn’t that crazy? We’re saying, “You know what’s worse than being surrounded by hardened criminals? Not being surrounded by hardened criminals. Not being surrounded by anybody.” If we need proof that we are created to be social, look no further.
Today, I went to Starbucks (again) and worked on reel stuff. I watched some basketball and then went and shot baskets with my friend, Ross. Well, we shot for awhile and then played HORSE and One Bounce, a decidedly childlike driveway basketball sort of game. As far as I know my childhood friend and neighbor, Andy invented it. It was a Friday night and I was playing basketball outside. It felt very late ’80s to me.
When you spend a lot of time on your own you crave social interaction, but when you get it it’s hard for it to feel natural. You don’t know if your’e talking too much or not enough, or if your eye contact has crossed over into creepy.
Here are examples of how social responses are between the socially well adjusted and the socially starved. I will be playing the role of the socially starved in these scenarios. These might be my recent interactions word for word.
-Socially Well Adjusted Person: “Yeah, sure.”
-Jeff: “Oh yeah, I’m not using it. Actually, I’d have to have two computers to have to use both outlets, and I most definitely do not have two computers. Ha, I barely have one. Hey, it’s been tough finding work. You have pretty eyes.”
McDonald’s Employee: “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?
-Socially Well Adjusted Person: “Yeah, I’ll take the Combo #2 with a Dr. Pepper for the drink.”
-Jeff: “Oooh, I just don’t know what I want yet. I like the McNuggets, but I don’t know if I’m feeling it tonight. Burger sounds good, but I don’t want to get the runs later. What do you recommend? What do you think of Wendy’s? Are you supposed to say you don’t like it, but maybe you really do? Where do you live?”
Grocery Store Cashier: “That will be $41.82”
-Socially Well Adjusted Person: “Okay, tell me when I can swipe my card.”
-Jeff: “Oh cool, it’s half of it. See, 41 times two is 82, crazy. The price. Look at it again.How often does that happen? Like never I bet. $36.72 would be another example. If I take out the Life Cereal does it make it $36.72? That would be crazy. Go ahead, try it, just for curiosity’s sake. I like to jog, how about you?”
Person Walking Down the Street: (Silence)
-Socially Well Adjusted Person: (Silence)
-Jeff: “Ooooh,what kind of dog is that? I have a Corgi and a mutt? Who are you talking to on the phone? Can you believe the weather? I mean it’s usually nice, but this is gorgeous! Hey, have you ever seen Fried Green Tomatoes? Anyway, it’s on my Netflix queue if you want to come over sometime.
Michelle, the Wife: “Hey hun, how are you today?”
-Socially Well Adjusted Person: “Great dear, tell me about your day.”
-Jeff: “My tummy is a little upset. Today, I went to Starbucks. Oh my gosh, there was a guy there who looked just like a cross between Morgan Freeman and the guy from the old Dell commercials. After that I played basketball with Ross, it was fun. Have you ever played One Bounce? I think Andy invented it. Anyway, I’ll explain all the rules to you. First, one person throws it off the backboard…”