Greetings and salutations, Lady Estrogen readers! My name is Alexandra. I have a blog called The Tsaritsa Sez, and I have a confession to make: I suck at story telling.
Before you click out of this post, please let me clarify: I'm not speaking of my skills in spinning a written yarn, or shooting the breeze with friends and family. My problem is that I can be quite a Nervous Nelly around people who I am just meeting for the first time. I tend to put my foot in my mouth, stutter, say something nonsensical, and generally act like a overly-caffeinated spazoid. It doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough to be simultaneously frustrating and entertaining.
Just the other day I was trying to describe a funny scene from my favorite TV show, Psych, to my friend Jillian and her friend Anna, who I had only met once before, and I just. couldn't. spit. it. out. I stumbled all over my words, dropped in a lot of "you know"s and "uuuhmmmm"s, and by the time I got to the end I could see that no one really cared or understood what I was trying to convey. Unintelligible-- that's me when I get nervous.
This isn't an uncommon issue. There are plenty of people who get nervous when they have to speak in front of others, which is why improv acting, speech-writing classes, and toast-master groups are so popular, to train people to overcome that anxiety. This might be totally made up, but I heard somewhere that people fear public speaking more than they do death (makes sense, as death is inevitable, but you can sure get out of having to give a speech if you feign a sore throat convincingly enough).
What is kind of silly about my story-telling flubbage is the fact that I love acting and being on stage. I'm a natural ham.
So what's the problem when it comes to recounting something to a new acquaintance? Maybe it's the close proximity? Maybe I'm worried about how my breath smells? Or maybe it's because I'm too busy wondering if the other person is understanding me correctly and hopefully not thinking I'm a weirdo that the section of my brain that gives me the ability to string together an intelligible and cohesive sentence gets neglected? I have no idea.
One especially funny situation happened when I was fifteen years old and working at the Rita's Water Ice stand on South Street. It was summer, the weather was excruciatingly hot and humid, and there was some big basketball championship going on between the Philadelphia 76ers and the LA Lakers, so there were a lot of people in town, and thus a lot of people perusing the touristy shops of South Street and stopping by Rita's to get a cold treat.
On one of these hot, summer days, I had two guys from Los Angeles come to buy water ice. They told me that they were sports reporters, in town to write about the games, and had never heard of it water ice before but wanted to try it. "It's kinda in-between sorbet and a snow-cone. It's smoother than a snow-cone, but icier than sorbet," I told them. They seemed pleased and picked their flavors, and as I scooped their water ice I tried to think of a funny joke to tell them before they left, you know, just to be fun and give them something to remember about Philadelphia people.
I handed the reporters their ices and, not thinking, said, "Don't worry, I didn't spit in it or anything."
In my head, it kind of made sense. What I thought was implied was: I know you're from Los Angeles and that your city's team is in a big battle with my city's team, but don't worry-- just because we're not rooting for the same team, doesn't mean I would do anything as crazy as spit in your water ice.
It was a pretty dumb thing to say, and might have been funny if I had said it to a friend, but it was not appropriate to say to a stranger, let alone a customer.
The two reporters looked at me, shocked. One of them said to me, clearly disgusted by my attempt at a joke, and said "Great! You didn't spit in it? Is that the slogan here?" I just stared at them with a weak smile,dumbfounded by my own stupidity-- surprised at what I said, and surprised at how they reacted. They walked away with a look of utter horror on their faces.
For reasons which may or may not seem obvious, I haven't told many people this story. I stumble through my words and make bad jokes and say things without thinking on occasion, but this LA/spit ice incident was definitely the worst blunder I've ever made. So embarrassing, which is why I'm telling this story in a guest post.
Thanks for reading! If you like what you've seen so far, please check out my blog. In addition to writing nonsense about the nonsense I encounter, I publish a literary zine and am working on my first hip-hop EP. Much love to Lady Estrogen for letting me share my story on her blog xox
Thanks so much to The Tsaritsa for hanging out over here this week while I'm slumming it in NYC.
We have been bloggy mates for quite a while now, but it was THIS VIDEO of hers that made me fall in lust. Watch it; so funny! And you'll probably want a peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich afterwards - just be warned.