The attention. All the smiling. The unsettling feeling of guilt when people whom you never expected it from (and who you never gave anything to) give you gifts. The expectation of a dinner/party/celebration of any kind. The difficulty of gift giving. The awkwardness of being sung "Happy Birthday" to. The inevitable silly question of "How does it feel to be [insert new age] years old?"
It's all very exhausting, and I'm always so relieved when the day is over.
2. Mothers- and Fathers-Day
I hate those two days. They are minefields just waiting to explode. All they do is invoke feelings of guilt and inadequacy in me. I'm reminded all day (and also in the week leading up to them) that my relationship to my parents isn't as close as it is for other people. But then I remind myself that at least I still have parents, and feel ungrateful and guilty.
Don't even get me started on the complicated emotions associated with being a stepmother/not having a relationship with all of them/not having biological kids.
In my opinion, those two days make people with a good relationship to their parents feel obligated to buy something (best case scenario), and the ones who have issues with their own parents/with their kids/can't have children feel awful. It's a lose/lose situation.
My workplace is a huge fan of potlucks. I am not. I guess they are great for people who love to cook, but again, I don't. I NEVER know what to bring. I always feel slightly judged. If it's not planned ahead, there will be seven dishes of dips and chips/veggies, five salads, and no mains. If it was planned ahead and there are meat- and side-dishes to be heated up, it will take FOREVER if all you have is one microwave and one little toaster oven. By the time the last dish is heated up, the first one is cold again.
Then there is the obligatory Q&A of who brought what, which is always embarrassing if you are the one with the sad little Caesar salad from a bag.
What are some good, easy (!) potluck options? Please help!
Don't get me wrong, I like compliments as much as the next girl. Who doesn't? I just don't ever know how to respond to them exactly. Is a simple "Thank you" sufficient? Should I elaborate more? Compliment back? What's the proper etiquette here?
5. Small talk
Oh my gosh, am I ever bad at it. There are people in this world who can talk to anyone about anything, and I envy them deeply. What a gift to have!
I'm the one on the other end of the spectrum, who doesn't talk to anyone she doesn't know. I have never been on a blind date, because the idea is absolutely terrifying to me: What in the world would I talk to a stranger about? I don't have the faintest idea.
There is nothing greater in the world than meeting a like-minded soul you feel a connection to. Conversation flows freely and effortlessly, and I absolutely love to talk to those people for hours, about nothing and everything. It's one of the great joys of human relationships!
But the art of small talk with people I either don't know or don't care for, eludes me. I don't see the point, and find it beyond exhausting.
What are some things you are weird about?