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Tag Archives: social rituals

Friday is my birthday.  In lieu of presents, there is something I would like (many of) you to do for me.  Given that A Shy Guy Caught My Eye is the most-viewed post on this blog so far, I’m guessing that more than one of you can relate to this comic:

If you read and thought “Oh man, that’s me.  I like ___ so much, but I don’t want to ruin our friendship,” do something for Captain Awkward.

Just ask ____ out already. On a date.  A real, live date.  A DATE-date, where you make it clear that a date is happening between two people who are on a date.  With each other.

Listen:  Chances are very high that _____ already knows how you feel or at least has picked up on your Firthing.

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Until you guys write me letters, I’m just going to keep posting about weird social interactions, okay?

I grew up on the East Coast, but have lived in the Midwest (Chicago) for the last 10 years, and there are some distinct cultural differences.   Once I went out on the world’s most boring first date, and we discussed some of these.

Him: “I went to Massachusetts once.  They called it ‘soda’ instead of ‘pop.'”

Me: “Yes.  And we call water fountains ‘bubblers.'”

Him: “Wow, that’s so weird.”

Sadly I did not have a ninja smoke bomb handy to make my escape, so there was like 90 more minutes of this crap while we dutifully masticated our Thai food and agreed blandly that we should totally do this again sometime.

Anyway, what I want to talk about here is the Midwestern practice of offering other people the thing you really want before you’ll let yourself have it  Anyone who lives here and who has been to any kind of baby shower or other LadyParty has watched Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox enacted on a plate of brownies knows what I’m talking about.  “Do you want the last one?”  “No, you take it.”  “Let’s cut it in half.”

When I moved out here, I didn’t know about this.

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