Living in New York, there are a plethora of pet peeves to choose from – insanely bad drivers, multitudes of rude people, criminally high costs of living, and an overpopulation problem that makes me feel as though I’m being herded like cattle whenever I leave the house (okay, so perhaps I’m a bit claustrophobic – which you would already know if you read my entry entitled “These Are a Few of My Scariest Things”). But the one pet peeve that rises above the rest is dealing with social morons.
Every social function has at least one. The social moron is the person I try to avoid making contact with because I know if I even offer them a curt greeting, it’s all over. I might as well dig a shallow grave for myself and jump in because in just a few minutes, I’m going to wish I was dead anyway. In an effort to prevent this from happening at a party, I will sometimes enlist the help of a “rescue buddy” – someone who will swoop in and save me in the event that I wasn’t quick enough to get away.
The social moron will talk ad nauseam about subjects that make most people pray for the apocalypse just as a means to escape the conversation. They are masters at the art of locating the most tolerant person in the room (someone too polite to walk away), and then backing them into a corner so as to limit their chance of escape. They also tend to be close talkers (yet another pet peeve – like I said before, I’m claustrophobic). But I think that beyond their inability to sense reasonable personal distance, they also subconsciously use close talking in order to block out every other person from their victim’s periphery, which unfortunately for the victim, may also include their rescue buddy.
The social moron’s mouth has no off switch once they’ve cornered their kind-hearted victim. If I’m unlucky enough to fall prey to the social moron, I will soon find out about their chronic problem with anal leakage, their Aunt Janice’s dreams of becoming a world famous porn star, and how their six-year-old son won a local spelling bee with the word “engorged” (sounds like a word Aunt Janice might have taught him). If my rescue buddy hasn’t saved me by this point (which he or she will pay dearly for later), I usually resort to sending out telepathic S.O.S signals to everyone else in the surrounding area – mentally pleading for someone to save me from this person’s verbal diarrhea.
The social moron is the only one who would chance discussing such mind-numbing topics because they are genetically incapable of realizing when they are boring the life right out of people. I believe that for these people, the portion of the brain that enables us to decipher body language or pick up on social cues is dead (or at the very least misfiring). You can break eye contact, nod off, drool, or zone-out to fantasies about them choking on their own tongue – all to no avail. Nothing will trigger a pause in the conversation because as far as the social moron is concerned, you’re riveted…. even if you haven’t spoken a word in the last half hour.
And because I’m too damn nice to walk away or yell, “Shut the hell up!” at the top of my lungs, I’ll be stuck in the corner nodding like an idiotic bobble-head doll, with an endless stream of monotone uh-huhs coming out of my mouth – all the while wondering if there is a god, and if so, why he seems to hate me so much.
As a parent, I don’t get the opportunity to go out to parties or social gatherings too often, and I feel like my childless evening is wasted when I have to listen to a social moron go on for hours about his reoccurring hangnail. If I wanted to listen to senseless prattling, I could have saved myself the trouble of getting all dolled up, stayed home, and watched reruns of Sarah Palin’s Alaska.