Piggy-backing on what Tessie’s hilarious post mentioned today, I cannot order coffee correctly. I’m one of those people who stares at the overhead menu, eyes glazing over the options and sizes and then when it’s my turn, there are many “uhhhs,” and “likes” and it’s as if I learned how to speak English by reading Sweet Valley High.
And if I pay with cash, I try to balance out my idiocy by making a grand gesture of plopping my quarter into the the tip jar. If the barista’s back is turned, I throw it in so that the little clink of my quarter is so audible that everyone in the store knows that I can’t be that much of an idiot because LOOK! I am putting money into a money receptacle! I can do that! Even if it takes me three minutes to spit out, “tall white chocolate mocha.”
I can’t order under pressure. I don’t suffer social anxiety so much as after-the-fact anxiety, in which I obsessively analyze the stupidity that just spews from my big bloated mouth. For example, I tried to sound all cool to my rowing enthusiast collegues when I shared that I would have loved to be the “coxswain.” You know that little guy/gal who repeats, “Stroke.” I’m sure there’s a lot more involved than that instruction, but I can’t think of another position that would allow me to fake a British accent. And only after my feigned stint in talking up things I have no idea about, I learned that it’s not pronounced cox-swain, but more like cox-sin. (See also: the time I pronounced it HIPPO-CRATES) And then they knew I had never really been to a regatta and that the last boat I was on was the one that brought me to America.