Archive for August 8th, 2010


Today is laundry day, hence the sparkly black tank top.

The last two days were pretty tiring, I'm still beat.

This is what I look like mid-yawn. XD

When I was a kid, I was trained pretty much from a young age to be polite to people. Always say please and thank you, and be gracious when possible. I learned that it was a good idea to take my own plates to the sink when eating at someone else’s house, and not to get things from their fridge/freezer without permission. I like to think that I’m a polite person and a not too annoying houseguest, but sometimes I wonder.

Part of my anxiety problems are how I think people may look at me. I’m extremely self-conscious and find it difficult to do things that may draw negative attention to myself. This wasn’t always the case, as my mother could tell you stories about some of the bizarre outfits I put together to wear in my school days (a fuschia fuzzy hat covered in pins paired with a giant stuffed snake was the one I remember most). But while I don’t mind being “out there” in a setting where I know I won’t get too badly shunned (conventions or doll meets, these days), I find it very hard in any setting where I’m unsure of my reception. This is why, when I tell people I’m a future opera singer and they ask me to sing, I often refuse. While I know in a music school or a teaching conference my abilities will be appreciated, not every random person actually likes opera. And even those people who don’t mind the classical style of singing may not appreciate songs in other languages or certain periods of classical music (I have yet to meet a random person who wasn’t bored by Handel’s arias).

So when it comes to staying at other people’s houses, I am often anxious about making a good impression. While this anxiety does lessen somewhat over time, it’s rare that I’ll help myself to anything in a kitchen that’s not my own, even at (for instance) my best friend’s house, where I’ve known her and her family for about ten years now, and I’m certain no one would care if I grabbed a soda or a candy bar or what have you. Of course, then there’s the anxiety I get about whether I’m forcing my host to do more for me than they would prefer, since if I don’t get my own drink, they’ll have to get it for me. It’s a double-edged sword, in a lot of ways.

I’ve never really had an experience where anyone took me to task for this behavior. No one has ever accused me of being too polite or not polite enough at another person’s house, although my mother has had words with me about not being polite enough in my own (I vividly remember one time when my aunts were visiting and I was licking a bowl that I’d eaten ice cream out of, she was mortified and I got an earful later).

I think part of me will always feel awkward in another person’s space. Without being specifically told that doing x, y, or z is okay, I’m always going to err on the safe side and not do it. And I’ll always do my best to provide a decent environment for my guests as well, although my idea of “decent” may not meet theirs (okay, I just really hate cleaning, I admit it). Just rest assured, I won’t ever be angry if you help yourself to any of my food and drink, in fact it makes me happy when other people are comfortable enough to do that, since I am so rarely comfortable doing it myself at their houses. XD


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