I usually notice people’s shoes before their eye color. [That probably sounds like the introduction to a coming-out-of-the-closet memoir…it’s not…not that I have a problem with those; I haven’t really read any…or the people who write them; I don’t really know many. I just…] I meant shoe color, and eye color, not make and model. I don’t know shoe brands like I know cars…er…used to know cars. Let me start again.
I tend to walk through the world staring at the ground or past people. I rarely look at their faces. Probably just my inner introvert exerting control. Per usual. It’s not that I don’t like people [though working retail, it’s hard not to…sometimes]; I hate small talk. I suppose, I feel I don’t have anything to say. I’m at my best on the periphery of a conversation making asides and hilarious comments [ask everyone].
So, it makes things a bit awkward when I go to church. Not because I think the holy water will burn my skin (still surprised when it doesn’t?), but because I look for an open seat and not people I know. Well, I look for people I know, but that’s while the line for communion passes.
Occasionally, I’ll sit near a person I know. However, I won’t recognize them or even look for them, until after the service has started. By that time, it’s too late to move. All the seat are taken or I’m sandwiched between families. So I just stare at the person I know for a second and count how many rows away they are. [Usually enough to see them, not enough to reach across an offer a handshake when it’s time to share peace.]
So, instead of inching closer, I pray they don’t notice me (perfect place for prayer, not the best execution). I resolve to say hello once the service ends (really, though, how many people believe that’ll happen?). However, the person often leaves right after…at least that was the case yesterday. Thus sparing me the awkward, “I saw you too late to sit near you” or the “I forgot to brush my teeth this morning so I sat in the very back” or even “Hey”. All too awkward to contemplate.
So, um, thanks for leaving and allowing that awkward moment to pass [I like to wave at them, too]. Maybe next time I’ll notice sooner. …Probably not. Sorry (not sorry?).