or, Natural Selection Should Have Picked me off Generations Ago
I was at this party a couple weeks ago. It was an industry thing hosted by SoundLounge, and it was packed. (actual photo below)
Now I’m not the best at social events. I’m not anti-social by any means, I’m just not that good at them. And I do genuinely do my best, but let’s just say I slept through my ‘Talking to People You Don’t Know’ class. I mean I barely passed. And I probably would have completely failed, had I not copied off the pretty girl who sat next to me (obviously the person for whom this class was the easiest.) Hey, she owed me one for doing her math homework for 14 years…
And in this kind of mega-social event I just fail. My roommate JSchild was the one who actually had the in and was invited to go, and so he convinced me to go too. He told me it would be a great place to do some networking. Meet some other industry peeps, maybe some casting people, and also just hang out and have a good time.
Which is all true, except for when I’m in a room that packed, the idea of “just hang out and have a good time” doesn’t really exist for me.
I end up just standing around not really talking to anyone because I have yet to learn how to say hello on my own. Anxiety creeps in as if these new people are all the “Strangers” we all learned about in elementary school who are going to offer me candy and puppies to get into their nondescript white van.
So I end up just standing by myself.
Then I start to feel like everyone is looking at me thinking, “Who’s that awkward guy just standing there not talking to anyone. Has anyone seen him talking to anyone? No, he’s just standing there… “
So now I have to move around and look like I’m “working the room.” But again I don’t really know how to talk to anyone because I’ve yet to realize that most New Yorkers aren’t going to shove me in a van and drive off with me because A) I have too much facial hair and in the right light look a little like a Jihadist, and B) nobody in New York owns a car.
And so what I end up doing is more like pushing my way in and through people moving around the room without stopping. That way whenever someone looks over at me or I brush by them they think “Oh, he has to get to the other side of the room, that’s why he’s not talking to anybody. He’s needed elsewhere.” But if anyone actually took the time just watch me, they’d see me basically doing laps around the room, not really stopping to talk to anybody, or do anything, just getting sweatier and sweatier as the night progresses, hoping that I appear normal, and inconspicuous.
And it occurred to me at this “party” and I do use the term with quote marks, that if natural selection is to be believed, then this awkwardness should have been bred out generations ago.
Cause the way natural selection works is the more that you are the type of person people like to have babies with, the more babies you’ll have, and the more those types of traits and genes get passed down to your babies. And likewise, if you’re not making lots of babies, you’re not passing down those traits that make people not want to have babies with you.
And so back in caveman times it was either hunt, kill, and make little cavebabies- or you’re not passing down your genes. So if there’s ever a socially awkward caveman, who got teased and picked on his whole cavelife, who has a hard time talking to someone he doesn’t know, especially pretty girl cavewomen, he’s also going to have a hard time making little cavebabies and passing down his awkward-genes. And so in theory, it eventually gets bred out.
Now I get that on occasion there would be some awkward, ugly-looking, comedian/entertainer caveman who cracks everyone up with his drunk pterodactyl impression.
And I’m sure there was the occasional pretty-girl-cavewoman, who took interest in his awkward, yet strangely endearing ways. But if he was never able to get his act together, stop talking about how awkward he is, and hunt something, he, along with his pretty-girl-cavewife, and his awkwardly-intorverted-caveson, would all starve to death. Thus no longer continuing the awkward gene.
So my question is. What gives?
Shouldn’t I have been bred out ages ago?
And am I the only one who thinks this?