Why I get on better with people I’ve never actually met

*Note* I am not writing this post because I want people to feel sorry for me. As with most things on this blog I am writing it for me. Because it’s something I’ve been thinking about and getting it down on paper (figuratively speaking) is the best way for me to a) make sense of it and b) get it out of my brain so I don’t have to lie awake all night wondering why I can’t just be normal. End of note. Now on to the blog post.

I don’t deal well with social situations. Never have actually. I’m stupidly shy and just not a people person. Plus I lack social skills. I have no idea what to say to people I either don’t know or only know slightly, so when I’m placed in a situation where I’m supposed to socialise with them I tend to go really, really quiet and wait for someone to start a conversatiton with me. This usually leads to people thinking I’m either antisocial or miserable… not the kind of person you really want to start a conversation with. So they don’t and I don’t and once again I go home having had a really boring night and feeling like a complete failure.

That’s one scenario. Then there are the times I try too hard. I talk too much, laugh too loudly and for too long and say inappropriate things. The problem is I don’t even realise I’m going to say something inappropriate until it’s already out of my mouth and people appear uncomfortable, embarassed or start looking at me like I’m some kind of alien. Funnily enough this doesn’t exactly endear people to me either. In fact, I think they probably prefer the me who doesn’t talk. After all, antisocial is better than embarassing and weird.

Another factor is that I have low emotional intelligence. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any emotions… of course I have emotions. I’m not a robot! Although sometimes I wish I was… then someone could just reprogram me and I wouldn’t be here now boring the internet with my problems. No, not having emotional intelligence has nothing to do with lacking emotions… it just means I don’t understand my emotions or have trouble dealing with them. It also means I have trouble recognising and understanding other people’s emotions… so I can upset/offend/annoy someone without even realising it. Or, more often, I will notice that something’s wrong but I have no idea why. In my mind whatever it is I said was perfectly normal and nothing to get upset about. I have to really think about what I’ve said before I can work out what was wrong with it… and even then I can’t always see why it was that bad. Add to that the fact that I practically can’t manage to say three sentences without adding a major dose of sarcasm and you’ll see why I have trouble making friends. And the reason I can get on with bloggy people and penpals? Because it’s so much easier for me to realise how things are going to come across when I see them written down.

As I’m sure you can guess, this lack of emotional intelligence also makes its contribution to the not-so-good side of my relationship. Obviously it’s not our only problem, and not everything that’s wrong is my fault, but it is a major factor, which is actually part of the reason I’m writing this post. You see, yesterday the boyfriend and I made a deal. He will tell me his problems, rather than bottling them up and pulling away from me, and I will try to be nicer.  So this blog is part of my attempt to figure out how to be nice, because honestly… I’m not sure I have it in me…

The perils of living alone

The observant among you may have noticed that it’s been a whole week since I last blogged. That’s because this is the first day since then that I’ve actually felt up to posting anything. You see, last Saturday, while tidying the flat, I gave myself concussion – which just goes to show housework is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. There I was sweeping up underneath the boiler, went to stand up and *BANG* went my head against the boiler. Which is made of metal, as boilers tend to be. It hurt… a lot. Six hours later I still had a headache. And three hours after that. In fact, I had a headache until Thursday when I finally, finally started feeling almost normal again. The NHS direct website told me if it was just a headache and no other symptoms I should be fine, but the first night I should have someone wake me up every 2 hours and ask me simple question, like my name or address. Yeah… easier said than done when you live alone and your boyfriend is in LA. So I set my phone to wake me up every two hours, just to see if I would wake up. Not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t mind, but you have to remember I wasn’t thinking straight…. Anywaaay, by Monday I still had a headache and Jan was home, so I got him to make me a doctor’s appointment for after work, which is where I was told I probably had mild concussion and prescribed some painkillers which tasted awful (apparantly they contain raspberry and cream flavouring… I will never look at a raspberry the same way again!), but they worked. For the most part anyway. Sitting in front of a computer all day trying to translate did nothing for my poor head (which is why I didn’t really feel up to blogging either) but as the boss and his wife were off last week I couldn’t really take time off as my colleague would have been alone. But never mind, I am better now and today Jan took me to a furniture shop and I finally bought lights for my ceilings. Can you believe the Germans actually take the lights away with them when they move out of a place? Up to now I’ve been surviving with lamps!

Anyway, I am off to spend some quality time with the boyfriend. I promise to come and catch up on all your blogs tomorrow though. Don’t worry, the flat is tidy at the moment so I won’t be giving myself concussion again any time soon…

Extracts from my life

Alternative title: Can’t be bothered to write a proper post so here’s a list of whatever randomness comes into my head. With bullet points.

  • Yesterday was the boyfriend’s birthday. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that! He is now 29 (nearly 30! Next year I am sooo going to take the mick!). I didn’t get to celebrate with him though – his “company”, for want of a better word (a research centre is not exactly a company really) is involved in some trade fair in Hannover and because the project he’s working on is being presented he’s gone up there to help set up. Then he’s going to his parents for a few days so I’m all alone until Thursday. He’s been away so much lately I’m starting to feel think we might as well still be in a long distance relationship!
  • I feel a little better today. At least my sore throat has gone. Instead I just have a head that feels like it’s stuffed with wet cotton wool (you know, like too heavy and too light at the same time). And a blocked nose. But at least the sore throat has gone…
  • I made a mistake a work this morning – I forgot to send our translation memory file to a translator (don’t worry, I don’t expect you to know what that is). The mistake is fairly minor but if it hadn’t been discovered in time (which it was) and sorted out it would have meant more work for the bosses wife when the translation comes back, so obviously she was not impressed. Later my colleague and I had some training on making offers for some of the more complicated jobs we get. I ended up completely confused and now feel like an incompetent idiot. Yay!
  • Jan bought me some perfume on Saturday. It was a belated Valentine’s present, because he wasn’t here on the day itself and hasn’t had time to buy it since. I’ve wanted this perfume for ages and ages, ever since I spotted it at Newcastle airport when I went on holiday with the family, and now I have it. This makes me very happy! In case anyone was wondering, the perfume is Liberte by Cacherel.
  • I actually managed to get most of my practice portfolio done for uni – I wrote the commentary and translation difficulties section on my tram journey home. Now I just have to type them up then I can hand the thing in and get started on the scary part – the portfolio that is actually going to be assessed.
  • I was supposed to call the bank today to make an appointment for getting some forms signed. I forgot to take the card with the number on it to work with me though, and by the time I got home they were already closed. Cue more of the feeling like an incompetent idiot (I’m sensing a pattern here…)

That will do I think. I’ve managed to get a laundry slot in 20 minutes time and need to sort out what I actually want to wash. Then there’s food to cook, more stuff to pack and practice coursework to be typed up.
Am I starting to sound like a stuck record yet I wonder?…

Other people’s children

After yesterday’s epically long blog post (sorry about that!) I shall try to make this one a little shorter…

So, I went into the kitchen yesterday to make a cup of tea and ended up staying there for over an hour.  Two people who used to live here were there with their 4 month old daughter. The baby was asleep when I came in, but after a while she woke up and I got to meet her.
It was great to see the three of them. C&K seem really happy and the baby is gorgeous – she has the most beautiful blue eyes (I know babies are born with blue eyes but I think hers will stay blue now). I’m really pleased for them – but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel just a teeny bit jealous. Not that I want a baby now, or even any time soon (oh God, please no! I will murder anyone that even suggests it (watch out Grandma!)). But… I do want children at some point, and preferably while I’m still young enough to enjoy them (and while my remaining Grandparents are still alive – my dad’s mum is desperate to be a Great-Grandma. Desperate I tell you!) I also want to a) move in with someone, b) get engaged and c) get married at some point in the future. But right now I honestly can’t see any of those things happening. I have a boyfriend who would rather live with someone he was never even all that friendly with (they are part of the same circle of friends but what they had before getting a flat together was more of a business relationship) because “he doesn’t know what he wants”. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but surely if he doesn’t know what he wants then what he has can’t be it. Because once you’ve found what you want you know it. And I know I’m difficult (I sure as hell wouldn’t want to put up with me!), but I do try. And I love him. Surely that must count for something? So yeah, I promised to try for another year (Remember my resolutions?). And after that? Who knows. Maybe it’s about time I started getting over my hatred of cats…

I also went out yesterday afternoon and bought a birthday card for my friend’s son who is one soon. Then I came home and wrapped up the presents I’ve bought for him, ready to send them to England next week. Yup, yesterday really was all about other people’s children.

Oh yes, and I bought myself a Valentine’s present yesterday as well. See, I’m perfectly capable of celebrating love day all on my own 😉

I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine…

For the third day in a row I woke up to find snow on the ground. It’ll probably be gone by this evening though if the last two days are anything to go by. It seems we have shy snow here in Karlsruhe – it will only fall when no-one’s around to see it.

So apparantly it’s Valentine’s Day today. So the internet keeps reminding me. Facebook, Amazon, even Hotmail. Yep, 14th February and the flowers the boy got me for our “anniversary” are completely dead – I’ll be throwing them out as soon as I get dressed (have to take them outside you see). I wonder if that’s symbolic?

♥ ♥ ♥

I’m never sure what to think about Valentine’s Day. On the one hand it is nice that there’s a day for couples all over the world (or at least those parts of the world where people believe in it) to celebrate their love for one another. Or for shy people to finally tell the person they’ve been lusting after how they feel… anonymously of course, for that is the real point of Valentine’s Day, is it not? Buuuut, on the other hand… all those who despise the day as just another way for the shops to make money are right as well. I don’t know how it was years ago, but these days it really is horribly commercial. And as for most of the gifts the shops have on offer? I’d probably break up with anyone who dared present me with them! However, most years the boyfriend and I do celebrate Valentine’s Day. At least we have on the years we’ve actually been in the same country. We don’t do much, after all it is not even two weeks after our “anniversary” (is there really no other word I can use for the day we got together?!). But we do do something – usually just a slightly nicer meal than usual and I get a box of chocolates. (He gets whatever I felt like buying at the time. Last year it was a magnet with a quote from “The Little Prince”. This year he’s getting the Cookie Sutra because I found it hilarious! (The one he’s getting has a nicer cover than the one I linked to). The meal together won’t be happening though – he went away on Wednesday, first to Düsseldorf to watch Germany play football (apparantly it was a boring game but a great atmosphere) and then to Minden for work. And since he’s up at that end of the country anyway he’s coming back to Karlsruhe via his parents and won’t be home until Monday night.

♥ ♥ ♥

Anyway, in honour of the day of St. Valentine I thought I’d post my favourite poem (and probably break several million copyright laws in the process. (Please nobody sue me – I’ll take it down if you ask!))
Now, I always thought this poem was by Carol Ann Duffy (I swear that’s what it said in our GCSE anthology which is where I first saw it!) but the one copy I found online claims it’s by Liz Lochhead. Either way it’s brilliant and expresses exactly how I feel about this day.  Here’s the poem…

I Wouldn’t Thank You for a Valentine

I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine
I won’t wake up early wondering if the postman’s been.
Should 10 red-padded satin hearts arrive with sticky sickly saccharine
Sentiments in very vulgar verses I wouldn’t wonder if you meant them.
Two dozen anonymous Interflora red roses?
I’d not bother to swither over who sent them!
I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine.

Scrawl SWALK across the envelope
I’d just say ‘ Same Auld story
I canny be bothered deciphering it –
I’m up to hear with Amore!
The whole Valentine’s Day Thing is trivial and commercial,
A cue for unleashing clichés and candyheart motifs to which I personally am not partial.’
Take more than singing Telegrams, or pints of Chanel Five, or sweets,
To get me ordering oysters or ironing my black satin sheets.
I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine

If you sent me a solitaire and promises solemn,
Took out an ad in the Guardian Personal Column
Saying something very soppy such as ‘Who Loves Ya, Poo?
I’ll tell you, I do, Fozzy bear, that’s who!’
You’d entirely fail to charm me, in fact I’d detest it
I wouldn’t be eighteen again for anything, I’m glad I’m past it.
I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine

If you sent me a single orchid, or a pair of Janet Reger’s in a heart-shaped box and declared your Love Eternal
I’d say I’d rather not be caught dead in them they were politically suspect and I’d rather something thermal.
If you hired a plane and blazed our love in a banner across the skies;
If you bought me something flimsy in a flatteringly wrong size;

If you sent me a postcard with three Xs and told me how you felt
I wouldn’t thank you, I’d melt.

And that… those last two lines… expresses everything I feel so much better than I ever could.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Ouch

Those of you who read  my blog from this morning will know that I had trouble a) falling asleep and b) staying asleep last night.
Not only that, but it seems that when I actually was asleep I was either lying in an extremely weird position or having incredibly active dreams. My upper arms and lower back have been aching all day. The arms thing isn’t so much of a problem really, but my back… ouch is too mild a word for it. Luckily the walk to the tram stop this morning seemed to help a bit and as long as I made sure to sit really straight in my chair it was quite bearable, but even now it hurts. Hurts much less (I even managed to meet friends for coffee this evening), but it still hurts.
So after all the lovely tips on sleeping I would now really appreciate it if someone could give me some advice on getting my back to stop hurting. Baths won’t work I’m afraid – all we’ve got here are showers. I would have begged the boyfriend for a massage tonight but he’s decided to stay at home so he can do some work *sigh*. He’ll be here tomorrow but I’m hoping the pain will be gone by then (I may just beg for a massage anyway though, pain or no pain).

So dear readers, help me out again would ya?

Half a decade

The boyfriend and I have been together 5 years today. Five whole years. I can hardly believe it!  OK, it might not sound like much to some of you, but to me it’s ages. It’s a fifth of my life you know. And we have now reached the point in our relationship where we’ve actually spent more time living in the same country than separate ones. Only just mind, but it’s a start.
So in honour of our ‘anniversary’ (I always feel a bit odd calling it that… I mean, it’s not like we’re married. But I know of no other word) Jan had flowers delivered to me at work today. Madness! I wasn’t sure whether to be incredibly embarrassed or ridiculously pleased, so I settled for grinning like a maniac while blushing the deepest shate of red imaginable. The flowers then spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in a tupperware tub (we had no other containers) before being dragged all the way home on the tram with me. Poor things! Currently they are sitting on my desk in a glass salad bowl full of water, which is slightly better but still no vase (I do not own one ok!) I must say they’re rather nice. There are 5 red roses – one for each year – then some other red flowers, some white flowers, some greenery… I think maybe it would be best to just uplaod one of the crap pictures I took of them for posterity…

For those that are interesting in the flat situation it looks like I may be in with a chance of getting the last one after all, but that’s a topic for another blog post. Today’s is dedicated to my one and only boyfriend and a bunch of flowers.
It’s on days like these that I believe we are in with a chance of making it after all.

And in case anyone was wondering, yes I did use half a decade in the title to make it sound like even longer than it really is. You totally would have too, I know it! 😉