The Audacity of Social Protocols

Of all the things I hate about myself, the inability to carry forward a casual conversation bugs me the most. I have lost count of the number of times I have been in a socially awkward situation because of this. Now, I am not talking about special occasions (like family functions) where you have to interact with strangers and carry the burden of being an Aadarsh Beta. I am talking about the everyday exchange of pleasantries with your not-yet-friends. Etiquette requires you to do a shit load of seemingly stupid stuff. Even before a conversation begins, I start thinking about plausible scenarios to either abrupt the mutual exchange of banalities or opportune ways to end the traumatising information exchange.

I don’t know if people have noticed, but if they do, they would find that a major subset of our conversations must have ended either with, ‘someone’s at the door, will talk later”; “Dinner karne jaana hai warna mess band ho jaayegi”; “Oye, ghar se phone aaya, baad main baat karta hun” or the evergreen “Sorry yaar, net/phone disconnect ho gya tha. Network problems.” It is not that I do not like talking, I just happen to run out of conversational masala a little too quick. It’s not my fault. I have never been too fond of Hi-Hellos. The way people greet each other like two long lost sisters at Kumbh ka Mela every friggin day mindfucks me beyond repair. Why do you have to be so hyperactive and melodramatic? Can’t a simple sign of acknowledgement ever suffice?

So for all the Socially Handicapped people, I have devised a set of do’s. Follow these simple steps if you wish to avoid meaningless conversations or other people in general:

1. The Fuck Me I am Fucked Look- If 22 years of my experience serves me right, guys hate talking about personal/sentimental stuff. So carry a My-girlfriend-just-dumped-me look and notice a significant decrease in your Irritation Quotient. The only downside is, girls happen to have a particular liking for your deepest darkest secrets. Not their fault. They are genetically engineered to pry into people’s ‘personal’ lives. So avoid them.

2. I love my Cell phone- What is every guy’s favourite/dream song? Ans. “Bluetooth tu meri,meri; Main tera Wi-Fi.” Now, this evergreen method has been tried and tested since ages. Every time you want to avoid someone, try staring into your mobile like your life depended on it. Pretend to text or call or fake a call. An unwritten but widely accepted social protocol prohibits people from disturbing other people while they are involved in an unholy matrimony of any sorts with their mobiles.

3. You have got a Male- Carry an unusually loud and foul mouthed ‘Angry Young Man’ types sidekick. You would be surprised but this repels potential female conversational candidates faster than the all new smoke-free Good Knight coil repels KKMTKPJ 2.0.

4. The LOL (Lump of Lard) System- Thanks to Bhalu, we have now devised a foolproof system to not just avoid conversations, but also make sure that they never happen again. The LOL or Lump of Lard system simply utilises your capacity to utter the most outrageous of comments which are always out of context. Mind you the more verbose you are and the more bombastic your language is, the more effective will be the process. For instance, if someone asks, “Introduce yourself/ How have you been?”, you reply “The Dark Knight” or Q. ” How was the dinner with your parents last night” Ans “Scarlett Johansson in tights” or Q. ‘Sahi mausam hai, ghumne chalen” Ans. “Frodo Baggins traversed the lands of Mordor with Golum behind him so that the one ring could be destroyed.”

While, I swear by these tactics, my encounter with some really nice people (read Kiki, Aki, Deepi) has to an extent restored my faith in the inherent goodness of mankind/womankind. It is easy to avoid people and have yourself avoided in the process, but while you are at it, try a simple wave of your hand, it’s easier.

PS- I acknowledge the fact that the last paragraph is completely gay. This is just the dawn of the realization that my college life is about to end speaking.

PPS- If you guys are on Twitter, you can stay in touch with me at http://twitter.com/kumaratulya

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Iago says:

    You dont beat me in socially awkward behavior.. I am so frightfully screwed when it comes to howdy talk with strangers (PS: it often ends with “enhh!” or a prolonged “okaay..” at the other end). It can go so bad.. that I wish that I didnt exist!
    I absolutely loved the LOL system of yours..and I would be lying if I say I dont use that :D. Once I said that I liked to say “falfaflafla” n times when asked what my hobbies were. I am known to drag socrates and plato in all of my conversations 😀

    1. perenniallyconfused says:

      I have known you for 4 years now and have read your experiences on your blog…you most certainly beat me hands down as far as socially awkward interactions are concerned :P:D
      Also, I have been on the receiving end of your love for philosophers during the Aricent GD (you mentioned Plato, troy, sparta and what not :D)…I know what you mean 😛

  2. Ankita says:

    i probably shudn’t be commenting as i get the notion that i belong to the list of people whom you need to avoid 😛 (this being because i remember you giving your ‘evergreen’ response of net not working when i pinged with sth abt twitter…trust me! i didn’t intend to strike up a lengthy conversation :P)….but m glad i read this post 😀
    n ya! i too am as much of a socially awkward person as you are..and i actually practice this cell phone thingy many a times 😀

    1. perenniallyconfused says:

      I think I made a huge mistake by mentioning some of the things that I do…suddenly everybody feels that i am avoiding them 😛
      Trust me, the college wifi is a bitch…I couldn’t reply to your ping because the chat wouldn’t load (True Story!) 🙂

  3. Ankita says:

    okay, i buy the story.. 😀

    1. perenniallyconfused says:

      sarcasm??(please follow it with a bazinga :D)…despite my love for avoiding people, you have to admit that we live in an imperfect world, one where network problems do exist 🙂

  4. chapter18 says:

    Cool stuff, Dude.

    1. perenniallyconfused says:

      thank you..much obliged 🙂

  5. Ankita says:

    i again agree…coz I am a part of this imperfect world myself.. 🙂

    1. Ankita says:

      and no sarcasm intended..

    2. perenniallyconfused says:

      yeyy to that 🙂

  6. hi wats your myspace page

  7. Prateek says:

    hmmmmmmmmm

    1. perenniallyconfused says:

      hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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