Friday, May 13, 2005

The Educated Social Idiot

I think I did pretty well on my final. Not that it matters... I'm graduating!

I did go out for a little bit last night after my final (and therefore didn't post -- sorry). I rarely drink, so it was no surprise that I felt tipsy after 1.5 beers. So I cut it off there. No need to get loaded.

The strange (but great) part was that a woman asked me out after class. Three men went with us too, but still. I have a hard time making female friends. Most economics majors are men (about 75% at the University of Iowa), most rock musicians are men, and most jobs I've worked were "men's" jobs. So it was great to have a woman talk to me. I've had other classes with this particular woman before, and could tell she was very smart even before meeting her.

I'm not sure why, but women often make me nervous. I never know what to say, and I don't know their rules of etiquette. I feel like I offend them without knowing how I did it. So in a nutshell, I feel like an outsider when it comes to mainstream female culture -- a social idiot.

The good thing is that I'm not the only one. There are other "female outsiders" like me. The woman I went out with last night is probably one of them. The women who read this blog might be like that too. And I also suspect math-minded women generally fall into this category. For example, when I worked with female engineers, I found them to be just as socially inept as I was.

So I'm sort of going off on a tangent now. (Did 1.5 beers poison my brain too much?) There is no real point to what I'm saying, other than that my finals are over, I'll get my diploma Saturday, but I'll still be a social idiot.

I felt like a social idiot meeting women for a very long time too. It led to years of involuntary celibacy, which was no fun. Even when I figured it out, it still took a few years to get over it. I used to sometimes wish I were gay so I'd at least be getting it on occassionally. So, as a silver-lining, being confortable with men means you have a fiance, right?

FWIW, my girlfriend in college was also a Math major.

How did the interview go?
I have always felt that way, too. It's a lot easier to tell if men like you (not *that way*, but just socially like) than women. I think this is because they are socialized to be friendly even if they don't want to be, so it's harder to tell what's really going on in a social situation with other women.
Congrats, Red! Your thoughts on feeling like an outsider in mainstream female culture really struck home with me; at 40+ I still feel that way with very few exceptions. (And I'm a mom now too, which I thought would help; it didn't.) But it's okay -- the great company of my men friends more than make up for being a social idiot with most women. :-)
The strange (but great) part was that a woman asked me out after class.

LOL. When I read that I thought you meant *in a romantic way*. That happened to me in university...

I should have said yes. :)

You seem fine, Red - you just need to find women who are cool but unusual, like yourself.
If it weren't for social ineptitude, I'd have no eptitude at all.

Or... wait... what'd I say?
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