My name is Laura.
I’m socially awkward and painfully shy.
Welcome to my life.
In general, I have no issues with the people who live in my building. I don’t know any of them, and that doesn’t really bother me…not even a little bit.
In specific, the people in the apartment above mine seriously need to learn to be a little quieter in respect of the people who live around them and someone on my floor needs to learn to turn on the exhaust fan and open some windows when they are cooking aromatic food…particularly fish and seafood…-gag-
I tend to keep to myself. I don’t strike up conversations with people in the lobby or the parking lot. I try to do laundry when no one else is in the laundry room, primarily because there is only one set of machines…but I digress.
I don’t really consider myself to be a bitch. I can be, don’t get me wrong. Generally I reserve such a demeanor for people who blatantly disrespect me or who are just fucking dumb. Some days I’m just in a shitty mood…I’m sure almost anyone in the world can relate!
All of this information is leading up to an incident in the laundry room today.
I woke up this morning around 8am and started directly in on the laundry, before I even had a chance to sip the life giving nectar that is my morning coffee. I spent my day running up and down the stairs, switching loads of laundry between machines, folding freshly washed clothes and making my bed with warm, clean sheets…I also did a bit of cleaning and some general chores around the house…not a lazy day by any means!
I had just hopped out of the shower and put on my makeup when I ran down to grab the last load of my laundry out of the dryer. I was less than surprised to see that one of the tenants from my floor had started in on her washing for the day and was just removing her clothes from the washer as I walked into the room. This is the conversation that transpired to the best of my memory:
Fellow Tenant: Hello!
FT -gives strange look-
Me: Hi! (thinking she didn’t hear me the first time)
FT: You know you always have this really mean look on your face and I don’t really know what to say to you because you look so mean and unapproachable…blah blah blah (she just kept going on)
Me: Uhm, WOW….No one has ever said that to me…I don’t really know how to respond to you.
FT: OH? Really?
Me: Yea, no…I’ve never been told that I look “mean” or “unapproachable”…I’m really shy, but I’m definitely not mean.
FT: Oh, well maybe I’m really shy too and I just don’t know how to read people and I just don’t know you and I’m not sure what you’re like and I just think you’re mean because I don’t know you…blah blah blah
Me: Uhm, well…I’m sorry that you get that impression. Like I said, just shy…
FT: Well anyways, I’m (insert name here), what’s your name?
Me: Nice to meet you (insert name here), I’m Laura.
FT: Oh, yea…Laura. So now maybe we can be friendly when we see each other!?!?! Now that we know each other!!
Me: Yea, absolutely. Have a good day!
FT: blah blah blah, silly small chat….blah blah blah
So I stood and talked to this strange woman for a few minutes longer because I felt like I had to, now that we’re “friends” and all.
I, quite honestly, am still not able to wrap my head around this woman having some sort of delusion that I’m a big, fat meanie because I don’t strike up meaningless conversation with her every time I see her. Coincidentally, I don’t recall seeing her more than once or twice and definitely not in the last few months. I came back to my apartment and practiced my “happy face” in the mirror so that I’m prepared for her the next time we run into one another. I’ll be damned if she’s going to think I’m mean!
How would you react in this situation? What would you have said to the strange lady in the laundry room? Has anyone ever told you that you look mean or unapproachable?