When you’re as embarrassingly clumsy as me being ignored can be a real blessing. I cannot tell you how many things I’ve broken that no one has noticed, including but not limited to a PlayStation, upwards of three doors, an oven, all of my friends computers simultaneously, not Isabel’s window thank you very much, many Christmas decorations, and a friend’s dog (via accidental Oreo feeding. It’s a long story.) Also when you’re being ignored you get really good at sneaking up on people which is a great skill to put on a resume when applying to work in a haunted house and absolutely nowhere else.
Being social was never one of my strong suits. It wasn’t even one of my weak suits, really. In fact it wasn’t actually much of a suit at all, it was more like that bow tie you bought because you thought one day you’d definitely include bow ties into your wardrobe but now it’s been five years and you literally forgot you ever even bought it. It’s why I was always so lucky to have Kate as a best friend because we could have full conversations in Arrested Development quotes and be completely content.
Yeliz was always the outwardly social one. She was the one that had the gift of conversation, and it always fascinated me. She could make anyone comfortable while talking. Once I went on a date with a muscle-bound Greek god looking boy named Mike and my strategy for breaking the ice around him was to invite Yeliz along to our second date so he and I would both feel comfortable just talking. Half because I was so intimidated to be talking to someone with biceps as big as my kitchen, but also due to my intense fear of saying something stupid, like that his biceps were as big as my kitchen. Bringing Yeliz along totally worked and to this day I think she might secretly be one of the X-Men. I even took to writing in her yearbook, knowing full well that this prophecy would never need to come true, that she was the kind of friend you could spend five years apart from, ask to go get coffee, and it would feel like not even a single day had passed.
Being bad at social interaction often led to me being ignored or talked over, which also ended up teaching me a lot about self-respect. Somewhere in the 400th time I got interrupted mid-story and talked over by my theatre friends something in me broke like a social dam, and I just kept talking. Even with nobody but myself listening. Even with them speaking over me. I kept talking. I learned in that moment that the value of what I had to say existed whether they chose to listen to it or not. So to stop speaking because of their interruption is doing a disservice to myself, my thoughts, my words, and those that were with me on my story. I stopped speaking for the sake of other people that day and started telling stories, making jokes, and speaking my mind for myself. Anyone that wanted to listen was invited to, and I’d listen to them in turn. But my thoughts and words were mine from then on, and no one could change that.
Ryan C. Robert is the writer of multiple comedy blogs, most of which are satirical and self-deprecating. He writes about his life in his personal essay series "Before Color," parodies cooking blogs in "Trish's Dishes" and posts writing prompts every single day.