WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

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"Did you make a difference today?"

Under normal circumstances, a fit-looking older guy with a beaming white smile asking me this question might not even give me pause. Just some cheery, motivational type or maybe a street corner proselytizer hoping to lure me in. But this time is different because we are both drenched in sweat and naked, standing about two feet from each other.

Well, I at least have flip flops on.

 

"Uh, what?" I'm thrown off.

"Did you make a difference today?" We're in the locker room of the gym I use, because what else would a tableside-sitting, macchiato-sipping pseudo-internet-celebrity dilettante do with his mornings? I've just finished my work-out and I'm heading towards the shower, which is already the most awkward part of my day because I have a deep-seated hatred of my body and a bizarre phobia that I will somehow offend people by seeing them naked. It takes me several seconds longer than it should before I can stammer out a reply.

"Uh, yeah. I sure as hell tried."

"Good! Good! That's what it's all about! I feel a little sore, too!"

"Well, that's how you know it's working, right?"

"Yeah! Have a good one!" He flashes me another brilliant smile; his teeth are perfect. He throws on a shirt and I head off to take a shower. My first instinct was to write up a blog post about how weird this guy was, having the gall to talk to ME, a stranger. And that's when I realized that throwing a person under the bus for daring to be friendly is a pretty d*&k move.

How did it get to this point? When did greeting a stranger become behavior worthy of scorn? I know part of this is my own neuroses, but I also know I'm not the only one walking around in an increasingly-solitary bubble, judging anyone who dares intrude. I spend just as much time avoiding people as I do complaining that I haven't made any real friends since moving to Seattle. But, and I realize how fundamentally broken as a human being this makes me sound, it's really hard to make friends as an adult.

 

MEGA FRY MOUTHFUL 3
Which makes no sense because I'm a pretty approachable guy.


I'm friends with a lot of my co-workers because we spend most of every weekday together, but unless I'm forced into proximity with people for extended periods of time I have a hard time putting myself out there. But maybe it starts just that simply: maybe it's as easy as not judging a stranger for bothering to strike up a conversation with me. Maybe I can spend a little less time judging people and more time just saying hello occasionally.

I'd still prefer to not be naked while I do it, though.

Do you struggle with feeling socially awkward, too? What state of undress do you prefer to have your conversations in? Got any tips for making friends? Fire away in the comments! And maybe we can set up a mixer so everyone can get to know each other.

 

taternuggets


quality posts: 23 Private Messages taternuggets

I'm pretty sure we're all naked on xbox nights... not sure if that is relevant.


Nothing follows.

Jeus


quality posts: 36 Private Messages Jeus

I'd have never guessed that you were THAT guy...around here it's normally just old dudes in the locker room strolling around in the nude.

I've always found it uncomfortable, you go to look away and damn if there isn't a mirror so you catch an eye full of wrinkled skin and dong.

More on point maybe the dude heard you were huggable?

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Jeus


quality posts: 36 Private Messages Jeus
taternuggets wrote:I'm pretty sure we're all naked on xbox nights... not sure if that is relevant.



I wear a towel...and a smile.



You are all welcome for that image the next time we play xbox!

Proudly tracking via WootStalker.com                                                                                                           (8:11 AM, 7/9/2010) Jeus framed the first letter of its kind

taternuggets


quality posts: 23 Private Messages taternuggets
Jeus wrote:I wear a towel...and a smile.



I wear swim goggles and old spice.


Nothing follows.

Jeus


quality posts: 36 Private Messages Jeus
taternuggets wrote:I wear swim goggles and old spice.



on a horse?

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taternuggets


quality posts: 23 Private Messages taternuggets
Jeus wrote:on a horse?



no, a couch.


Nothing follows.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar

Keep going. At this rate I'll have 50 comments by the end of the day!

nparus


quality posts: 1 Private Messages nparus

Pajamas are the best way to avoid social awkwardness. Try approaching a few people dressed this way and you'll find them opening up in ways you'd never dreamed. Who cares if they're uncomfortable? You'll be toasty and comfy while they back away uttering Dot's Poetry Corner excuses about having to be somewhere else.

Dot's poetry cafe? Where the heck did that come from? I wrote "L A M E EXCUSES"

Moony

waggy401


quality posts: 2 Private Messages waggy401

Dot's Poetry Corner

WooHoo! Animaniacs rock!

Jeus


quality posts: 36 Private Messages Jeus
llandar wrote:Keep going. At this rate I'll have 50 comments by the end of the day!



Maybe you could wear a sign that says "Friendly" or something like that, but I dont suggest you wear it while naked...people might get the wrong idea.

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chipg


quality posts: 2 Private Messages chipg

Someone has to ask--what IS that in your mouth?

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
nparus wrote:Pajamas are the best way to avoid social awkwardness. Try approaching a few people dressed this way and you'll find them opening up in ways you'd never dreamed.



Your theory is sound.

jstout


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jstout

I see some bacon. But dont know what else it is.

taternuggets


quality posts: 23 Private Messages taternuggets
chipg wrote:Someone has to ask--what IS that in your mouth?



Those are his homemade chili cheese fries with bacon.


Nothing follows.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
chipg wrote:Someone has to ask--what IS that in your mouth?



THAT, my friend, is the Mega-Fry.

I heartily recommend it, if your state has not ruled it unfit for human consumption!

taternuggets


quality posts: 23 Private Messages taternuggets
llandar wrote:Your theory is sound.



A chill ripped down my spine when that page loaded. That's just way too creepy.

I just can't cuddle strangers.


Nothing follows.

macmanchad


quality posts: 0 Private Messages macmanchad

I agree wholeheartedly with the words in this semi Internet post.

mommyleah


quality posts: 1 Private Messages mommyleah

Is that picture making anyone else hungry?

micheal0484


quality posts: 1 Private Messages micheal0484

Ah the gym locker room, such a wonderful place for awkward conversation. I normally only see the older fat gentlemen in the buff but on occasion you stumble across someone else strolling around nude. I think society today has changed the view on how to react when we are naked around others. It starts at a young age too, I remember boys showering in underwear in the 7th grade for fear of being called narf or made fun of for not being blessed in the nether region. As Americans have become less proud of their bodies I think this social fear has escalated. There are a lot of people who would feel awkward in this position and I don't see it getting better anytime soon. As for what state I would feel awkward in would be naked as well. In underwear I would be okay talking to other for short periods of time. Two years ago when I started the gym would have been a different story; my self esteem is a lot higher now. As long as you stop eating those fries you have in the OP I would say by this time next year it will be you asking if they made a difference today. Then you can write a blog post about how you thought the other person felt. Good luck and stay consistent!


Wherever you go, go with all your woots. ~Conwarpius

Moueska


quality posts: 54 Private Messages Moueska

He might've been looking for Bromance. Pearly-white smile, uber-friendly, striking up a conversation casually while naked.



(... I'm just sayin'.)

Dikaios


quality posts: 2 Private Messages Dikaios

If you live on the Eastside my mates and I go to Science Fiction Trivia night at Flying Saucer pizza between Redmond and Kirkland. You can come join us this Saturday at Six. Our normal team name is "Mars." I promise to be nice and wear clothes.

nparus


quality posts: 1 Private Messages nparus
llandar wrote:Your theory is sound.



Arrrghhh. I sooo want to unsee that!

Moony

Listen2Reason


quality posts: 4 Private Messages Listen2Reason

If something like that happened to me, I would freak out and get out of there as soon as possible. Even if we were both fully clothed.

apoor


quality posts: 2 Private Messages apoor

Thank you for that message. Perhaps a bit more naked than you were in the story, which makes it so much more touching. Putting yourself out there is hard, but indeed there is more to life than just snark.

twofoursixohone


quality posts: 0 Private Messages twofoursixohone

A state of locker room undress adds to vulnerability which can further deeper, honest conversation and thus enable adult friendship.

everclear823


quality posts: 0 Private Messages everclear823

"Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third" But you can call me "Dot"

Loved that show!

amarkham


quality posts: 1 Private Messages amarkham

Please start talking to me when i'm naked....

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
twofoursixohone wrote:A state of locker room undress adds to vulnerability which can further deeper, honest conversation and thus enable adult friendship.



I've actually considered this point. It says something about our culture when two adults CAN'T engage in conversation in our most natural, open state of being.

julian3


quality posts: 0 Private Messages julian3
llandar wrote:I've actually considered this point. It says something about our culture when two adults CAN'T engage in conversation in our most natural, open state of being.



But it helps if the other party is not repeatedly touching himself or gesturing without using his hands. Ya know?

legamin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages legamin
taternuggets wrote:I'm pretty sure we're all naked on xbox nights... not sure if that is relevant.



I think that depends if all the guys r over...

legamin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages legamin
llandar wrote:Your theory is sound.



Went to Walmart in my jammies and strolled around 4 an hour shopping. Not a word o sideways glance. But up at the checkout the poor woman about went into apoplexy before finally spewing out (at a much higher and louder frequency I'm sure) "oh! My! Uh, you're in you're pajamas....I guess that's comfortable?"
I nearly didn't make it past the greeter and to my car b4 busting up howling laughing! ..which I'm sure amused several in the near vicinity who missed the p.j.'s.
The only thing that would have made it better would have been a cape and my chicken mask!

legamin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages legamin
julian3 wrote:But it helps if the other party is not repeatedly touching himself or gesturing without using his hands. Ya know?



Have spend much time in cultures where touching, kissing, hugging and general constant time in one another's bubbles is a daily joy that they share. It's nice. A naked shower, swim, bath or store changing room while chatting to utter strangers is just another day, western culture has a stick up its collective a** when it comes to thinking of a "bubble" as a natural right.
Let's get over ourselves! There really are more important things 2 worry about than back hair and a large white exposed but a foot from u as a chap chats up his mate.

legamin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages legamin
apoor wrote:Thank you for that message. Perhaps a bit more naked than you were in the story, which makes it so much more touching. Putting yourself out there is hard, but indeed there is more to life than just snark.



How about snarking while naked?

legamin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages legamin
chipg wrote:Someone has to ask--what IS that in your mouth?



Really? You have to ask? It was clearly lasagna with beans and aliens baked in ..night at his house that night! DUH!