Friday, November 10, 2006

Not so fed up

Apparently, I could have been less fed up last Wednesday - the boring cannibalism is a good thing essay that I wrote with the sole intention of getting an 'A', rather than laughs, got an 'A'. Excellent. Think I prefer getting laughs, though. Still, the whole general dissatisfaction thing prompted me to write the two best pieces I've done since starting the course, so can't complain.

One of them was yet another essay for Derrek's sessions. But it was a case of choose your own argument this time. Don't know what grade it'll get, but it got laughs. Plenty of them. And all in the right places. Even a smattering of applause at the end. Kind of a surprise. And I managed to not shake for most of the reading out. Almost unheard of for me when it comes to public speaking. All in all, I was unqualifiedly happy. Which was somewhat novel too.

Actually, I should say, given that this blog claims to be about my writerly progress, that the essay reading out sessions have been unexpectedly, and hugely helpful. Not so much from the point of view of learning about the essay form and rhetoric, although partly that, but just to know that people actually get my jokes has been unbelievable. I can almost feel my confidence growing (assuming it's not a hernia from all the bloody hills in Falmouth). And people's compliments and encouraging comments, they've been just great too.

One slight problem, I'm not at all used to getting compliments. I find myself unable to know how to respond. Yes, I know, that describes me in most social situations, but I particularly don't know what the proper etiquette is when it comes to accepting compliments. I just find myself sitting there thinking:

Oh God, am I somehow coming across as arrogant? I bet I am - I'm being too ready to accept them, or not thankful enough, or too dismissive, or... Oh God, I should say something complimentary about what they wrote, as well, shouldn't I? But what was it? I was too busy arguing with my nerves when they were reading. Bugger, bugger, bugger... What? Oh dammit, what did they just say, I wasn't listening, erm... nod politely. Probably am coming across as arogant now, argh!!! Or just weird. Shut up, brain. Stop it. Now. Look, I won't tell you again. Oh, for crying out loud, how do you tell an inner monologue to shut up without actually continuing it? Or starting another? Do other people think like this? God, poor them... Um, best nod again, just in case...
And so it goes.

Well, the point of that was, erm... that if anyone I know is reading this, yes, I do appreciate the compliments and encouragement, and I'm not in the least complaining about them, but if I come across as weird, embarrassed and distracted, or arrogant, I'm just thoroughly confused. And socially inept. Or...

Jeez, I really must stop thinking so much.

[Sighs] I'd tell myself off for being such a neurotic, but the resultant argument might last all night.

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