The Anti-Normal.

Blue Eyes
My Mom is Weird

It’s funny, many of you who were kind enough to comment here on my birthday, apologized for never commenting. As I work my way through my comments I’ve reassured all of you: I NEVER COMMENT EITHER. When I write on my blog, my standards of content are quite low because – well – it’s my blog. I don’t mind just Blah Blah Blahing on my OWN blog, but I don’t want to do that on other people’s blogs. I feel like if I take up space on their website for my words, then they should be higher quality than the words on my blog. I mean, I don’t want them wishing I hadn’t commented! Which I would never do as a blog owner SO WHY DO I THINK OTHER PEOPLE DO? Because I’m weird.

Sometimes I actually type a comment and then don’t submit it. Because I worry it’s not “good” enough. For each comment I leave somewhere, I’ve probably deleted 3 on other blogs. So, I rarely comment on blogs since I’m so paranoid that the blogger will hate it. Even though I would never think that about comments on MY blog.

But here’s another thing: When I do sometimes (if rarely) comment, I don’t ever leave my URL.

It’s weird…I KNOW…but I have a irrational concern that if I leave my URL then the blogger will think I’m just commenting so that they’ll visit my blog. And I don’t want them to think that! I want them to know I’m commenting with the purest of intentions!

Isn’t that the dumbest thing ever? I NEVER think that when people comment on my blog. As a matter of fact, I’m grateful they leave their URL so I CAN visit their blog. Why do I not apply these same standards to myself? BECAUSE I AM WEIRD.

Even though I’ve gotten better about my social insecurities, I still find that they manifest in weird ways in my life. This Fear Of Commenting. Or Fear Of Leaving My URL On A Blog Comment are the ways it manifests in blogging. But there are other manifestations in the real world too. I always leave a tip. Now – one significantly smaller than I would if I had good service (I’m a good tipper) – but still a tip nonetheless. I don’t want the person to think badly of me! Even if they never filled my diet coke.

You know what else I do at restaurants? I clean up my own table. Good service or not, I want to make the server’s job easier. Because…you know…as I’ve repeated a few times: I AM WEIRD. I just don’t want that person – that I don’t know, bringing me my food – to think I’m messy! That would be AWFUL! So I make sure before we leave that plates are stacked and trash is consolidated.

BECAUSE INSECURITIES MAKE ME WEIRD. And you? Do you do completely irrational things due to your fear of not being liked? No? Just me?

28 thoughts on “The Anti-Normal.”

  1. I always leave a tip. Not because of insecurity, but because I know that even if they didn’t fill my water (and I’m parched), they are making less than minimum wage because of the expectation that tips will make up the difference …

    But now I’m second guess whether I should leave my “comment” form (with URL) filled out, or if I should go deleting.

    :)

    You aren’t weird. You are thoughtful and conscientious. Just maybe a little too selfless. Not a bad way to be, I think, when all is said & done.

  2. I had to say I always clean up my table when out to eat. I do it mainly because I was a server for years and I always hated the tables that left incredible messes. I know as a server it was my job to clean up, but come on! Especially when my son was a lot younger. If there was a huge mess on the floor from the oyster crackers, I picked up most of it so it didn’t get pulverized. I just felt it was respectful. Servers are busy and don’t need extra work. I always pile up the plates and and stack the silverware on top and wipe down the crumbs. Maybe I’m weird, my boyfriend thinks I am.

  3. I’m laughing because I always clean up the table when I eat out, stack some dishes, wipe up crumbs. Some servers even give a surprised “Thank You” when I do it!

    Oh and the deleting a comment thing – yeah. I do that all the time. Maybe I’ll delete this one. Nah, I haven’t commented in awhile anyway. :)

  4. Yes, yes and yes. I do the restaurant cleanup thing also. Stack up the plates, wipe down the crumbs from the table, etc. The one and only exception was before we had kids. DH & I took a long weekend and went out to eat. The server was horrid. She acted like bringing our order and filling our drinks was such a chore (heavy sigh, eye rolling). We sort of made a bigger than needed mess on the table and didn’t tip, either.

  5. I don’t comment very often, and when I do I worry about what I am saying and how stupid it sounds. I end up deleting comments, too. And I don’t ever post reviews on Amazon or other sites even though I read them as part of my decision-making process.

  6. Yes! I’m just like you. I always, always tip and clean up the table as much as possible. I hardly ever comment on blogs that I love either. Usually because I feel somewhat intimidated by the blogger and their writing skills or their usual commenters are so witty
    and cool that I feel like a dork adding my silly comments.

  7. I… pretty much do the exact same thing. I’m always afraid that, like you, my comment won’t be good enough. So I don’t post it. Or I’m afraid of offending someone, even if it’s not the blog writer, so I won’t comment. I don’t leave my link because I mostly use livejournal, and make my journal friends only (I have a stupid psycho ex.) I’ve tried using other blogs, but they don’t feel right to me. I’m loyal to Livejournal. The one blog I DO use, is all about World of Warcraft, when I remember to write. And really? Who wants to read that. Not bloggers like you, I wouldn’t think!

    And… same thing at restaurants. I dropped chili yesterday on the table, on my paper throw away placemat, and I cleaned it up and got mad at myself. I don’t want to look messy!!

    So… this long winded comment (that I’m FORCING myself to not delete, even though i want to…) is mostly saying – if you’re weird, then so am I. So we can embrace our weirdness together!!

  8. Ha, I delete comments before hitting Submit aaaaall the time. And I try to clean up after myself at restaurants too. It doesn’t take much effort on my part, and it makes things easier for someone else, so … why not?

  9. I don’t click submit on comments I make ALL the time because I’m afraid they’re not good enough. But it’s not weird to clean up your table at a restaurant, it’s considerate! When I stay in a hotel, if I’m staying multiple nights I make my bed, and if I’m not, I strip the bed before I leave. Waiters and housekeepers have much harder jobs than I do and don’t make very much money for it, I like to think that I’m making their day just a tiny bit easier. Same thing with tipping. In most states, waiters make significantly less than the minimum wage. I think of a decent tip as just the cost of going out to a restaurant even if the waiter wasn’t great. So stop thinking of these nice things you do as the result of insecurity, and rather just part of you being an awesome person :)

  10. I do exactly the same and then freak out if they see how long my ip was on their blog for as I dither over whether to delete [ top choice] or post and I never leave my link :) I stack the plates & tidy up as well as clean the hotel room and make the beds. I am so happy to find I am not the only one!

  11. I definitely do that typing out a comment, rereading it, then erasing it because it is too a) stupid (in my own mind, anyway), b) off topic (“I do not particularly like cats”), c) meaningless (“me too!”) or d) unfunny (as opposed to the post or other comments. I can actually think of a million different reasons I wind up not clicking submit… It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  12. I am another deleter of comments, mainly when I decide my story to share seems pointless or boastful, or after many attempts at perfection I can’t get my point across accurately and concisely. I do find that writing it out even if I don’t hit send is cathartic. (Here is the part I’m trying hard not to delete: I wish you wouldn’t call yourself names – even in jest.)

  13. I always enjoy getting comments, no matter how short or simple. I assume other people feel the same, so I err on the side of leaving comments, even if they’re kind of lame. Sometimes I don’t leave a link to my blog, but I don’t really know what my rationale for that is.

    The irrational thing I do is returning stuff to the right spot in the store. Most of the time I should just give it to the cashier and say I decided not to buy it, but instead, I usually go back and hunt down the place I got the item from and put it back. My husband thinks this is really weird. He’s like, “You don’t work here!” But I just think it’s polite.

  14. I do that write out a comment/delete thing all the time. And yet you’re right, I’ve never judged someone for leaving a comment on my blog.

    My other big insecurity thing is that I hate, hate, hate returning stuff to stores, even if it doesn’t work right. It drives my husband crazy, but I’m always convinced the store people think poorly of me.

  15. I’m always late to remember birthdays, so I’m giving you your gift now. I read you faithfully, and pass off your Cake Poppers as my own without shame. I’m not leaving my URL, because I don’t have one. I love reading blogs, but I can’t focus long enough to write one.

    My irrational thing is obsessing over what to wear for just about any occasion. Will I be overdressed? Will I be underdressed? Will I decide to go casual and then feel horrible about myself when I see that perfectly turned out person walk by? There is a mall in town that I never go to, because I always end up feeling badly about myself when I see the other shoppers there. The crazy thing is that I have NEVER gotten somewhere and spent the whole time thinking about how I’m dressed completely wrong. But still, I obsess endlessly beforehand.

  16. I do the comment/delete thing, oftentimes here! I also clean up my table at a restaurant, particularly when the kids were younger and they made a mess. I was a server for many years and I hated it when people let their kids create ginormous messes and left them for me. Because I made $2.50 an hour and the people leaving the biggest messes were usually the WORST tippers!
    I will not, however, leave a tip for bad service. If you don’t fill up my diet coke, don’t expect a tip from me, and that’s a mistake because I am an AWESOME tipper!

  17. I have gotten better about leaving comments over the years. One of the main reasons is that I go to school online and we have a discussion area for each class. It’s a requirement to leave a comment so I’ve just gotten into the habit of commenting on everything LOL! I rarely use my URL though because I rarely actually put anything on my own blog.
    My husband is a table cleaner upper. He always stacks everything, wipes down the table, and leaves a good tip–if they keep his tea full. Most places he goes to know to just leave the pitcher on his table =)

  18. You think THAT’S weird? I often don’t comment for two reasons 1) I’m far too lazy to click out of Google Reader and 2) This person won’t care what *I* have to say anyhow so it would be totally wasted effort. Waste not want not, right? ;) And I leave my URL because I’m afraid that the person will look at my comment and go “Who the hell is Marilyn??”. Of course, with how often I update my blog these days, they probably still look at my comment and go, “Who the hell is Marilyn??” ;)

  19. We clean our table too, because we’ve both waited tabled before and it just feels automatic. I also am a grown woman with a middle schooler’s taste in entertainment. I wear pigtails. I brush my teeth an equal number of times on each side and like to chew equal times on each side too. I make up songs about everything, literally everything. Believe me, we’re all weird. Just the way I like it!

  20. I do many of those things, too, so we can be weird together. (Well, ones that don’t involve my own blog, because I don’t have one.) I regularly type out comments and delete them because I’m sure they’re boring or aren’t clever enough or someone else already said it. I also clean off my table at restaurants AND I clean the floor up if my kids have dropped things. I hate to leave that kind of mess behind for a server to deal with. I always return shopping carts at the grocery store. And I am unabashedly a fan of YA books, with Harry Potter being my absolute favourite.

  21. I stack dishes and clean up the table too when I go out to eat. That’s from years of being a server. And I’m also extra critical if I have bad service or extra appreciative of good service, for the same reason. I think everyone has something ‘weird’ about them but that’s what makes us all unique and special. :) I don’t think you’re weird at all, just unique and special. :)

  22. If you’re weird, then so am I. I pretty much do all of these things…except I don’t have a blog, so I have no URL to leave. It’s like we do all these things for fear that people will THINK we are weird if we don’t, when in fact doing them is maybe, sort of, weird. Or at least, we think it’s weird. Ah heck, I dunno!?!

  23. My weird thing is when I stay in hotels…I gather up all the dirty towels and put them in a pile in the bathroom floor. I empty all the garbage cans into one can, and sometimes even go as far as stripping the bed. It’s because I worked in hotels for 7 years. I was never a housekeeper, but I can remember long shifts of sitting on my butt doing nothing at the front desk, while the housekeepers busted their rears all day long. I always felt guilty. So I think I’m trying to relieve some of that guilt by cleaning my own room as much as possible.

  24. If I have crappy service I’ll try to leave enough to cover the tip-out, but I also really don’t think a tip should be an “expectation”. If it’s busy and the server is doing their best to keep up with it? No, I won’t take it out on them. If I have to ask 5 times just to get my water refilled once, while they’re goofing off? Well, I’m just not as nice as you ;) Still, it has to be pretty bad for me not to do at least the tip-out (whatever amount they have to give front of house, bartender, kitchen, etc.)

  25. I totally do completely irrational things because of my fear of not being liked. I feel bad, when the cleaner empties my workdesk’s waste paper basket, and tries to help her at times; bcoz I am afraid she will feel bad. Then I feel resentful when I try to do that, bcoz the cleaner is not really nice at times anyway. xx

  26. Hi Kim! I am worse than you. I decided to finally comment on your blog via the birthday post then i became completely intimidated by all the lovely sentiments left by others. I’ve been following your blog since 2005. I love love love it and am so thankful for you. You make me feel normal instead of the “not quite good enough” feeling so many blogs leave me with. I used to think you were too liberal and now everyone thinks the same of me – I blame motherhood(and you) for that one.;) Your book reviews, tv recc’s and weightloss journey are always great reads. You seem so normal. Happy belated birthday! (first time commenter)

    PS mint chocolate chip ice cream and thin mint girl scout cookies are bestest ever!

  27. Hi there, I’m a new reader and just had to comment on this post. I am a comment/ deleter and had no clue so many people did the same! I also am the same with Facebook, never commenting on people’s pictures or posting status updates, or tweeting on Twitter because I don’t think I have anything original or clever to say. Not sure where this whole new level of anxiety came from but I want to get over it because I just love reading blogs and always feel bad for “lurking”.

    PS I also cringe when things get confrontational on the Internet.

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a little bit of everything.