I was fortunate recently to be in attendance at the annual convention for the socially awkward. You wouldn’t say it was a loud affair. It’s hard to imagine a lot of noise at these things apart from the clearing of throats, in case someone does actually ask you something, to the shuffle of chairs and the polite applause following each speaker’s awkward presentation.
The most challenging part of any convention such as this is in the interludes between events as we are all expected to gather round the coffee and tea tables and make polite if not hesitantly awkward conversation to people feeling pretty much the same as us.
It’s not unusual to see a lot of us standing against the wall our mobile phones in hand making it look as though the most terribly important business is being conducted all designed to allow us not to interact.
The one thing that fascinates me about the convention is why so many turn up. Awkward people are not extroverts nor do they like crowds. I reflected on why I attended when I felt like a fish out of water all weekend. I think there is the possibility, remote as it now seems, that I might meet a person with whom I might be able to converse. Trouble is most if not all are as tongue tied as I am. So conversation in itself is far more challenging than we imagine.
But I’m sure I’ll go along next year for if nothing else the sushi is always the best and the name tags discrete enough so not to be embarrassing that anyone might actually remember who we are.