When I first started working, The Hospital was having a softball tournament, and my floor was fielding a team. I wanted to fit in and be one of the cool kids, so I joined the team. I went to a couple of the practices, which were attended by two girls, two burly dudes from another floor, some kind of little terrier-thing dog, and me. You will probably not be surprised to learn that the burly dudes were a lot better at softball than I was, and probably not really surprised to learn that even the girls were better than I was. Also, the dog. The dog was better than me.
I would like to say that there was an inspirational montage set to 80′s pop music where I became a great softball player. I would like to say that our team, coached by a cowgirl in a giant pickup instead of coked-up Emilio Estevez, went on to heroically win the tournament like a scrubsed-out Bad News Bears, but that didn’t happen. The team just kinda fizzled, and for a year I’ve had a softball mitt and some neon-yellow softballs rolling around in the trunk of my car for no good reason.
So, a couple of nights ago, I was walking back to my floor after picking up “lunch” (“lunch” is in quotes because it’s always, like, 1 a.m. when I eat it.) It was after hours so the hallway was dark, and I saw the silhouette of Burly Softball Dude #2 walking toward me. I said, “Hey, man,” and he said something very improbable:
“We’ve been reading your blog.”
At that point, the nurse he was walking with said, “Oh, you’re Rob. I’ve been reading your blog. It’s nice to meet you,” whereupon she gracefully extended her hand.
I would like to say that I handled the situation like this guy would have:
I would like to say that, but I can’t. I mean, I guess I could say that, but it wouldn’t be technically true.
The reality is that I kind of limply shook her hand and rudely didn’t even think to ask her name or make a proper introduction. I’m usually not totally socially incompetent, but it was so jarring to come face to face with people who had read my site that my treacherous brain just vapor locked. I just stood there with my jaw agape, hoping not to fumble the styrofoam container loaded precariously with three pieces of pizza standing in mute testimony to the sickening reality of my pasty, greasy dorkiness.
When I float down to that floor, and I will, I’ll have to wear a fake mustache or something. Otherwise, everyone will know that I’m that nerdy dude from the internet…
and that I cringe like a girl when someone throws a softball at me.