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Out of your element

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Frebis, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Frebis

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    I play in a sand volleyball league and the new session starts this week. I went out on the league website to check what time we play and noticed something interesting. There is a church team that has joined up this season. This wouldn't seem very far off, except for the fact that we play at a bar, and the league is basically a giant drunken party. Every team has a sexual innuendo for a name (example, my team is the Dirty Merkins, another is Bumping Uglies, Sloppy Sets, etc). To add insult to injury the church team got beat 15-1, 15-3, 15-2 in the games last night. In 3 games, they managed to score 6 points.

    I feel like they may be a little out of their element. I almost feel bad for them.

    FOCUS: Talk about a time when you have seen someone totally out of their element. I have a feeling something hilarious will come out of all this before the end of the season.

    RULE: DO NOT BASH RELIGION
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    One time I went to this SEC football game...

    /obscure(?)

    I don't have too many good stories like this. I try to avoid bringing people into environments where they will be uncomfortable, so I don't cause too many of these incidents.

    I occasionally find myself as a 'fish out of water' in social groups that have a lot of history that I'm not involved in. I also get introduced all the time in a way that probably doesn't help me - people being nice saying "this is Dr. Frylock the computer guy who knows all about computers blah blah." It's them trying to be nice, but it puts everyone on notice that they can't talk to me about "normal things," and so they don't. It's annoying.

    One time I was a real fish out of water, though. My ex-girlfriend had dogs since she was born, and volunteered at a dog rescue and everything. I came by to help one day, and it was a clusterfuck of the first order. People that grew up with animals and love them enough to volunteer around them think that everything about dealing with them is intuitive. Half of it is really not. How you put together a giant collapsible dog crate, how much food to give them, how you walk them on a leash with and without a training collar - everyone just sort of assumed I knew all this stuff and got frustrated when I was not doing it right. For my part, I thought I must have been a real dumbshit.

    After she dumped me (in part, I think, for not 'getting' the whole dog thing) the next girlfriend and I got a dog together. With that dog, I learned all that stuff over several months, and now I wouldn't look like such an idiot. But c'est la vie.
     
  3. AlmostGaunt

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    I went to the bar a few weeks back to see a friend off. Now, this friend introduced me to all sorts of illicit activities, and the concept of 'Random Tuesdays' - basically, you take a Tuesday off work, head round to his house with maybe 20 other people, and get as fucked up as you can at 9am. However, I haven't seen him in a while, and he has been living with the long term girlfriend. I arrived at the bar to see... people drinking middies. Middies are tiny little fairy glasses that exist so that sober people can pay a lot of money to pretend they are drinking. Rarely have I walked into somewhere and had such a strong feeling of 'these are not my people'.

    My best friend growing up was fundamentalist Baptist. I'm an atheist Jew. I never really fit in very well at the christian youth group I occasionally attended with him.

    I organized a bucks party for a formerly wild friend of mine once. 4 strippers, keg of beer, a few thousand dollars worth of various intoxicants (albeit things are roughly 10x as expensive in Aus), etc. This is the same night that the groom's conservative older brother walked in on the groom's younger brother filming himself doing lines of coke off one of the strippers (he later got herpes from her, but it's a long story). I blocked the idea of the wife's dad/brother coming, fortunately, but the groom invited two of his older brother's friends. I've never seen a more intimidated pair of men in my life. They couldn't look at the strippers, would blush if approached, and huddled in a corner to avoid them. They tried to avoid the drunks around the keg outside by hiding inside, which was unfortunately where the younger brother was pulling out balls of coke. One of them got grabbed by a stripper and smacked in the face with her left breast, to the roar of the crowd, after which he called his wife and got her to pick them up. I was sad to see them go.
     
  4. Durbanite

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    FOCUS: Every time I go outside.

    Really though, I feel out of my element *all the time* with other people. I guess maybe I'm just more socially retarded than most, or just suck at interacting with other people.

    I try not to actively drive other people away, it just kinda happens, so I guess it is just me.
     
  5. Subito

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. sartirious

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    I was a pretty big nerd in highschool (White-Wolf RPGs, Magic cards, etc), and while I've managed to develop a more well rounded outlook on life - I've stayed in touch with many of those friends. One of them went to Eau Claire for his undergrad, and was part of the on-campus anime club: "Otaku Anonymous". They're the ones that came up with the term 'brainspike', and managed to turn a small anime/gaming/sci-fi convention into one of the largest and most successful in the midwest.

    The one year I went, we weren't able to hang out because he was too busy running the game room and generally being administrative. I wandered around instead, and haven't since encountered as many neck-beards in one place. Instead of SportsCenter they were watching competative Korean StarCraft matches. There were more bottles of Bawls in the trash than beer cans, and the guy:girl ratio certainly wasn't 1:1.

    I'm tempted to go back again this fall; some of the cos-play girls were AMAZING.
     
  7. Nom Chompsky

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    I took a bus to a casino once. Not only was I the youngest person on it by at least two decades, the whole thing was surreal. The guy next to me took a liking to me (?), and began describing his big plans for a novel. They were, and I quote:

    "...based on [his] own mother, who died of cancer. It's about a woman, who wants to live, but has no choice except to die, on account of her health."

    He also said he had to leave Atlanta because:

    "(disparagingly)The boys there looked like girls! Man, the boys there were sexier than the girls and the girls were hotter than the guys (wistfully). I had to get me out of there."
     
  8. PIMPTRESS

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    Well since I can't talk about religion...

    A place I feel out of my element is my kids' school. The other moms are preppy, super involved with the school and throw insane birthday parties for their kindergardeners. They are all friends and fulltime mothers. Almost all of them wear their hair the same and drive the same type of SUV.

    I am very busy, I work two jobs, I have split custody, my hair is generally an unnatural shade, I'm tatted up and know no one in their circle. It's always an event for me to be able to go on a field trip with my kids. One asked me last year if I really thought it was wise to be so "unconventional."

    I just laughed because I don't want to be like them. I suspect they are smothering their kids, being involved in EVERYTHING. Yet, I always feel like they are judging me.

    Fuck 'em. I just have moments of insecurity.
     
  9. shabamon

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    I was at my company's corporate sales training this past weekend in Jackson, MS. Our Cincinnati office is the company's only office in the North, and of our group of about 50, 35 or so would qualify as soulful Southern Baptist bruthas and sistahs. There were only two white males in our group: myself and a guy as old as my dad. I think this would explain the disconnect when everyone bowed their heads in prayer at meals (I identify as agnostic). We had open bar and karaoke at our awards banquet, and while most people sang Boyz II Men and Aretha Franklin, I got up there and sang Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women" to a room of blank stares.

    Didn't end there. I got invited to tag along as about half of the group went out to this night club. It was one of those boo-ghetto places that would make a good backdrop for a Three 6 Mafia video. You know, where you have to be pat down before you enter and the DJ is shouting all sorts of nonsense over the music. The group I was with did their best to make me comfortable (one of them, a former Ole Miss point guard, bought all my drinks) but that was definitely a new thing for me. And I thought I was the only white male there, until I noticed some awkward college kid in a Xenogears tee shirt, and I didn't feel so white anymore.
     
  10. shimmered

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    This. I definitely have moments of feeling exactly like you've described. I'm the polar opposite of the cardigan wearing, pearl necklace (ha) sporting, square toed Nine West boot rocking soccer mom. I don't fit in with those women and I don't bother trying. I rarely talk to them, unless I have to. I go to my boys' school in my work clothes - booty shorts, knee socks, and a tank top or t-shirt. I've gotten some looks, for sure. Fuck 'em.


    The other place is when I go anywhere to meet any of The Guy's private school friends. They're all pretty much silver spoon up their ass people. I grew up in a goddamn trailer in the woods. They've never done physical 'work' a day in their lives. Physical work is how I was raised, and what put food on the table.

    Our life experiences are so vastly different I can't relate to them on any level.
     
  11. lostalldoubt86

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    The only example I can really think of is the nun at the keg party.

    I have an uncle who owns a fairly large farm in rural Pennsylvania. He doesn't live there, but he bought the farm because his parties were always disturbing the neighbors, and he figured if he bought enough land, he wouldn't have to worry about it. If it's not already obvious, he is 100% Irish.

    Anyway, one of the parties that was thrown at the farm was a fundraiser for a charity run by the local diocese. One of the guests was the nun who started the foundation. All was going well until one drunk asshole decided to dance half-naked around the fire. This was about 5 hours into the party, so many other people joined in.

    The look on this woman's face was priceless. I almost felt bad for her.
     
  12. JoshP

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    In my sophomore year of high school we had this chick join the football team. She only joined because she wanted to make the whole boys and girls are equal statement. Now I do think some women can do things just as well as some men, my first tour in Iraq I did security for CI agents (CI agents are an MOS made up of men and women), I've seen some bad ass broads drop bodies. However the problem with this chick was she had no idea how to play the sport, she was out of shape, and had no natural athletic ability to speak of. So being that she was fat she was put on the Line team. Needless to say the only thing she learned that season was she was not as good as the men, never played a down in a game, and just got rocked 5 days a week at practice.
     
  13. guernica

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    Anytime I'm forced by friends to go to a club, and I'm obligated to join them on the dancefloor, I feel and clearly look like I am out of my element. It doesn't matter how many drinks I've had, how hot the girls are with us or around us, or how much fun I am having that evening. Getting me onto the dancefloor instantly changes the entire vibe of the place. I just don't fit. I look like an Octopus on crack, and I have one or two terrible moves that I have to use over and over again.

    As mentioned previously, sport is a great place to see people out of their element. Even just this season, a guy in his mid 20s joined our football (soccer) team. Granted we only play to hit the beers with the boys after, we've at least been playing for a while now. This guy has never played, and it definitely shows. I've seen toddlers kick boulders further. He doesn't even come to the pub after anyway.
     
  14. Firefnd1982

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    I am out of my element in any social situation that requires me to participate. Its not like I don't have things to talk about, however when I try to spit out a story it either comes out fragmented and shitty or its short and concise, which is not very entertaining. Also I am horrible at coming up with things to talk about. Take this situation for instance, your out on a date and you are really interested in this person your out with, what the fuck do you talk about... Honestly I am so friggen clueless when it comes to having a conversation most of mine (especially when on a date) sound like a job interview. I want to get better at it, but I have no clue how.

    And to illustrate how bad I am with this stuff it took me upwards of 20 minutes to write whats above... FUCK!
     
  15. Dude

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    Summer after my junior year of highschool, I was visiting colleges and had informal, informational interviews at several places. One of these places was Williams.

    It was July, so it was fairly hot. I dressed in a light button down shirt and khaki shorts and converse. Not dressy, but nice enough for an informal interview. I was swimming that summer, and had a mohawk for championships. I also had a clearly broken nose and a large cut under a swollen black eye (diving board accident).

    As soon as I walked in the waiting area, I started to realize everyone was staring at me. I was the only person there who was there alone (I had asked to be dropped off), the only one who hadn't brought some sort of file with them, and the only one wearing shorts. Everyone else was wearing either a suit (guys), or a sweater/skirt combo (girls), and I swear they all coordinated with their parents.

    Needless to say, Im not going to Williams.
     
  16. xrayvision

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    A lot of my friends are PhD's and MD/PhD's. If I'm hanging out with them drinking or whatever, I feel very much out of place. I really don't have any frame of reference. Not that I'm stupid by any means, but I don't deal in any of the stuff they are studying.

    However, in social settings, when I am talking to women, they might as well be autistic. I guess it all evens out.
     
  17. scootah

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    Normally, I'm the IT guy in an industrial office. I'm usually the nerdiest guy in the room because I can set the clock on a microwave and often the best educated guy in the room, because I started my undergrad (and then dropped out). I'm used to being that guy in the office - who people come to with math problems or who everyone expects to be completely impractical and unprofessional because I'm the nerd.

    In my current job, one of my best paying jobs i've ever had, I'm probably the most practical guy in the office. Because I own a multitool. I'm not even in the top 15 smartest guys in the office. Honestly I suspect on an IQ listing I'd be maybe 5th dumbest guy in the team of 40. I'm a strong guy - not like someone who works with heavy stuff for a living, but I do ok at picking heavy stuff up. There's like two other guys in this office who I suspect could get a small bookcase up a flight of stairs. A couple of the guys might be able to knock up a robot to do it for them before I finished just dragging it up - but holy balls these guys are unsuited to the real world.

    I'm normally the guy in a conversation who everyone looks at like an asshole because I'm talking over peoples heads and the concepts I expect everyone to know are completely incomprehensible to everyone else. Here, I spend most of my time talking to the guys about their work, trying to figure out if they were actually speaking in english. On the odd occasion that I know what they're talking about - I mostly kind of go 'wait, is that even possible?' and they're like 'oh yeah, it's easy. We're thinking about publishing the equations for how we solved it.'

    It's probably a valuable reminder that I'm not actually nearly as smart as I think I am. But it's still fucking weird.
     
  18. JoeCanada

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    My mom's side of the family--her included--are devout Seventh Day Adventists (pretty conservative/hardcore Christian group). We got invited to the Seventh Day Adventist convention in Florida last summer, and I decided to come along because, well, it was in Florida.

    I'm not bashing religion, I'm just saying that hanging around people who have fundamentally different opinions on why/how we're here makes things... weird. Really nice people, but every conversation seemed to turn towards the topic of God (fair enough, it was their convention).

    Now that I think of it, being in the South itself was a pretty good example of me being out of my element. I'm made for cold climates; I don't get cold easily, and when I get hot I sweat like a mother fucker. On our way to Florida we stopped in Texas somewhere and had to take this train thing to our terminal. It wasn't air conditioned, and everybody seemed fine... except me. I was literally dripping with sweat - my fucking forearms were sweating visibly.

    I'll stay up here in Canada being an atheist, thank you very much.
     
  19. Disgustipated

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    I was keenly reminded of this topic today (I had my inquisition at the hands of the federal companies regulator today).

    I was subjected to about 5 hours of questions that highlighted for me that, once again, bureaucrats have about zero knowledge of how the real world works and insist on challenging points that are readily apparent to anyone who has spent more than five minutes in private enterprise.

    Yet, these are the people who decide whether or not to prosecute someone for their commercial conduct.