I like to rehearse conversations that I may or may not have with people I may or may not meet.
Example 1 (non-fiction): Over the weekend I had to go into lots of different local business and ask for donations. I practiced over and over again what I would say and how I would say it. If I don’t practice in such a manner, I bumble and fumble and feel like I am five years old.
Example 2 (fiction): I practice my Academy Award acceptance speech. Christian Bale is always there and I always tell the story about how I used to pray that one day he would be my husband.
I have practiced probable and improbable conversations and interactions my whole life. My parents can attest to the fact that most of this happened when I was in the shower. I would have long in-depth conversations with myself about scenarios that could possibly come up throughout the day.
While this may seem odd to many of you, it is absolutely necessary for me. You see, even when I practice conversations I still manage to have awkward encounters with most people I come in contact with. Going back to “example 1” I manged to call myself the wrong name when I picked up a donation from Georgetown Cupcake. Of course, they couldn’t find the donation because I had given them the wrong name. So, instead of trying to correct it, I shoved my iPhone in the woman’s face and said, “You. Read. Words. Here. Get. Card. Now.”
This is not the first time I have called myself by the wrong name. Just a few years ago, I introduced myself to someone and said my name was Elliot. That alone was bizarre enough but it became even more awkward when he excitedly said, “Oh my gosh, my name is Elliot too! That is so crazy.” Crazy, yes. Normally, I would have immediately excused myself. However, we were part of group spending an entire weekend together. So, I responded, “Oh, sorry, yeah, my name is actually Rebecca…or Sparky! but not Elliot.” He slowly backed away. UGH! I still can’t believe that happened.
I bring all of this up because at 31 years of age I still talk to myself in the shower and run through plays for the day. My husband will shout, “What? What’s happening? Do you need something?” Nope. I’m just practicing being less awkward than I already am. What I’m super glad about is that my husband not only knows I am awkward/bizarre but kind of likes it.
I recently confessed to some friends that I practice my Oscar acceptance speech. Naturally, they asked, “What is it for?” And I told them I had not quite decided yet but I did know Christian Bale was going to be there and I will awkwardly call him Jack Kelly and ask to buy a pape. Fortunately, I’ve rehearsed that encounter for so many years it just can’t possibly go wrong.
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