Sunday, May 17, 2009

In your eyes...

On Friday, we had a session on ophthalmology - i.e. medicine of the eyes. I, for one, have always paid a great deal of attention to eyes. This is not so much because I have a fetish for anatomy and physiology, but rather because eyes reveal a lot about what people think of you.

While I generally consider myself to be an introverted individual, brash extroversion becomes the name of the game under two sets of radically different circumstances - when I am very comfortable with my surroundings, and when I am not at all comfortable with my surroundings. The latter is an attempt to assert myself as an amicable and interesting guy faced with novel and unfamiliar social territory. It often leads to you-should-have-thunk-before-you-spake tomfoolery.

To add insult to injury, I tend to express an inappropriate level of laughter in uncomfortable social situations. This is not to be confused with nervous laughter - I don't start giggling when a patient tells me that their wife just passed away and they're having trouble coping. I just happen to have a lower threshold for chuckling when I don't feel at ease, which can lead to a few ha-ha's at the wrong time.

So when our Vision Week coordinator dropped by at the end our ophthalmology demo to discuss what aspects of the week could be improved, a slight chuckle earned me a curt glare and a defensive I'm-not-joking tone of voice.

Because of these social disabilities, my life can be traced from one awkward situation to the next, each of which in retrospect makes me want to bury my head in a hole and die.

Take, for instance, my high school years. Back in those days, I careened from store to store in Pacific Mall looking for a pair of flared shoe-swallowing FOB-style jeans - the kind of jeans that, when worn by a white person, make you look like a punk rocker, disco child, or maybe even a cowboy. When I finally found the jeans in question, I found that they couldn't quite engulf my toe-bearing appendages the way that I wanted, and decided to blame this problem on the size of my feet (which, in fact, are average or smaller).

As I pondered this unfortunate turn of events, I unloaded these complaints on a random classmate, and the following awkward conversation ensued:

Andy: Damn Asian people and their small feet.

K: Wha... wha... what?

A: I've been trying to buy these FOB jeans that completely cover my shoes, but the pair I bought won't do so. I assume this is because Asian people usually have tiny feet.

K: Oh... Geez. I thought you were talking about something else.

A: Like what?

K: You know what they say about people with small feet...

A: No...?

K: You know... small hands, small feet...

A: ...

K: ...small dick, okay?

A: Oh... okay...

Like I said, one awkward situation to the next - each of which can be tied to an uncomfortable look in someone else's eyes.


Tammy said...

small feet, small dick, big car.

i find myself in tons of awkward situations too...but the good thing is that they make for great blog posts. Haha (not nervous laughter).

Joyce said...


I also tend to laugh more easily when I'm uncomfortable... I've always wondered whether people could tell how not genuine my laughter is... :S