When you were born, did you posess the trait to win the world over with a quick glance in it's direction, a coy nod from you and the flash of a killer, toothless smile?
When you were a toddler did you know exactly where and when to turn on the charm, aiming your attention at the adoring relative who waited all day for you to notice her?
When you were a little older, did you engage adults and children alike with your funny jokes and tales of what happened at school today?
When you were a teenager, did you earn the respect of your peers all the while maintaining that you weren't that much of a goody-two-shoes to really have a good time and gain the approval of high school teachers in the process?
Did you greet college and the after-life of high school with gusto, confidence and grace, making friends and finding your way in the real world and at the end, figure out what you really want out of life and easily convert those dreams into reality?
Great, then you are probably not as socially challenged as most people.
Okay, the perfect life, a charmed life, with no obstacles, does not a social butterfly make. But, more likely a shallow, hollow, spoiled baby that can't cope when the going gets tough. We need those roadblocks and hiccups along the way to shape us into individuals who can do for themselves. We need to have the opportunity to wrack our brains in a stressful situation in order to reach a solution that will work, we can then feel good about the fact that we "did it". We can enjoy the post-victory endorphins that race through our bodies.
We may not be able to leap a building with a single bound, but we can do pretty well for ourselves, becasue we've been practicing for a long time.
Some people aren't as lucky.
Take this woman in Costco yesterday.
While standing in an incredibly busy wholesale store during the lunch hour, behind a family of five with a bursting cart of goods and a whiny toddler who has reached her limit, two boys who can't keep their hands to themselves and find the new broom in the cart to have an unearthly pull to their hands, much like a drug, a Dad who is on the brink of insanity and a Mom who just wants it to all end, get the giant hotdogs for the kids with the cheap-o sodas and get home, would you even dare to ask to step in line in front of people like this?
If you anwered "yes" than you are socially challenged, and I fear, have never had to do anything for yourself in your entire life. You had parents who spoiled you to death and the world bent around your needs like chocolate around an almond (or peanut, or cashew . . . yum).
The Mom in front of you has just asked her husband to please take the daughter out to get her some lunch, and while he's at it, take one of the boys too. She just wants to unload her giagantic cart and be on her way. That's not too much to ask.
You feel it appropriate and necessary and, for the love of all that is good and decent, POLITE to ask to step in front of the harried Mom and her son who has already begun helping her disperse her items upon the conveyor belt. You explain that you have been "prescanned" and you only have a few items, and you're in a hurry (the Mom notices that you are alone and cannot fathom a response to this other than a curt "go ahead" and just wishes you out of her sight). A worker comes over (the prescanner goddess with the bar code scanning gun) and bawls you out for unloading your flatbed cart because you've been prescanned and you aren't supposed to do that if you've been prescanned. After much complaining, you get your bahemouth cart out of the way of the other 40 people waiting behind you and on to the register you go.
The Mom behind you can see in her peripheral vision that you are having even more drama at the register, but she won't even look. She is afraid you'll say something more to her and send her over the deep end (of what I have no idea, but I do know that there is a deep end). You shout "thank you" about 4 times, and the Mom just says "whatever" and keeps unloading. Her son says "that lady is weird", to which she pauses, regains her composure and relpies in a whisper "yes, but she is in a hurry, and she really needed to go in front of us". "Yeah, but she's weird."
You are still complaining to the checker that you don't like the flavors of the Propel Fitness Water that you had chosen to buy. Now the Mom and Son behind you are all rung up, they are done, and you are still standing there, making a fuss. You "can't stand the grape flavored water" you bark at the poor gal running back and forth trying to get you on your way, trying not to wring your neck because you are being so annoying, trying to recite in her head "the customer is always right", over and over again so she doesn't lose her cool. The Mom behind you, who you bullied in front of, says "oh, we'll take that water, we like grape" just because. Why? Was she really looking to buy a 24-pack of fitness water, you see she already has plenty of Gatorade in her cart, is she trying to pick a fight? No, she just likes that water, and she enjoys the look on your face when she smiles sweetly at the checker and a knowing look passes between them. And after all of this, you are still in the store, trying to figure it out and the Mom is outside with her family and her ginormous cart and her Propel Fitness Water, grape flavor.
You are socially challenged.