Knocking on Heaven’s Door

If the socially awkward person has one natural predator, it’s doors. (By dint of being socially awkward people, of course, we have many more than one predator. If the entire world weren’t actively trying to murder or otherwise humiliate us, we wouldn’t be socially awkward.)

The real problem with doors is that there are just so many of them. We literally cannot leave the house without facing one or two. What’s that on that bus? It’s a door! What’s this outside your office? Another door! And here, welcoming you home each evening like the cruel, snapping jaw of some enormous, horrible beast? It’s your front door.

And frankly some of them are just plain creepy.

Frankly some of them are just plain creepy.

Yes, they’re a tricky species, doors — waiting to lock you in or out of rooms, maim your extremities and your loved ones, and open onto still more awkward situations. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that, as a society, we’ve established certain rules to curtail the havoc these demon portals might wreak. With the exception of a few specialty doors, these laws may be applied to door everywhere to ensure maximum safety and minimum displays of social ineptitude.

Rule 1. Take an extra moment to read any relevant signage on or around the door. A thorough understanding of signs like “Push,” “Closed,” “Emergency Exit Only” and “Good God Don’t Open This There Are Radioactive Snakes Back There” can make or break the door-human interaction.

Rule 2. If approaching the door at the same time as someone else, the person who reaches it first should hold the door open, regardless of gender. If this feels unchivalrous, think of it this way: you’re being sexist.

Rule 3. Just as in the case of crowded elevator or subway car, the people exiting through a doorway have the right of way. Incidentally, on a crowded elevator or subway car, the people exiting through the doorway have the right of way. Look! We’re all better humans now.

The more you know.

The more you know.

Unfortunately for the awkward, the standard door is not the only type out there. But as all gauche people know, preparation can save you. Practice the following techniques at home in front of a mirror and when your skills are called upon in the wild, the only thing you’ll have to fear is the odd impossibly-more-awkward yahoo you will inevitably meet in the doorway.

1. Automatic Doors

Most of the standard door rules apply to automatic doors, except that whoever reaches the automatic door first should not try to hold it open. You will look ridiculous and you will be fighting a machine. Like they need another reason to revolt.

2. Sliding Doors

When I was was six, my parents were invited to a Stanley Cup party at a hockey player’s house. Excited to see the cup in person, I ran face-first into a sliding glass door that was much less open than I had originally thought. Now I can only associate hockey with physical trauma and furious, toothless Canadians.

For some reason.

For some reason.

What I’m trying to say is, always check to make sure the door is open first.

3. Swinging Doors

This door is a trap. If you open it incorrectly, you may very well kill someone on the other side. Open it slowly. You may yell, “I’m opening this door now!” or make a steady beeping noise like a reversing forklift if you wish.

4. Revolving Doors

“Only one person can fit in each revolving door wedge at a time,” is what I would say to myself if I had a time machine and could go back to the night of junior prom. “You wouldn’t want your date’s kilt and your dress to get caught in this restaurant’s door, would you? It would take three waiters to pull you both out and that would be pretty embarrassing.” Unlike a standard door, the first person to reach the revolving door hops right in and hopes for the best. It may be necessary to push the door to start it — move at a reasonable pace and don’t touch the glass.

5. Garage Doors

A normal human should be able to walk beneath a garage door without the fear that it will fall on them, but you’re not a normal human are you? You’re socially awkward. Cringe your way through the door and prepare yourself to do a less coordinated Indiana Jones-esque maneuver to roll under it at the last moment, particularly if you are wearing a hat.

6. Saloon Doors in the Old West

These doors involve all the intricacies of swinging doors, coupled with the difficulties of walking in spurs and chaps and the thrill of knowing that someone on the other side is absolutely going to challenge you to a shootout in the street. Good luck.

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She’s Old Enough to Know Better

I am a blond, but I keep it on the down low. It’s not a big secret or anything. It’s just that I’m a much better brunette and if the world believes L’Oreal Preference 4 is my natural color, who am I to disabuse them of the notion? Every so often, the truth about my hair comes out and somebody flips out about it. They usually ask for photographic evidence, which makes them flip out some more. (“But your eyebrows are dark! How can your eyebrows be dark?”)

It happened at work a few weeks ago, and my coworker’s subsequent dark-eyebrow-crisis attracted the attention of my boss, who drifted in and saw the picture.

This picture.

This picture.

“Wow,” he said. “What are you, like 14 in this picture?

“I was 18,” I said, a little put out. “It’s my senior photo from high school.”

His reaction to this news brought his own boss into my office. “What’s this?” my boss’ boss said. “Oh my goodness. How old are you in this picture? Twelve? And I’m not even going to ask what’s going on with that hair color.”

“I was 18,” I whispered sadly to my desk as they all left the room.

It’s not the first time someone’s underestimated my age. It wasn’t even the first time that week. I’ve aged since that photo was taken, but it still happens a lot. I have a baby face and I don’t know what to do about it.

Benefits of Having a Baby Face

- Sometimes I get discounted admission to events because people assume I’m a student.

- When my fellow baby-faced co-worker and I ran short on college-aged actors for a video we made last month, I was able to fill in.

- That’s it. That’s all.

Every time I whine about having a baby face, some older woman (always an older woman!) overhears and tells me that someday I’ll be grateful for it. I don’t think you understand, lady. I’m not going to look like a young 50-year-old. I’m going to look like a really rough college freshman who’s seen some things.

Drawbacks of Baby Faces

- Every time I interview someone for work, they ask when they can expect the story to be in the school paper.

- When I first meet people in other departments, they ask what I’m studying and when I’ll be graduating.

"Um. Probably two-and-a-half years ago, if everything goes according to plan."

“Um. Probably two-and-a-half years ago, if everything goes according to plan.”

- I feel like a fraud every time I pull out my ID at the liquor store or a bar. (“It feels weird, I know. It’s not fake! I’ve just run it through the wash a bunch of times, I swear!”)

- I have yet to meet a tradesman or hardware store employee who believes I own my house.

- I got carded for an R-rated movie this summer. I’ve been able to see them on my own for the better part of a decade.

- I keep making elderly family friends feel awkward when they ask my parents how old I am because it’s a trap. I look 17, but I’m 24, and 24 is right about when you have to stop asking people how old they are because it’s getting a little rude.

I keep turning to the internet for solutions, but it’s no help.

Maybe I Should Try to Look Older

- wikiHow suggested I try wearing makeup that makes me look older, but since I haven’t worn blue eyeshadow since 9th grade and glitter on my face since 7th grade, I don’t really know what that means. More lip liner?

- The same article suggested I dress more conservatively. That makes sense. It’s probably all the neon microskirts and crop tops with beer slogans that I’ve been wearing to work every day that are doing it.

- I could cut my hair shorter but I worry that all it will do is showcase my baby face more.

- I could go outside without sunscreen more and get wrinkly, but I’m too afraid of death.

- I’ve heard meth does wonders when it comes to speeding up the aging process.


Oh. It will also ruin your life.

Maybe I Should Try to Act Older

- I can complain more about my mortgage.

- I start wearing bygone presidential campaign shirts exclusively and drop old-timey slang in conversations more often . No one will ever be able to pin down my age! And how!

-  I’ll ask more rude questions to prove that I’m old and can’t be bothered with social niceties.

- I’ll try to yell “Get off my lawn!” more often than I already do, but it’s going to be tricky since it’s already my number-one hobby.

- I will somehow, impossibly, become more bitter and cynical.

That’s the real problem here: I’ve been told I have an old soul, but that’s just a nice way of saying that I was born crotchety. My face doesn’t match my actual age, but it really doesn’t match my cantankerous insides. I’ve been 70 years old for the last 24 years.

Maybe it’s time to stop fighting it. Maybe it’s time to sit back and enjoy the confused expressions on people’s faces when I open my stupid mouth in my stupid baby face and the words of a bad-tempered septuagenarian come out. Now get. off. my lawn.

Nobody’s Child

We haven’t been able to use my house’s back door for two days, ever since I broke it during a stressful video shoot for work that ran until midnight. This means that my roommate and I can only use the front door until I can get to the hardware store and set aside time to install a new handle and lock. Normally this would only be a medium-sized inconvenience, but not this week. This week Benito, the cat we just adopted, is lying in wait on the other side of that door, waiting to pounce on our heads and bounce away forever. Also waiting behind the front door: the awful, awful stench that Benito brought into our home with him. (Thanks, testosterone!)


Sir Winston Purrchill and his sworn enemy, Benito Meowsselini.

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Have a Drink on Me

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately, but I cannot stop thinking about death.

Hello! Welcome to this week’s Listful Thinking!

Brought to you by rainbows.

Brought to you by rainbows.

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Crazy Little Thing Called Love

On this blog, Sir Winston Purrchill has been variously described as a traitor, a spoiled brat and an unkillable demon. He is a mauler of extremities. He’s clearly on a mission to spread an even layer of litter — fresh or otherwise — throughout the house. His favorite hobby is staring you dead in the eye while you’re trying to pee.


Yep. Just like that.

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