“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” -Proverbs 17:28
“It is better to close your mouth and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” -unknown
“What need not be known should not be known.” -me
I am, to put it mildly, a socially awkward man. It’s easy to come across as glib and breezy from a keyboard, but in person unless I know you well – and sometimes even then – I am often alternately tongue-tied and ratchet-jawed. I seldom know the exactly right thing to say or do and sometimes careen wildly between nothing at all and the exactly wrong thing. I was virtually made to be a desert hermit. Cary Grant, I ain’t.
This trait unfortunately comes to the fore when faced with personal questions. I was an extremely private person even before slipping off the radar – now, I probably break a handful of federal and/or local laws before breakfast on an average day. I am strongly in favor of keeping the details of that to myself*.
But in social contact with other like-minded people, awkward questions and situations sometimes arise naturally. It’s nice to know that otherwise relatively normal people have these problems: They’re excruciating for me.
You’re a survivalist, Im a survivalist, we’re survivalists. And although we’re on the same page on a bunch of things, one of the things we really need to be on the same page about is privacy and not being offended when someone leaves you out of the loop, to a degree, to protect their privacy.
Example: I’d had some back-n-forth online with a fella for a while and we agreed to meet for lunch one day to talk about guns and generally get to hang out with like-minded individuals. As we wrapped it up and we were leaving the BBQ place, it turned out we were both walking in the same direction to our vehicles. And walking. And walking. And…walking. See, he didn’t want to get into his vehicle and have me know what he was driving (and, presumably, catching his license plate info) so he walked past his vehicle. And I walked past mine for the same reason. And…kept walking. We still laugh about that.
That situation would probably make no sense at all to normals. But normals are lame. Having done similar things myself, I laughed out loud.
The Commander offers some specific suggestions for conversation etiquette, to which I have nothing to add.
*Yes, yes, let’s have no undue fuss about how inconsistent that is with running what amounts to a lifestyle blog. While I’m throwing quotes around, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Since “Consistency” is actually my watchword, you could say inconsistency is written into my every day.