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6 Tips for the Socially Awkward Gal

Ever felt out of your depth in social situations? Wondered how to have a successful social interaction that didn't center on pop culture references? Held an entire text conversation with yourself so you could look at your phone rather than other humans? Then this article is for you, friend. That's right, you: the socially awkward girl.

Starline Hodge

Although I began life as one of you, I've spent years of Friday nights Gorillas in the Mist-ing with the socially adept, observing and mimicking their behavior until I could pass unnoticed among these fearsome but gentle creatures. Today I'll walk you through the six simple steps to successfully navigating a girls' night out -- one of the more treacherous obstacles standing between you and that block of cheddar you left in the fridge as a reward for leaving your apartment.

Step 1: Getting Ready

Makeup:

The goal here is to paint another, better face on top of your own face. Draw on your eyes and lips with glorified crayons (or, if all else fails, actual crayons). The "smoky eye" is a thing people say a lot, so maybe do one of those. Learn from my mistake, though: The name is a metaphor. This technique actually involves little to no actual fire.

Hair:

You'll know a device is meant for your hair if it looks like a prop in a sci-fi B-movie from the '50s. Much like a friend's universal remote or a newborn baby, there's no way to know what it's meant to do until you try. Point it at your head. Does your hair look better? No? That makes sense. I gave you some pretty awful advice just then. That's OK; no one really cares what shape your head proteins are, I bet.

Clothes:

Put down those faded overalls, friend. You're hitting the town tonight. Time for your party overalls.

Did you do all those things? Great! You're ready to appear in 40 nearly identical Facebook photos tomorrow morning.

Starline Hodge

Step 2: Choosing a Venue

This is the highest-stakes part of your night. You could end up somewhere with cheap drinks, ample seating, and, if you play your cards right, a table with Pac-Man built right into it. (THEY CAN DO THAT NOW. TAKE THAT, EVERYONE WHO SAYS MAGIC ISN'T REAL.) Let your guard down for even a second, though, and you could end up at a club. Clubs are grad-school level social interaction. You'll have to manage your sensory overload while maintaining a face shape that says "I am interested in what you are saying, and also I am enjoying this experience much like any other normal human adult would" while a guy yells in your ear about how important Hangover 3 was to the integrity of the franchise.

Starline Hodge
Left: bar, and eternal happiness. Right: club, and pants you'll never be able to wear again because a weird guy spilled something on them.

If you're reading this article -- if you saw a link promising to guide you through basic social interaction and thought "yes please" -- you're not ready for a club. Steer the night toward calmer waters. When your friends brainstorm venues for the night, start off with the Hail Mary passes immediately. How about that 24-hour doughnut place that also has free Wi-Fi? Sure, they'll almost certainly turn it down, but if they go for it, you're back on home turf. You've been training for this night all your life.

If they veto that idea, try to find a middle ground. They'll want alcohol, and dancing, and people of the gender(s) they're attracted to who are also attracted to your friends' gender(s) right back at them. You want mozzarella sticks, and to be left alone with your mozzarella sticks. There are venues that can cater to all your needs; think "spacious but unpopular dive bar," or "struggling Tex-Mex restaurant that followed some misguided advice to institute a ladies' night." This is where your people are.

Step 3: Being One of the Girls

Your friends are like an aging alcoholic and you're their new liver: You've got a lot of great things to offer, like your ability to filter out toxins from their bloodstream and your encyclopedic knowledge of Pop-Tart flavors, but if you don't fit in like you've been there all along, you run the risk of being rejected and causing symptoms like jaundice and abdominal pain. This analogy got away from me a little bit, but the point is, your goal here is to fit in. Be one of the girls. Don't talk too much about organ transplant rejection.

Starline Hodge

Things that are acceptable topics of conversation if you want to be one of the girls:

-Boys, and the sex you're having with them

-Boys, and the sex you wish you were having with them

-Double entendres

-The importance of owning at least one cowboy hat to let surrounding men know that you are looking to have sex and own a cowboy hat

-Television shows where bitchy vampires have sex with each other

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Alli Reed

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