Have you ever had a moment where you said to yourself, “Why did I just do that?” I have them all the time. It’s the moment where the main part of your brain that makes rational decisions stops working and let’s some other undiscovered part of the brain take control. It makes choices at random. And after you have performed them, you wonder, “Why did I just do that?” Moments such as this may occur...
I’m at line in Starbuck’s. Surprised already, I know. The lady in front of me orders her drink and steps off to the side and is talking about something else with one of the employees. She wants to write something down but has no pen. “Does anybody have a pen?” Let me tell you something about me, real quick. I might have slight OCD or some other disorder where I have a particular way of doing things. I always have two pens on me. And they are always in my left front pocket...along with the chap stick. I have designated pockets for everything I always carry with me. My first thought is, well I have a pen on me. I have two. I always have two. What I’m forgetting is this is an early morning run to Starbuck’s, the one down the street from my place. I quickly threw on sweat shorts (pocketless) and a shirt to get a coffee. I am holding my phone and wallet as those were the only things it seemed I needed for this quick run for coffee. I should be aware I am holding my belongings. If that isn’t enough, before I offer up one of my pens I even do the pocket check. Slap the side of my leg where my pocket is to make sure I feel the object through my pants. After checking and feeling NOTHING I still decide to say, “I have a pen you can borrow.” The lady is thankful, walks all the way back over to me from her spot, ready to accept the pen. I go to reach into my pocket and there is no pocket. “Oh whoops. I forgot I don’t have a pen on me.” Wow, who sounds like a moron? Or like they’re fucking with a stranger? This asshole right here. The lady responds very sarcastically, “Wow! Thanks a lot!” And walks away. Why did I just do that?
Or how about every time I am leaving a store on a nice day and the employee behind the register says something like, “Man, it is such a nice day out. I wish I wasn’t stuck in here all day. Well, enjoy the sun.” And then I say, “You too.” He just told me he won’t be able to enjoy the sun. Why did I just do that?
Or there was the time, back in New Hampshire, I went through a Dunkin Donuts drive thru on a freezing cold January day. (Yes, back in New Hampshire I actually went to Dunkin Donuts because they existed). I ordered my coffee and then the employee inside said, “How do you like that? Hot or iced?” I decided to respond to him how he started the question. “Well, I like it...” and I pause because I realize I am about to answer with “hot” but that sounds way too sexual. “I like it hot?” I can’t say that. It will sound dirty. Quick say “iced”. New sentence “Well, I like it iced.” Really? No, I don’t. Especially not in January when there’s 7 inches of snow on the ground. I came here with the intention of getting a hot coffee to wake up and warm up and now I have a freezing cold drink I can’t even hold that won’t wake me up because I refuse to drink it. Why did I just do that?
Yeah, I have a thousand more stories that end with the same question. I sometimes want to just eliminate those experiences from my life. Just take them away! I wish I could take away every single one of those moments. Just make it so that they never happened. But then I started thinking, say you take all those moments and find the average length for each occurrence. Probably would end up being around 10 seconds each. Now, remove every single one of those 10 second moments from my life. I have lost about four and a half days from my life. Just gone. Wow, I don’t know if I can live with having four days of my existence gone. I also am not sure if I can live with going through another one of these painfully awkward experiences. So, I’ll keep my four days. I’ll keep my awkward moments. And from now on I just make coffee at home. And I don’t go to the store. I’ll just avoid all public gatherings and all human contact. And maybe I’ll stop wondering the famed question, “Why did I just do that?”