Thanksgiving is fast approaching and along with it comes tremendous thoughts and actions of gratitude. Of course, there are a lot of things I’m thankful for; My family, best friend, furry babies, good health, education, and material things, in that order. However, other things exist that the awkward introvert inside of me are extremely grateful for, and those are the innovations that remove social interaction and still get the task done.
I am so thankful for drive-thrus. Sometimes, when I lack the motivation/time to cook or I just really want some chicken strips, fast-food restaurants are my saving grace. However, going inside for the other customers to gawk at me while I wait for the order I plan to just grab as I high-tail it out of there is not a part of that grace. Neither is going in to come face-to-face with a worker who can scoff at me when I order a milkshake instead of a water. All of these things make the socially abnormal spirit inside of me want to flinch thinking of all the awkward mishaps that can happen. That’s why I thank all the people who thought of and perfected the drive-thru. Now, face-time with employees is cut down to almost 1/4 and I don’t have to feel like people are staring at me as I shuffle from foot to foot waiting for them to call out that faithful set of digits that is temporarily my order number.
Texting and emails are also tools that I am thankful for. Talking to people in person is intimidating enough, especially if you have an amazing talent for making almost any interaction awkward, like me, and phone calls only slightly alleviate the social burdens as talking is still required and I’m about as likely to trip on my feet as I am with my words. So shooting a text is so much less weird, especially when your personality is more charming and appealing on a screen, and I’m just as thankful for emails because professional anything is so much more intimidating than friendly and mutual interactions, so the fact that I can shoot the boss an email about something instead of confronting him/her and still seem professional definitely makes the list of things I’m thankful for.
Online shopping is another bullet on the list, and while I don’t utilize this one often, I still appreciate it just as much. Referencing customers gawks, again, is a huge reason I like this innovation. Some people have the ability to put all the content and judgement they feel into their eyes, so when I’m browsing and I notice a pair practically smirking at me as I’m about to pick up a shirt, all I want to do is slowly put it down and bolt out the front doors. Re-picking something in a different size or even getting weird objects, whether you have a personal want for it or are buying it for a friend because of some inside joke, or purchasing at the request of a family member just puts the icing on the introvert cake and pushes it into the oven. That’s why being able to purchase almost anything, without having to go to various stores and without having to deal with people’s snap judgements on you by what you purchase, puts online shopping on the thankful list.
One of the last major things I’m thankful for is cars. Of course people are normally thankful for their car, especially if you’re lucky enough to have one at this age, but for me I have a different reason to be thankful. Less personal contact and confrontation. Sure walking is nice, but not when you have cars lined up, filled with passengers watching you fumble across the street at that weird walk-run pace because you don’t want to get hit but you don’t want to look uncool by sprinting across. So yes, add cars to the list because of the protection they provide from the people behind the wheel giggling at my hesitative steps and wide doe eyes watching the cars whiz by.
This Thanksgiving , I’d like to make a point to be thankful for the important things that keep me sane and keep awkward incidents to a minimum. To the innovators of these wonderful inventions that keep me from further embarrassing myself, I am thankful.