Spontaneous Spotlight

I am terrified of grand gestures. Not of the gesture in of itself, but rather receiving a grand gesture I never wanted from someone I was never interested in. You know what I mean? Like in the movies when the guy who never told the girl he likes about his feelings so instead does some HUGE gesture to proclaim his love.

Can you imagine you’re going about your day, it’s been relaxing and productive as you run errands. You step into the grocery store and all of a sudden there’s some stranger with a microphone dressed in a suit. You kind of freeze for a moment, wondering why the hell some person decided to break into song when you realize they’re coming right at you, with loads of swagger and confidence in his movements. The ice cold sinking feeling drops over you and you begin looking for exits and escapes and grow so distracted you don’t realize until it’s too late that he’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. Your fight or flight instincts kick in and because you’re so dazed you shriek and punch him in the face. The evening ends with lights from the ambulance and police statements saying, “I swear I didn’t recognize my spouse, I was so concerned about this being a broadway burglary that I didn’t recognize them!”

Obviously that is the worst case scenario

A lot of my anxiety is rooted in being put on the spot. Back when I was an aspiring actress, I didn’t have to think twice about stepping out on stage and speaking in front of hundreds of people. But that wasn’t me on stage, like ‘me’ as in ‘Joy Pearson’, I was always a character in a story. I could hide myself beneath costume and makeup and communicate through words written by someone else. Nowadays, any time random attention is sprung on me, my hands shake for days afterwards.

I suppose the reason I’m afraid of grand gestures, but rather the pressure to suddenly perform on the spot in front of people. I’ve been in therapy dealing with this for what feels like forever. I’m much better about dealing with social anxiety in public, but the idea of grand romantic gestures is still uncomfortable (Not that I’m expecting any! This is all hypothetical ramblings that came about after rewatching Jerry O’Connell sing about his love in Scream 2 to Neve Campbell’s bashful surprise. Not my idea of fun, but it’s a cute scene amongst a veritable body count of Ghostface victims).

I’m curious, so I’m going to ask the void a question: What is your idea of a perfect gesture? Be it small or grand, write about it in the comments. Until then, I’m going to watch more Ghostface stabbings, because nothing says relaxation like mock-horror.


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