Forever Alone Grocery Store

If you are a “surfer” of the interwebs you’ve undoubtedly come across the wonderful, hillarious and often pointless memes taking over the internet.  Everything from canihazcheezburger to the RickRoll and even Bed Intruder.  A more recent meme that has become popular among nerds focuses on hapless loners who though social ineptitude joke (sadly) that they will be single and friendless for the rest of their lives.  These people are what we refer to as AFCs (Average Frustrated Chumps) and the meme is know as Forever Alone.

This is become so popular that many congregate in corners of the internet just to complain how they are forever alone looking for support and reassurance it’s not their fault.  It’s become so popular it gave me an idea of a new series on this blog called “Forever Alone”. I’ll focus on a specific AFCs problem and dissect it pointing out exactly how he is both sabotaging his future happiness and trying to place the blame on anyone but himself.  Hope you enjoy and at the very least realize you don’t have it as bad as this guy.

Forever Alone at the Grocery Store

hello fellow FAers, I have decided to accept that I am one of you and join your ranks. I wanted to start off by sharing an observation I have made while grocery shopping. I usually go to trader joe’s or whole foods, where the employees are generally a friendly bunch. while waiting in line at the checkout lane, I have noticed that the cashiers chat up the customers, asking how their weekends are going and the such. the patron responds, jokes are swapped, smiles all around.

then it’s my turn. I step up to the counter and place my handbasket upon it. the cashier, coincidentally an attractive young woman, asks if I had trouble finding anything. I summon all of my emotive ability to come back with a cheery “nope, got everything I needed!” she then begins perfunctorily removing my items, not making any further eye contact. no more words are exchanged. the awkward silence slowly thickens, only to be sporadically pricked with the “beep” of the barcode scanner.

zoo animal fruit snacks were on sale today, $2 a box. organic, too. I’m trying to cut back on sugar, but what the heck! everybody loves fruit snacks. the cashier reaches for the box to scan it, and momentarily pauses to look at it. I look at her, a grin forming on my face, waiting for her to tease the 20-something guy with a week-old beard for buying children’s snacks shaped like giraffes. the moment lingers, and she continues scanning. no comment, no smile, not even a cocked eyebrow. sigh.

I bring my own reusable grocery bag. I secretly hope that this act of eco-friendliness will ingratiate me to the cashier and spawn at least a verbal high five, but I get nothing. I unfold it and open it up, placing it on the edge of the counter, but the cloth bag just flops over. I pull out my credit card early, in a desperate attempt to fill the silence with some physical action. the items are bagged. the receipt is handed to me. finally, she speaks: “have a nice day!”

“thanks.” as I walk away from the counter, I almost sideswipe a small child with my fully loaded tote. I fumble an apology, but the parent just reaches over and pulls the child closer to her, away from the stranger. as I leave I overhear my cashier laughing with the next customer in line. I can’t make out what they’re talking about, but I think I hear something about gummy tigers.
forever alone.

Joining the ranks of the “forever alones” could easily be proof that one has utterly and completely given up. His acceptance of this fate is both sad and a likely end result given his disastrous self-esteem and social skills. This poor guy is so scared of the women and people around him that he is akin to that dog at the shelter so afraid of people because of past abuse that he hides and goes unnoticed until finally put to sleep.

Now given the website I found this post and the attitude of the writer we can assume he spends an unhealthy amount of time at home alone and likely in front of a computer or video game. He is extremely introverted at work and puts in the bare minimum of 9-5 heading straight home and generally goes unnoticed by his peers. This routine has made him so nervous and uncomfortable around others that his feeble attempts at social interactions go nowhere and in response his self esteem plummets. He mentions he has a week old beard so he’s probably unkempt making it obvious his self esteem already left him some time ago.

The only thing that keeps him going is his human need for connection, acceptance and companionship.

Without penning an essay on his mistakes and potential areas for improvement I’m going to graze over my above observations. Suggesting routines or ways to start this conversation would be pointless as his foundation (self-esteem) is non-existent.

The first thing this guy needs to do is show some pride of ownership in himself and follow the hygiene necessary to display exactly that. One commenter responded:

He delivers this scene: “I look at her, a grin forming on my face, waiting for her to tease the 20-something guy with a week-old beard for buying children’s snacks shaped like giraffes.” like it’s either supposed to be cute or endearing. It’s the opposite. If I was that cashier, I would have tried to get the transaction finished as fast as possible.

This social awkwardness and inability to relate with those around him shows he’s barely conscious in his existence and has no real presence. One might even refer to him as an “empty suit” however he’d have to dress better first. What this guy needs is a drastic change in his routine: to get out of his house, comfort zone and find who is really is. What lights that fire of human spirit in his life so he can want to share it with others? As Baz Luhrmann suggests, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Join Toastmasters, learn to rock climb, try impromptu comedy or join a local social group. Force yourself out of your bad habits and mindset until you actually do feel like you have something to contribute. Talk to strangers until it becomes natural.

Being Forever Alone or an AFC is nothing but a state of mind and doesn’t have to be a state of being. Plenty of people have come from far worse a place to a place in their life they never thought imaginable.

1 Comment to Forever Alone Grocery Store

January 2, 2012

Hey, A friend and I are starting a PUA website.. sorta magazine style with updates every week… articles and stuff. I just recently relocated to the Portland area and searched ‘Portland PUA’ on google.. your blog was the first hit. I would tell you the name, but we haven’t secured the for it yet. Are you still in Portland doing alot of gaming? Nice blog by the way, you should post more.

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