Social Anxiety Turned Me into an Ogre

Source:, (poorly) edited to be green by me

What’s the big deal, you might ask? So your friends caught you in a lie, that happens all the time, right? Who doesn’t lie to their friends, isn’t that why texting was invented? All you have to do is throw one of those puking emojis in there and they get the point. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

Oh, boy, are you in for a treat. Let me just give some back story. My friends enjoy hosting parties. To them, there’s nothing better than having 70 of their friends’ closest friends over to socialize and play all sorts of party games. I, on the other hand, enjoy being around my three best friends. That’s it, no more than three or I get the sweats. So when I was invited to this latest gathering, I just couldn’t bring myself to suffer again.

I told them I was sick. That the Fionavirus had gotten to me, and my skin was basically green. One thing about my friends is that they aren’t the brightest. I couldn’t live without them, but man are they just not smart. Not a single one of them realized the illness I had was a DreamWorks’ Creation. Naturally, I thought I was in the clear, fate was on my side.

After the time had passed to where they should have been at the party, I decided I was going to run out to the store to pick up some chocolate covered popcorn and enjoy a night in watching Pitch Perfect. Halfway through my trip, I hear them. My friends are in the next aisle. I panic.

Sweat rushes out of every pore of my body, and my hands begin to tremble. I’m standing there dripping in the snacks and cookies aisle, unable to think clearly.

They turn the corner. “Oh. What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be sick with that virus, if you’re feeling better you should come to the party!” I can’t answer, every vital organ in my body has shut down.

At that moment, I see a fox do a little jig behind them, tapdancing like an Irishman in front of the deli. I know what I must do.

“I need to go.” I rush off to check out and leave the building. By the time I’ve returned to the sanctuary of my home, the sweating has stopped, and I no longer see the dancing fox.

Scrounging through the closet, I look for the materials I need. Perfect.

Hours I spend transforming myself in the bathroom. It’s the only solution.

I list my house on the market. I have to get out of here before my friends come to see what the hell happened at the store. I agree to do a house-swap with another user. An easy one-to-one trade. I leave the keys under the mat so there’s no small talk that happens when two people trade domiciles. Grabbing a small bag of things, I head out to my new home.

Photo by Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash

I arrive to a welcoming belch of swamp gas, and wade through the muck to get to the shelter that’s been built on a raised patch of land in the center.

I look around at my new life. No more parties. No more people. Nothing to cause me worries. Just me, a TV, and the box collection of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

This is my swamp now.

Trying to find the balance between work and play…my writing reflects this. For my more focused thoughts on business, check out

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