Schroeder (center) sweating as he wondered if anyone noticed he forgot to wear deodorant this morning.
Wiping the sweat from his hands onto his shirt front, and then immediately trying to hide his damp and wrinkled shirt by crossing his arms, local man Travis Schroeder panicked earlier this morning as he tried to appear calm in the middle of a conversation with a group of acquaintances.
“It’s really just a self-perpetuating cycle,” explained Schroeder. “I try to stop fidgeting, and then I realize I haven’t breathed in the last 45 seconds. Next thing I know, I’m letting out a big gasp of air and I’m panting like an idiot.”
Schroeder, who had only a vague familiarity with the people with whom he was talking, explained that he had hoped to make a good impression. “When that tall guy—I think his name was Jack—made a joke earlier, I laughed, tried to make myself look like part of the group. But then I realized that my laugh was coming off as more of a hysterical giggle, so I tried to look unimpressed for the next minute or so. I think I ended up looking a little crazy, based on the glances I was getting from the woman standing across from me.
According to one member of the group, Keisha Sprague, Schroeder did appear to be uneasy throughout the conversation. “He kept wringing his hands, and that’s usually a clear indication that someone is nervous,” she explained. “But he must have noticed me watching him, because then he planted his hands on his hips and tried to stand so still, I was worried he might pass out.”
For Schroeder’s part, he admits to being “a bit shaken.”
“It’ll probably be a while before I can socialize with this group of people again,” he explained. “But hey, maybe by that point the patch in the back of my head where I pulled out all the hairs will have grown back!”