The Call – AKA I Hate Social Anxiety (Update)
Before the Call:
This morning I woke up at 7:30 am for the phone calls, starting at 9:30 am. Two hours to get ready, drink coffee, set up the camera, and try to calm my nerves and racing heart.
I chatted with my friends, who were also getting a call. They went in order, so one friend was number 131, one was 135, and my number was 147. We all got off Twitter in anticipation of the call. We didn’t want to miss anything. And so it began.
My friend at number 131 was done with her call at 9:41 am. She was nervous but made it through. My other friend finished her call at 9:44 is. She was happy. It went well. There were smiles all around. But for me, the anxiety kicked into overdrive.
So I looked over my notes. I tried to say what I wanted to say out loud. And the waiting game began. The more I sat there, the more anxious I became. I brought my cat into my room at about 10:30 am. Cat’s are great at calming anxiety. And mine was very high.
Like many writers, I am comfortable behind a keyboard. I love the written word and the spoken word too. But it’s been a long time since my college theatre days. This last year and a half of life changes and the pandemic have greatly affected my mental health. And with it, my fear of talking to people I don’t know. I hate to talk on the phone and will do just about anything to avoid calling someone. I hate to answer the door. Any situation where I have to speak unexpectedly makes my palms sweat.
But I knew I had to do this. I needed to convey my thanks, my love, and concern and also tell him how I’m proud of him. I managed to say those words to Nong Saint. Despite my nerves, I felt confident that he understood my intentions. Thank you so much to Mr. Translator. I love him so much. He is lovely.
Now it was time for Nong Zee. So I sat there, petting the cat. I would check Twitter occasionally to see if there were updates. There were none. Around 11 am I started to worry. I kept the call window open. I’d stopped and started screen recordings on my phone and iPad many times because I was afraid I would forget once the call came.
At around 11:30, I sent a message asking how many others were in front of me. I needed to plan. My son had to be at school by 12:20. Monday is the day of the week my mother takes him, but she was sick today. My husband agreed to take off work and drive him to school as long as I could pick him up. (I know I’m going into a detailed explanation, but it’s relevant, lol)
At 12:02, the call came, but it didn’t ring. I only saw it said missed call. I replied I am here. Zee tried again. The third time we finally connected and all thoughts went out of my head. My heart began to race and I tried to remember what I wanted to say.
Nong Zee was beautiful. His smile was radiant. His eyes were kind. I stumbled out a hello. And then, a very, very nervous & probably awkward call began.
I congratulated him on his Kazz Award, saying I was very proud of him. Then came the odd bit. I asked him if he got the letter I sent last year during his birthday fan meeting. I had a friend, whose name he knew, deliver a letter explaining how much he meant to me—and thanking him for making a difference in my life and my kid’s life towards the end. If he read the letter or remembered, then I wouldn’t need to stumble through the awkward thank you for what you have done for me bit. The translator translated it to him for me. (Thank you) but because I was speaking fast, she didn’t catch the name of my friend. He told her it was a long time ago but that he keeps every letter people write him. Smiled so sweetly when he said it.
Since he didn’t remember, I decided to give him a short, sweet version, which is weird in a two-minute conversation. But who knows when or if I will ever get to talk to him again or meet him in person. I said my son passed away last year, but you helped make our life better in the months before he died. (Yes, heavy subject) and he said to me, Su Su – to encourage me to keep going. That is Zee, always sending encouragement to people in times of need. Those words and a kind smile with a fighting fist made my heart a little lighter. He loves his fans & wants to give them support when they need it.
All the while, I’m stumbling over my words but also managed to tell him a few more things. I’m proud of all his success. And that I am looking forward to Remember 15. He said thank you with another beautiful smile. His eyes sparkled. Then I offered a quick bit of advice though nowhere near as much as I wanted to say. I told him to take care of himself, to eat well, and get plenty of rest that I was worried like a mom. (Yes, I said mom, damn it….I was trying not to appear old, but too late). He said thank you with laughing eyes. I know he is probably tired of hearing it from people like me, but we worry. The last thing I said to him before saying goodbye was that CactuZS loved him. He said he hoped to see me in Thailand and talk more. (I bet he said that to everyone, but it touched my heart)
Then the phone call was over. With shaking hands, I turned off the phone camera. I let out a big sigh and collapsed against the pillows. I don’t know if Nong Zee understood my words or intentions, but I did my best. He is an extremely kind person who is comfortable to talk to, even if I was a complete weirdo, he didn’t treat me like that.
I picked up my son & we went to lunch talking about social anxiety. I talk about my flaws and issues with him. He was sweet about it. I came home then saw Nong Zee tweeted GoodNight, and then shortly after that, he needed a hug and tagged ZunShine.
My friend swears it wasn’t about me, lol. I think he has had a long few days with lots of work. I hope I didn’t give him anxiety by laying such a heavy topic on such a short call. I tried to move on to lighter things. But I would have been mad at myself had I not said thank you. Now I’ve shared my story, thanks, and love to Nong Zee and Nong Saint. Hopefully, if I ever talk to them again, it will be a somewhat normal conversation, but no guarantees.
I’m always going to be a weirdo. But I love them very much😁🌵🐰💙❤️🐨🌵 Thanks for reading along.
Til next time. 🤟😘💕 – Jen
Tomorrow I will have a chance to talk to, as I affectionally call him in my posts, Nong Zee. I am excited and nervous at the same time. He, like Saint, has been someone who helped me in my darkest times, even though we’ve never met.
I’m sure you know my story, but if you don’t want to be maudlin, skip the next paragraph. I promise I don’t sit around and constantly rehash the last months of my son’s illness and his life. But somehow, the two men, Saint & Zee, are in my heart and my head because of how they helped us live a better quality of life for the time he had left. For Zee, as my friend once told me, he’s a simple man. He is happy with the simple pleasures in life. The beach, the sun, the companionship of animals, nature, chatting with friends. He finds his joy in living life happily. By watching him, I came to realize that we can find joy every day around us. We have what we need to be happy and content. So my child learned to live in the now. The pain was terrible, but the cat on his lap purring or talking with friends about the latest video games or politics and LGBTQ+ rights helped him find his moments of joy every day.
I started this blog also because I fell in love with WHY R U and its content. Tutor & Fighter wouldn’t get out of my head. I loved their complicated story so much that I felt compelled to write again. And soon after, I fell for the two men behind the characters. Saint and Zee are such lovely people. They stole my heart & helped me through my darkest days. Watching videos of their interaction never failed to bring a smile to my face. And watching each of them bloom in their careers, taking risks and challenges that came along, all with a spirit of enthusiasm and commitment that helped them become successful in so many different ways. So to each of them, I owe something different, but I owe them both a giant thank you. It’s now my turn to say these words to Zee tomorrow.
I purchased a ticket to the fan meeting because I adore him. I think Zee is funny, kind, has a big heart, and is a good person. I wanted to go to meet him in Thailand. I was hoping to get there this year, but the pandemic got in the way. I remember my friend attended last years fan meeting & brought him a present from me plus my hand written letter to him. I hope he had the chance to read it. And she told him it was from her friend in America. I wish I could hug him for all that he’s done for me, but a stranger hugging you would be weird….lol.
But I am from the southern USA and we are huggers here🤗. Even strangers get treated to warm welcome and greetings of big hugs & smiles. So if I could I would hug both boys tight and say thank you for being you. Thank you for making the world a happier place.
Back to Nong Zee. I followed him from KissBoysTH. And the love of the Domundi brothers made me fall for all of them, Poppy, Park, Mark, Joss, Toy, Jimmy, Tommy and eventually Baby Nat. And KissBoys we had Saint, Mean, Peak, Jo and Tonnam. A great combination that was always fun to watch. But Zee stood out to me. Especially in his interactions with Saint. The sparks flew and the two of them lived in their own little bubble when they were together.
Exhibit A….The jealousy edit. This is one of my favorite edit because they both exhibit the jealousy here. And it take a lot for zee to get annoyed. But every time I watch this I burst out laughing because whoever created this was pure genius. This is so what all the boys were thinking.
And here we have Zee being Zee. And enjoying crazy antics with his brothers. Love this so very much.
Once he & Saint grew closer, I saw a change happen within him. He became more serious about his work. He changed his habits. He said he wants to be a better person to stand beside Saint. And he worked hard during Why R U. He also stood by Saint’s side when he went through difficult times, even flying to be with him on an overseas fan meeting because he wanted to be there for him. They grew close, encouraged and protected each other.
Zee was willing to put in what it took to be successful. He began to venture out from his comfort zone. He began to work on his singing. He accepted new roles and opportunities that came up, even if the characters were very different from himself. I watched him define his goals and work towards them. And he never lost his humble spirit, his humor and his kindness.
This year has been a year of challenges for everyone, including Zee. Due to a situation created from fan problems, both Saint and Zee agreed to not talk about each other publicly. After the Medent live trip in December 2020, the last public conversation. So they separated into work life and private life.
Zee began to seriously work on his singing, pursue his modeling and acting career. He gave interviews and grew more confident in front of people. So proud of his hard work. He landed a role in a Lakorn which had always been a dream of his. He also had a major role in Never Eat Alone, a series done by Shewin. Then he released several song covers while working on his single. He collaborated with Pete Pol, professional singer and actor. He has another lead in a horror series Remember 15. He is working on music still, creating healthy snacks, a clothing brand, he is running full speed ahead. And yes, he will also star in Cutie Pie, another BL role where he is lead.
So I feel immensely proud of him. And I worry about him. I cant help it. When you see someone you have watched closely struggling to deal with isolation, from covid, and dealing with the pressure from internal and external forces, the maternal side of me wants to hug him and tell him it will all be ok.
But he is a grown man making his way in the world with all the good and bad that come with growth.
Advice: You will make mistakes, you will fall, but you will also learn what to avoid, dust yourself off and keep going. You will be stronger for the challenges you face. I believe you can achieve his dreams. You are talented. Trust yourself more. Make yourself truly happy, even if you have to leave the safety of the known to go out and chase your dreams. When you are happy, it makes me happy. You have a family in cactuzs. Yes we are a couples fan base, but we love you both with all our heart. We will be with you, loving and supporting you on your journey.
Somehow I want to convey these feelings tomorrow with sounding like a crazy person, a stalker, a weirdo or an annoying mother hen. All within a 2 minute window. Plus say small talk like : “I love your photo’s please take more and share with us” and “Where is the one place in the world you want to travel to the most and why?” And “I hope you get to go home for Christmas because I know you miss your family” lol. In 2 minutes I might be able to squeak out a few of these, but it’s why I’m a writer. By writing this down, even if he never reads it, I send my thoughts and feelings out into the universe. Maybe he will feel them or maybe he will read this someday. Either way, the words and intentions have been spoken. I hope that the positive emotions reach him.
Wish me luck. I hope that I don’t get tongue tied by how absolutely charming and gorgeous he is. And somehow in two minutes I make him a little happy and his heart a little fuller.
Thanks for reading my loving tribute to Zee. I will be sure to share the moments with my thoughts and feelings. Hope to come back here soon. Maybe for more shows, maybe something different. But surely more content because I’ve missed my little corner of the net. I love my space at Love Without Gender so very much, but this is my little love project.
First of all, I felt that anxiety all the way here and still catching my breath by the way. I admire your composure coz, i would have honestly hid under the chair.
Not even the cat would help. But i admire you. In any case, if it were me on the other side of the call and you showed up with a cat looking all composed. I’d lose all the confidence i had.
I am happy for you. Talking to someone whose art you admire must be the utmost feeling. I mean, how else would you wanna crown the year right?
I am excited and grinning like a fool you’d imagine it was me. Don’t worry about the conversation, am sure you were awesome. I have seen your writing. Putting WORDS together is your thing. If you know what i mean.
Also, am laughing at you at the end of the call. So relatable. But that was a trip, from beginning to end. Thanks for sharing and am glad I found it. Felt like I was there too and came at a good time when I needed a cheer. Dec is not a great month for me since last year.
Thank you for sharing.