After many nights of very little sleep I decided to crash early last Thursday. I fell asleep around 10pm, which was WONDERFUL. My body woke me up at 4am, mostly because of this parental instinct that I seem to have with Mozzie (the new puppy), which was okay. I figured that Mozzie had been by himself for long enough, so I brought him upstairs to continue to sleep with us in our bed. I was definitely tired enough to go back to sleep -- apparently so was Mozzie -- but my brain decided it was time to regale me with stories of every awkward moment I've ever had. Some of it was recent, but some of it was from years ago, because why not? My brain is an a-hole.
I know I'm not the only person that does this, but I will never understand why I dwell on these awkward moments so much -- and for so long after the fact. Trust me, I would LOVE to forget about these things, or at least move on and not care, but for some reason my brain won't let me.
So at 4am it will randomly poke me and say, "Hey, remember that one time you completely blanked on the words to "You Can Always Count on Me" from City of Angels..............in front of several hundred people..............and jibberish came flying out of your mouth for like a solid minute? Yeah. That was super awkward."
Keep in mind that this was like 12 years ago. Really, brain? REALLY???
"I mean..........that was super embarrassing. You really bombed that one. Remember how terrible that felt? That really sucked."
I know! I remember, unfortunately. Thanks for bringing it up!!! Jerk................
As I've gotten older I've gained more confidence, but I also feel like I've somehow gotten more awkward at the same time. Moments such as forgetting the words to that song, while still super awkward (and apparently scarring), were a long time ago when I was in high school. All high schoolers are awkward to a certain extent, so that's normal. But I have definitely had way more awkward moments as an adult, and I tend to remember all of them. Yay........................
Not hearing what people say
Sometimes I smile and nod, because I'm deaf and can't hear/understand what someone is saying -- but it turns out that what they're telling me is a) not something to smile about, b) not something I should be nodding to, and/or c) they think I'm an idiot, or now hate me, or both.
Too many years of being in front of drummers at gigs -- I really need to invest in a good pair of ear plugs..............
Being a broken record
When autopilot kicks in and I say, "Hey, how are you?," and they say, "Fine, how are you?," and I say, "Good, thanks, how are you?" Then they either have to be polite and pretend I'm not an idiot by answering me twice, or they look at me funny and I want to disappear.
I managed to combine #1 and #2 about a month ago. This person and I greeted each other, but the greetings kind of overlapped, and she apparently had answered me -- but again, I'm deaf -- so I asked her again so I didn't seem rude. She looked at me really funny and slowly said, "I'm good.....................thanks...................." Then it dawned on me that she had already answered and I looked really dumb. I quickly walked to another area of the party. This wall looks interesting......................
Laughing out loud when it's silent
I do this one a lot........................Remembering something funny and laughing -- out loud -- and of course it's dead silent when I do. Then I look like someone who hears voices, and apparently thinks those voices are hysterical. I also will laugh at something, and then after the moment has passed, decide that it's still really funny and laugh some more. It's not a subtle laugh either -- it's a burst of laughter that startles people. That always gets me some interesting looks as well. I did that one over the weekend. I'm so awkward........
Dancing to avoid running into people
We've all experienced the awkward "changing of lanes" that we have to do to avoid colliding with someone while walking. I'm a courteous person, so I try to move to accommodate that person, but if they're also a courteous person, we end up dancing for a ridiculous amount of time.
There is a particular woman where I work that this happens with at least once a week. I'm not exaggerating in the least. There must be some sort of magnetic force that pulls at us, making us almost collide on a regular basis. It's always as we're coming around a corner or going opposite directions through the same door. I have almost knocked that poor woman down so many times...............and I'm running out of things to say! It's generally awkward laughter and some terrible attempt to crack a joke. I don't think she thinks I'm funny...................
Responding to people with nonsense
This is the one I dwell on the most.................Saying something that you DESPERATELY wish you could go back in time and change. Or maybe go back in time and punch yourself right in the freakin' face -- preferably in the mouth so you can't speak. I'm not necessarily talking about saying something mean to someone and wishing you could take it back -- I mean, that sucks too -- but I'm talking about normal conversational stuff. Like wishing you had chosen words that made sense, or words that didn't make you sound like you didn't understand the English language -- even though you've been speaking it for decades..........and it's the ONLY language you know how to speak. After the fact I'll think to myself, "Of all the things you could have said........why that? Were you drunk? No, you weren't -- so what the hell???"
Person: "Hi Jamie. How are you?"
Me: "I like blueberries!!!"
Person: "Okay then......................"
Me: "My hair hurts."
I do and say SO many other awkward things, but my brain isn't allowing me to remember them now that I'm actually purposefully trying to recall the moments. Such an a-hole.
The older I get, the more ammo my brain has to fire at me, because each year I "collect" more awkward memories -- some make for really great stories though. Like this one..............
That one time I embarrassed myself during a funeral in a Catholic church..............
Will's family is Catholic, so when Will's grandfather passed away a few years ago, the service was held in a Catholic church -- naturally. I had actually never attended a Catholic service before, so it was all very new to me -- I grew up Methodist. Will told me that it would mean a lot to his grandmother if I took part in communion (Eucharist). I've always been told that that's a no-no. If you're not Catholic, you don't participate in Eucharist. I respected that, so I told him that I wasn't allowed. He kept trying to convince me, and I said, " Your grandma knows I'm not Catholic -- this is a bad idea." I was also convinced that the priest would be able to sense that I wasn't Catholic and I would be in trouble or something. I don't know -- I'm neurotic sometimes. Eventually he talked me into it, and I followed him towards the line.
I was watching everyone very carefully to make sure I did everything right when it was my turn. I saw a few people open their mouths and have the priest place the wafer on their tongue, but for the most part everyone was taking the wafer from the priest and doing it themselves. I wanted to do the latter -- having him feed me seemed really weird. Will went first -- he took the wafer from the priest, put it in his mouth and moved on. I tried to take the wafer from the priest, and he pulled back. I tried again and he pulled back further. It was like he was playing keep-away with the freaking wafer. So even though I REALLY didn't want to do this, I leaned forward and opened my mouth, because he clearly wasn't going to let me take it. He looked at me like I was crazy and very reluctantly fed me the wafer. I had no idea what that was about, and I could feel my face starting to turn red, but I moved on anyway.
I watched Will physically take the wine chalice from the lady and drink from it, so I tried to do the same. SHE FOUGHT ME!!!!! We tugged back and forth on the wine chalice for a bit, and then I awkwardly got close enough so that I could steal a sip, and then ran away.
I got back to the pew and the conversation with Will went like this...............
Me: "I will KILL you!!! That was the most awkward thing I've ever done. I did everything like you and they fought me the entire time!!!"
Will: "Well did you say 'amen' beforehand?"
I'm sure the look on my face made Will think I was actually going to strangle him with my bare hands.
Me: "You......didn't........tell me.........to say........'amen'..............." (All spoken through gritted teeth)
"I grew up Methodist! There is no 'magic word' you have to say. They just give you the thing and say their spiel, and you eat or drink it. I told you they'd know I wasn't Catholic!!!"
Now I think it's funny, but I definitely didn't at the time. I was so mad at him...................
Regardless, I'm awkward............you're awkward..............we're all awkward in our own ways. I guess it's part of what not only makes us unique, but also makes it so that we can relate to each other. Plus, what we see as awkward in ourselves is not always what other people see. I've lost count of how many times people have commented on my confidence, and I'm thinking, "Who, me?," and turning around like they may be talking to someone behind me. So maybe I'm not as awkward as I think I am. Or maybe I am. Meh. At least I have some good stories to tell over drinks.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm in my 30s, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."