There are many an awkward moment in this life of ours. Every day we are faced with the possibility of enduring a red faced, breath caught in the lowest region of the throat, feel like you might puke out of sheer embarrassment moment. And don’t try to lie- it happens to all of us. It happens when we least expect it. It happens on the fly.
And what’s worse than actually living through that disconcerting situation? Reliving it for all to hear about. And yet we do that don’t we? We retell our embarrassing tales to anyone we think we can get a laugh out of. Because somehow being able to laugh at the situation makes it less excruciating- less awkward.
I think it is safe to say ‘Awkward Things’ is a topic that brings humans together. Because as humans we have all lived through that moment when you just want to shrivel away from the world, crawl into a cavernous hole for just long enough that people will forget your truly unfortunate faux pas.
But if the movie ‘Superbad’ has taught us anything it is that, “People don’t forget.”
So join me my friends in reliving just a couple of the simpler things in life. The Awkward things.
1. There you are in the grocery store jabbering away to yourself about why in the hell you need to buy milk again when a fresh faced youngster ( and by youngster I mean teenager) looks over at you suspiciously.
You see the glance out of the corner of your eye and slowly (awkwardly) turn your head to meet their gaze. They ask if you are talking to them.
Robert De Niro pops into your head and you start smiling…Weirdly.
You immediately feel the pressure because you both know you were talking to yourself, but clearly neither of you are actually going to come out and say it.
And instead of fessing up to it you say, “I’m sorry, what?” the kid rebuts with, “What.” You then become immersed in a stalemate battle of ‘what’s’…
That is until the youngin’ pauses and you both endure the longest ill at ease moment of silence ever.
Finally she turns to leave mumbling something about people getting weird when they grow older.
2. Let me paint you a picture…
There you are at a rocking Christmas party. You’ve had a few glasses of the bubbly which really loosens the ol’ tongue and you’ve found yourself smack dab in the middle of relaying an electrifying story of an encounter you had at the grocery store the other day.
You are obviously embellishing the tale because if you simply told your current company that a kid witnessed you talking to yourself in the dairy section you realize the story would end on a devastatingly dull note. And you just cannot allow that on your watch. OH NO.
So instead you start making up all of these newfangled twists and climaxes that are just believable enough to get the crowd completely enamored in the story. You are about to wrap up the tale in a nice and neat little bow when you realize you have completely forgot how to end the story. You had an ending in mind but the booze (as it tends to do) has completely erased it from your memory.
You cannot end it the way it actually ended because you realize you’ve completely changed the story line from what actually happened. So by revealing the genuine boring ending you’ve defeated the purpose of ‘embellishing’ in the first place. So there you are 15 eyes (one of them is wearing an eye patch) plastered on you waiting to hear the punchline and you are at a complete and utter loss.
It’s to the point where you’ve essentially now forgot the entire reason you started telling this story in the first place. You can literally feel the champagne swimming into the last unsullied area of your brain. You realize how drunk you are. All of the sudden you are self-conscious of slurring your words and possibly you may even be swaying a little. It has been an entire minute that you’ve been sitting silently. You are praying that they will either A) walk away from you (maybe they forgot too…) Or B) The story will miraculously turn up in your head and all will be forgiven.
Alas those 15 eyes still stare you down unwaveringly and clearly, by now, indifferent. So you try to shrug off the whole shebang and say, “Oh well, it all worked out I guess.”
The people start to disperse their separate ways until that one asshole says, “What are you talking about? That just made absolutely no sense…”
Stay tuned friends for more Awkward Things- because let’s face it, an embarrassing moment is only an extremely clean glass door away.