Chapter 15: Isn’t awkwardness fun?!?
There comes a moment in everyone lives, that is inexplicably, undeniably, skin-crawlingly awkward that the only way you can breath is by inhaling through clenched teeth. I don’t know why this helps but getting at least a little oxygen can’t hurt. Whether you hit someone with your car, called your best friend’s dog fat (within k-9 earshot) or stumbled upon their collection of porcelain dolls, these moments will sneak up on you. They for sure will. Even as I am saying this the ‘moments’ are wearing woolen caps and black turtle necks and sneaking around the shrubbery in the backyard doing surveillance. They are coming for you. There is no stopping them. They really like to add the element of surprise. These damn moments of shear awkwardness, they are unholy and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy. Well in my case I would wish it on them, and they would be standing right behind me. That is the kind of luck I have. I have a lot of experience with awkwardness, it would be my middle name but I wouldn’t want my initials to spell out DAD. That would just be weird. Weirdness is next to awkwardness as I always say. They have a lot of common. So I thought I would take some time to help you cope with the awkwardness that is daily life. Consider this your idiots guide to social situations.
Situation: You walk into a room and immediately shout an expletive, very crude and very loud, assuming that you are home alone.
Awkwardness making moment: Your 85 year old Grandmother has decided she wanted to use your spare key to come over and watch the “wheel” with her equally old and fragile friend Abigail.
What to do: Ignore the situation. Never underestimate the power of pretending it never happened. Be sure to sell it to yourself first. If you believe it never happened chances are others in the situation will believe it too! This works especially well when it comes to old people. They probably didn’t hear you. Also sometimes they are senile so you can always fake you way out of the actual incident by patting them lightly on their little heads.
Situation: You are talking about your friends’ love lives in specific detail, to a common friend in a public place (either a coffee shop, hardware store, or Bar-mitzvah).
Awkwardness making moment: You are really in the heat of the moment and said friend or their special someone walk up behind you just as you are getting to the really good parts.
What to do: Recover quickly from the shock of it all. Quick thinking can lighten any teeth grindingly horrible social situation. Pretend you knew they were there the whole time and then giggle till they either leave or join in. Alternatives would be to run as fast as you can, but physical activity isn’t really my bag.
Situation: At a New Years party you decide to introduce one of your best friends to an acquaintance of yours whom you happen to despise and who you told your best friend all about. You hope their meeting will cause endless giggle fits about the acquaintance’s shortcomings
Awkwardness making moment: They hit it off! They like each other and start dating. Eventually they get married and invite you to their cabin at the lake for Labor Day where your best friend asks if you still hate her husband.
What do to: Lie. You have no other choice. Lie till your pants smoke (from your pants being on fire) and tell her that you never meant that! Called them little names like “silly” and “weirdo” and explain that you are just very different people (Like how you are super cool and they are not) Then buy a bottle of wine and await the day when they realize all the obvious faults in their present spouse. Alimony! Cha –CHING!
Some helpful don’t dos:
Don’t say “This is awkward.” Everyone their knows that it is awkward, you pointing it helps doesn’t help, Captain Obvious.
Don’t say anything. Silence is your enemy. Fight it off. Comment on the colours of the room if you have to. Keep the mouth a’flappin.
Don’t speak too much. That is terrible. Nobody likes an over-talker. Nobody.
Don’t break into tears. This can only make everyone else want to cry. Chances are you’re not on Oprah. Lets keep the tears in their ‘eye-pants’
Don’t backtrack. Lie your way out. Pretend something else happened, or ignore it all together. Don’t say go back on what you say. You may be socially inept but at least have a backbone.