Sunday, October 4, 2009
Farewell Queen of Awkward
I'm the first to admit it: I am the queen of awkward. I'm the friend that goes in for the hug, when you are going in for the handshake. In fact, I go in for the hug when people aren't even wanting to shake hands. What can I say? I'm a hugger. It's something I'm coming to terms with and learning how to read social cues. I also forget names quickly, which is understandable for lighter associations, but not for people I've known my whole life, extended family members, etc. Yeah, pretty awkward. I've grown pretty attached to my title Queen Awkward. Which is why it is with great surprise I relinquish it, because this week I met three people that I think deserve my crown. And there's nothing more awkward than a three-way tie, am I right?
It all started with the piano tuner. He seemed pretty nice, and played some nice jazzy chop sticks, and I thought "I like this guy." Somehow our discussion rambled toward the two no-no subjects: politics and religion. I normally don't go near these emotionally charged topics, but I figured "Hey, he plays jazzy chop-sticks, how bad can this get?" Famous last words. Turns out he is a conservative southern Baptist and I am a liberal member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But again, I thought to myself "Pieface, you're both adults, there's no reason for this to be anything but two mature adults discussing their backgrounds." But the discussion reached the point of no return when he said that I "seemed too well-educated to be Mormon" among other awkward accusations. Sure, it was all delivered in the nicest possible way, the way that you would picture a guy who played jazzy chopsticks to say it. But by the time he left, I was mentally exhausted. I'm happy that I stuck to my guns on being respectful versus his more aggressive approach, but HELLO! Are you really attacking my politics and religion, while you tune the piano and PLAY JAZZY CHOP STICKS? In MY house? In front of MY kids? AWKWARD!
Maybe you should just get back to tuning the piano.
Several days later I rode my bike to the grocery store with my kids in the bike trailer. After I packed everyone back into the trailer, I turned to put my cart into the little cart shelter, and in the 7 seconds that I wasn't by my kids' side a woman ran up to them with her hand on her heart, looking quite frantic.
Her: "Did you just go shopping while your kids waited outside in the bike cart?"
Me: "Ummm, no. Didn't you see me? I was just returning my cart," pointing to the cart shelter about 10 feet away from my bike.
Her: "Are you sure?"
Me: (getting on my bike) "Uh ... yup" (riding away).
Her: "Oh, because I was sure that someone had just left these adorable little children on the street, and I just didn't know what to do blah...blah....."
What the? I turn my back for approximately 7 seconds and this stranger is ready to call social services. AWKWARD!!
Fast forward to yesterday. I'm at the playground and this woman I don't know looks at me and asks in astonishment "Wow. You're a young mom. Like a really young mom. How old are you?" I--again--being the mature adult that I am, said "30" and resisted the cheerleader-in-trouble-with-a-married-sugar-daddy-in-the-State-Senate-and-you're-old-like-really-old, how-old-are-you? fictitious reply. Because, remember, I'M MATURE DANG IT!!!
So kudos to you Bible-thumping-piano-tuner, strange-grocery-store-social-services-lady and super-nosy-ageist-mom. You put my awkward hug with what's-his-name older ex-coworker while shopping at Ikea to shame! If you ask me, you all need a good hug!
Turns out the awkward hugging problem is genetic.
* Jazzy Chop Stick mentions: 4