If you’re like me, life is defined by awkward moments.
My early youth was highlighted by an incident in which I wore a white bathing suit which, when wet, became invisible. As I emerged from our backyard pool and my brother pointed out the obvious, I tore into the house to hide, covered my bits with a towel, and spent the rest of the day inside.
Elementary school is remembered as a time when, as a cheerleader and head of the line, I pranced out onto the gym floor at halftime at a basketball game. My ponytail and cheerleading skirt bounced gaily together as I kicked up my heels, ready to perform a dance number that we had practiced to perfection. As I turned to jump and face the audience, hands on hips, my huge smile froze into a grimace as I realized that none of my fellow cheerleaders had followed me out onto the floor. I was standing in the middle of the basketball court all alone. It was just a timeout, not halftime, and it was NOT time for me to dance.
Ahhh, the teen years. I’m not sure which uncomfortable memory is more defining, the one where suddenly starting my period at school was alternately horrifying and embarrassing, or the one where, as a member of the Color Guard in our marching band, I was still made to march during the Homecoming game even though I couldn't twirl a flag because I had a cast on my arm, or the fact that I also attended the Homecoming dance all dressed up with said cast on my arm?
Awkward moments in college were propelled by alcohol and often blossomed into indiscretions, as I said and did things that if dwelt on even now I wince painfully. Some were just plain funny. A girlfriend and I had the opportunity to meet the 1990s group Gin Blossoms at my college after a concert. As our turn came to meet the band, I sidled up to the lead singer and mused that I wish he could take me home with him. As he demurred politely I realized what I had done. He thought I was flirting, and I explained that I wasn’t really into him or his band, and that I was jokingly asking for a free ride back to Arizona where they were from because my boyfriend at the time lived there. I watched the playful look in his eyes turn to annoyance and then abject hatred as me and my girlfriend screamed off into the night, hysterical at the discomfort of the whole interaction.
As an adult the awkwardness continues. Parties and gatherings are opportunities for me to put my foot in my mouth, like the wedding reception where I hashed out the details of childbirth and after birth events, or at the church picnic where I wrongly assumed a fellow conversant and mere acquaintance knew about a minor transgression my son had recently made regarding his undergarments, and gave details that no one should know. The looks on people’s faces are precious when they hear me blather on about something totally inappropriate to the situation and utterly confusing in every way. People just don’t know what to do with one as awkward as me.
And I can’t for the life of me figure out how to be any other way.
|Add the Gin Blossoms to the long list of the unfortunate. Who have witnessed my awkwardness.|