When and why did being awkward become cool? I’ve been trying to figure that out for the past two years. And though I really don’t have an answer, I’m incredibly thankful. For once I now have an opportunity to be funny and cool. Because damn am I awkward. In fact, I’m so awkward that I might just be the not funny kind. Like, I think I’m the uncomfortable not just for myself but for everyone kind.
Here are two awful and awkward things that happened to me today in front of real people.
1. The Taco Bell Employee
I helped a young adult man at the desk today. But first let me backtrack and explain something. People smell. Often. Like all kinds of things. We deal with people who might not be in a situation where they can (or remember to) bathe often, and we deal with people who are stopping by quickly after work or a visit to the gym. We deal with all kinds of people. So this particular young man smelled sort of like… my husband. I couldn’t place what specifically the smell was but I liked it. I kept thinking of how I could bring it up. In assisting him and conversing with him he at one point mentioned having to work. I couldn’t hold back. “Where do you work?” I asked. He replied “At Taco Bell.” And do you want to know what my response was? Of course you do. After all, who doesn’t want to feel a little better about themselves in comparison?
“Oh, I thought you smelled like Taco Bell. I mean, I like how you smell, though. I like Taco Bell. I was just talking about fajitas.”
2. First Impressions
We hired a new teen assistant recently. Based on my coworkers’ (her managers) reactions of her, I am sure she is interesting and cool. So our teen manager was walking her around giving her the tour of the place. Let me set the atmosphere: I had just smelled a Taco Bell employee and was hurriedly escaping the scene. I looked up from my feet and see the new assistant and the teen manager standing in front of me in the lobby. The teen manager says, “Oh, this is Laura. She does all the technology stuff, basically.” I replied hilariously with “Well, I try anyway,” and just grinned at the teen assistant. The teen manager, who’s quite funny, moves on and says “I’m just giving her a tour. The worst tour ever. There’s a closet, there’s the elevator.” The assistant chuckled because it was funny, because yeah… first day tours are the worst. I’m really smooth and suave in my responses. Which this time was… are you ready for it?
“Yeah. Uh, now what?”
What did I even mean by that? What kind of introduction was that, and why didn’t I just say “nice to meet you” and move on, or laugh at the manager? At least the new chick knows how weird I am right away.
Why can’t I be the funny, cool, geeky kind of awkward? Instead of the painful kind of awkward that’s like nails on a chalkboard? Good grief.