It’s an undeniable fact that I am possibly one of the most awkward people I know. Therefore, when it comes to a sentence that starts with the phrase ‘That awkward moment…’, believe you me, I could easily be the poster girl for this catchphrase.
I have a multitude of anecdotes to narrate. You must know that I’m a person who takes life with a pinch of salt, so I’ve long passed the stage of embarrassment or mortification. Instead, I try to take it in my stride and laugh at my own mishaps, because if I won’t, I’m pretty certain others will, so what the heck?!
The Babbling Idiot
I’m an adamant believer in the expression ‘less is more’. I try to apply this adage to my choice of words. It’s a pity that I don’t always put this life rule into practice as often as I should. I’m generally rather articulate, however I normally acknowledge instances where my two cents needs to be kept in my purse and not donated to conversation participants. If only this were the case when talking to people I want to make a good impression on. But alas, I have let myself down time and time again. A typical example is when I try my utmost to sound sophisticated to my superiors, like my lecturers at university, but end up sounding like an ignoramus instead. Another more common and equally awkward example is when it comes to introducing myself over the phone to someone to inquire about information or attempt to make a complaint in the most assertive way possible. Why, you ask? Well, it’s probably because I’m generally better with face to face introductions and find it unnatural having to introduce myself and give a mini life-story as to who I am and what I’d like to resolve.
Waving to the random stranger
This has happened to me much too painfully and often. The fake hair scratch can only be mastered to a certain extent, so it’s bound to let you down at some point. For those of you who haven’t tried to simulate the hair scratch, I can confirm that this strategy is certainly not fool-proof. Trust me, I’ve learnt this the hard way! This is especially true if your frantic wave is accompanied by a shout out to your supposed friend who in reality is not your friend at all, but a random passer-by minding their own business, or at least trying to!
Finding a typo after hitting send
Sending an email to impress? Need to proofread it thoroughly before hitting ‘send’? Then I suggest that unlike myself, you do your best and most accurate proofreading prior to sending it. But of course, it just has to be me to put my best proofreading skills after clicking send. It’s so typical and so, so wrong, most especially if you take into consideration how much I cringe when I read horrendously spelt English. Once it was so bad I even misspelled my own name.
The need to laugh in a serious situation
These are classic moments in my books. It’s so true when people say the more you can’t laugh in serious situations, the more you want to! It never ceases to amaze me when the need arises to belt out a loud and hearty chuckle at the most awkward and inappropriate moments. Whether someone’s telling you a serious or sad story and mispronounces a word funnily, or when someone’s talking and inadvertently makes your mind drift off to a hilarious joke… Just use every inch of muscle in your body to NOT laugh. Sometimes I make such an effort to keep a straight face, I literally turn red in the face.
Remembering a hilarious joke when you’re alone in public
I’m sincerely hoping this has not only happened to me, because if so, I guess it’s only comical for me. It’s not the first time I would be walking by the seaside or running my weekend errands where something triggers off the memory of a hysterical joke or story. So as not to look like someone who escaped from a mental asylum by laughing erratically, I look at my phone and act like I read something funny or at the very most, feign a cough.
Mouthing the unnecessary ‘thank you’ while driving
What if you mouth ‘thank you’ to a driver who you think has just let you pass, even if it was his/her right of way, only to realise he was stopping there anyway or waiting to park? This is slightly less uncomfortable since I’m in the confines of my car and can busy myself with my radio channels’ setting, albeit still an awkward moment, but not the most awkward methinks.
The unintentional double entendre
When I nonchalantly utter a sentence that oozes sexual innuendo, leaving my friends speechless, because of the blatant insinuation, even though I didn’t mean it in the way it might have sounded. Obviously, when I come to the embarrassing realisation, I wish I were an ostrich who could stick its head in the sand.
Catching someone picking their nose
Honestly, I don’t know who it’s more embarrassing for – the picker or the watcher. You don’t want to make them see you looking, but by the time you’ve realised it’s about time you stop, they’ve already realised they’ve been spotted. It’s as funny as it is uncomfortable. You’re there, looking at the person, wondering whether s/he’s digging for a bogy or gold, and more importantly, wondering when this blessed soul is going to quit their quest. And what is it about a car that makes people think we can’t see them pick their noses? I’m pretty sure drivers with tinted windows who are also nose picking enthusiasts pick all the more aggressively.
Not understanding what’s someone’s just said (even after they’ve repeated it 3 times)
This situation is so frustrating. When people mumble by nature, or simply have a very low voice, it’s really hard to grasp what on earth they’re saying! Therefore, in order not to look like an elderly woman by asking for them to repeat after the third, fourth or sometimes FIFTH time, I resort to acting like I’ve understood, and nod politely in agreement, then try to deduce the meaning of what was said from the context, if and where possible.
Establishing eye contact with other drivers when doing a singing and head banging solo in your car
I honestly don’t care about this one. If people don’t like it, that’s fine by me, because ultimately they can simply turn their head in the other direction and not look. If others find it funny, well then, at least I’ve brightened up a person’s day with my shenanigans!
The confidently-singing-incorrect-lyrics-to-a-song moment
So many songs, SO many misunderstood and mis-sung lyrics! Do I care, well yes and no. I guess I mostly feel like a tit when I sing them with the confidence of Christina Aguiliera, and realise that the lyrics are way off base.
So there you have it – a snapshot of a few of my own personal awkward moments. And for all those who have similar or other stories, I invite you to join in my party of awkwardness by sharing!