A Slice of Awkward Just for You

There’s no mistaking it when Awkward is in the room. Take this work retreat where employees were asked how they felt about their jobs, followed by a request that they express their feelings in movement, in physical terms. En masse, the group converged in a corner to signify that they felt threatened, with a few jazz hands to denote fear.

At this moment, I wanted to raise my hand and say, “I’m contract, so I’m not a real employee. This is silly, counter-productive and is making me feel uncomfortable. I’d like to leave.” My suggestion should this ever happen to you is to simply flee the scene. This is really your best option. Crawl out the door if you have to. No one will notice if you do it quietly.

Speaking of quietly, if you plan to initiate a conversation with a Librarian, you better use your whisper voice, and don’t waste the Librarian’s time. They are in quite demand with all those budget cuts, you know.  If you ask a question, make sure it’s a question with an answer. Notice the books on the shelves? No excuses for slacking on the research. Don’t ask a question about where the bathroom is. Figure it out. And, no. You can’t have a normal conversation in the library, because it’s the library! Don’t even try. I’m just trying to help here.

This coffee mug is suitable for any beverage. Don't have a stirrer...just use your finger.
This coffee mug is suitable for any beverage. Don’t have a stirrer…just use your finger.

Let’s not bother having a normal conversation with the OB/GYN either. Why do we even try for normal on this one? Why can’t they provide ear buds with some soothing music at the door? I suppose you could bring your own, or could you? Anything but talk.

Take my doctor, for example. We talk about these things during my wellness exam in the following order: employment, books, kids, and finally, his vacation, all the while with him, mentioning the play-by-play guide to the procedure, and me, secretly pretending I am an alien experiment.

I am then reminded that he was on vacation and unavailable when I needed him most, like when I needed him to DELIVER MY BABY! His eyes searching mine, I know he’s wondering whether or not he delivered my children. He doesn’t remember. I want to tell him, “No, you did not deliver my children. You were having a grand adventure in the mountains.” Oh, I’m really over it…actually never counted on it.

While that is a mandatory, medical procedure, an appointment with your Esthetician is not. Why women choose to do the waxing, Brazilian, etc. Well, let’s just leave that aside for now. This is creme of the crop. This is Awkward in high fashion, both glaring and ridiculous. Where the OB may have a checklist of questions, anything goes in this appointment. I suppose because my Esthetician, who shall be named Glenna, is so generous with her advice, she feels the least I can do is listen to her while I lay there pretending to be invisible. I share with you now a typical scenario.

Glenna: My roommate’s boyfriend is such an asshole. She’s tried to break up with him. Get this. Now money is missing from our apartment. I know he stole it.

Me: Oh, horrible.
(The wax is hot and she’s smoothing it down. Rip. Rip. Yep, Forcible removal from the roots. Uh, ouch.)

Glenna: The cops won’t even come over.
(More wax applied.)

Me: Why not? Isn’t that their job? Rip.

Glenna: I know. Rip. And now, guess what? Rip. The boyfriend is stalking me.

Do I dare ask why this is happening with the boyfriend? No. Rip. Ooh…shudder.

Glenna: Oh. Are you okay?

Me: Just wasn’t ready for that one. Um…no, I’m good. Okay…okay.

Glenna: Did you need a tissue?

Me: No. I’m fine, fine.
I lay back down.

Glenna: And now we have rats.

Me: Ooohh, no. Awful.
We’re talking about rats now?

Glenna: Big suckers. So big, the traps won’t even kill them. You see pieces…
Rip. Ow, holy mother of …son of bitch…

Glenna: …pieces of the fur on the traps, but no rats…

Then, I proceed to tell her my story about rats, because don’t we all have a story about rats? The real question here is not why are we talking about rats, but why wouldn’t we be talking about rats.

In these moments, we cling to our humanity, we persevere, we get through it, however we can. We laugh, we shrug, we cower, hide, hug, rise above, or go to our happy place, and in the end, we survive.

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68 thoughts on “A Slice of Awkward Just for You

  1. I’ve never had a waxing! I’ve done my own, but never had one done. I try to avoid awkward situations if possible. I was living in the states when I gave birth to my first child, and I kid you not, during the actual birth part, the ACTUAL birthing part, the doc was chatting with the nurse about arrangements for the nurse’s husband to play golf with him! I was like “Excuse me, I have a situation going on here!” Only not out loud, being Britsh ‘n all, I just said it in my head. In fairness, he was still doing his job with me, it’s just that I felt rather like when store clerks are chatting with each other while serving you, ya know?

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    1. I could never do my own waxing! Wow, you’re brave, Vanessa. I equate it with doing surgery on myself. I don’t think I could do it, although I suppose it if were life or death….I can’t believe it about that doctor. Actually, I do believe it! But yeah, c’mon you have something going on…uh, yeah. Somehow, even if he’s doing his job, that he’s disengaged from the present moment. Got to arrange that golf appointment. Oh, brother!

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  2. Isn’t it interesting how we all have our own unique, awkward encounters and yet that cringing feeling is the same? I have had bad work retreats, but nothing that awkward. That’s pretty epic. These days most of my awkward moments come from cultural misunderstanding.

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    1. This group at work was already a little touchy-feely, but surprised it went in this direction. Can I please go home? I bet you have some good stories about cultural misunderstandings. I’m thinking about that woman who wanted you to send a letter to George Bush, I’m not sure you’d consider that awkward, but it was interesting!!

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  3. I like Glenna. It sounds so much better than awkwardly looking at nothing in particular while wondering whether I should start a conversation or not.
    Oh and how about that moment where there is an awkward pause and you choose to make it worse by calling out the awkward pause. *facepalm*

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    1. Glenna is entertaining. Always! In light of the situation, which is just uncomfortable no matter what, she makes it bearable. Awkward *facepalm* is sure to happen most when you’re stuck, like an airplane with someone. Of course!

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  4. How about this for an advantage: awkward breaks the ice. For example, I tend to introduce people awkwardly and they laugh at my overly-enthusiastic attempts, we make jokes, then they turn to each other, ready to talk and forget about me.

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    1. Brenda, that’s perfect. Sometimes awkwardness is welcome. Even as it happens, I think people can relate knowing it could happen to them, too. I could see how that would relaxing for people. You can introduce me anytime.

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      1. We use sigh language! Hee hee – I’ve only worked in a University Library – and often in IT – where we’re allowed to be socially awkward. Most librarians have a sense of humor and some do not – some feel like they ahve at justify themselves all day long…. most are very cool. We don’t give Brazilians in the backrooms, however… not enough time.

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      2. Ah, see, I knew you guys had some tricks up your sleeve. Using sign language!! You must blog about this. I find it fascinating. I love librarians, I think it’s funny they probably get annoyed with the rest of us. No, you wouldn’t have any time. You’re very very busy!

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      3. We of talk to each other. You should come to my library. Sometimes I feel like a bartender without the booze. People tell me alot of awkward stuff. I have a hard time keeping a straight face. I had an old lady scream at me that she hated a book because the author was obsessed with the penis.
        Librarians Rock. I love my job.
        As for the gyn. Why can’t we wear ear buds? Mine has mobiles hanging above the exam tables. I want to rip them down.

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      4. You’re a librarian?! I’m learning so much today. I didn’t know that. Oh, very cool, Audra! No wonder you’re so good with words. I bet you have your stories. People screaming at you? That is not fair. You didn’t write the book about the penis. Ha ha. I can’t help but laugh at that one. I bet you want to put up a sign. We are currently closed…

        Next time, maybe I will bring ear buds. Hmm, that might make for more awkwardness. My doctor actually is really nice, but it is what it is. As for the mobiles, that is strange. What do think it is? A nursery? Maybe for the unborn babes?

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  5. I can’t say I’ve ever participated in an exercise quite like that. Which is a good thing (because ‘Awkward’ should be my middle name)! I would guess you are very good at that sort of thing, though, Amy. With you background in dance and such. Although (and you’ve possibly told me this before) you might have done more ‘traditional’ dance than that. Still, something tells me you have masted the whole expression through movement thing. 🙂

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    1. Robert, I’ve done my share traditional dance and well as the interpretive dance. Even with my movement background, this one felt odd, to say the least!! It happened a long time ago, so know I can just laugh, although not at the time. Then, I just wanted to cry! Oh, and go home. But hey, maybe there’s something to it…what if were to solve all our problems this way. Maybe we would then just decide to have less problems! Maybe that was the point.

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  6. Holy hell on a stick. The interpretive dance of feelings about work is a crime against humanity. And I, too, have been on the waxing table. My provider always wants to talk about cute things her kids have said, and I try not to pepper the stories with too many profanities…

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  7. Love this. There’s no one who knows more about Awkward than me. Particularly with rat conversations during waxing. But then – what ISN’T an awkward topic of conversation when someone is applying hot wax to the periphery of your vagina?

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    1. Exactly! True. We might as well be talking about rats or whatever else! Or, what about the latest technology…I’m heading over to your blog! It’s just a weird thing no matter what frame of mind you are in.

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  8. I’m a sugar girl. I much prefer it to waxing. Unfortunately, the stories to take your mind off what is happening are still necessary. My sugarer is truly the best and we are usually laughing so hard that it is hard to tell what is causing the tears running down my face.

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    1. Michelle, please do tell. What is sugarer. I’ll go Google…I’m glad you are crying tears of happiness! Those are prized moments even when they happen in awkward situations, or maybe especially when they happen then.

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      1. Sugaring is like waxing only, in my opinion better. I waxed for years and then tried sugaring. I would never go back. My theory is that when you shower after the waxing the residue on your skin is of course wax and can clog pours etc. Because it is wax it is waterproof. Sugar on the other hand dissolves in water so there is no after residue.

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      2. Michelle, this is fascinating. I wonder why I’ve never heard of this before. But it’s not as if it’s less painful I take it. I know waxing has it’s share of problems. Do you get this done at a salon/spa? I’ll have to look into it. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I would have walked out of that retreat, really. I hate things like that. It’s like those little games women play at baby or wedding showers. I will not stand up and make a fool out of myself. Well at least not on purpose. 😉
    Waxing? Uh no thanks, I’ll stay hairy. But I have a secret. Being part Native American I am not as hairy as some. haha!
    Rats? Did you know that in Alberta Canada rats are NOT allowed?? Really. I live in Alberta and rats have no place here. They are not allowed in the province. (Course I am always looking out for those little signs you know, a picture of a rat with that circle and slash thru them? Too funny!

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    1. Jackie, I didn’t know you were Native American. I had no idea. That is a nice perk! I don’t much like the silly games either at the showers, but I usually go through with them. The retreat, definitely odd and hard to face everyone the next day. Just, you know, awkward!

      And, I did not know that about the rats. Do you really see those signs? I thought it was impossible to be completely free of them. How do they do this?

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      1. I’m only half Native American, but yeah it’s nice to have that perk. 😉

        As for the rats here in Alberta, I don’t think they really have those signs, but yes they are not allowed here. If you see one, you are suppose to report it and people will come out and invade wherever you saw it. Kind of weird, I mean how can you NOT have rats like at farms and that? But they are dead serious about it. Wish they would get rid of the mice too. ha!

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  10. Amy, This was a good post — one I needed to read today. Not that I’m looking for any kind of Awkward, but sometimes I feel like I bring Awkward with me and just hide in its bubble. Maybe, maybe not. But we all have rat stories to tell.
    Thanks Friend!

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    1. Anytime, friend. I’m glad it served a purpose for you. I think we all have Awkward in us, no matter how cool we think we are. Because, like you said, we all have a rat story or two. You’re welcome. Thanks for reading!

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      1. Yes, I get a little tired of the ‘cool’ sometimes. Not sure if the cool kids have better or bigger rats, but your post reminded me that rats are still rats. Good for me to remember this.
        btw, all waxed now? 😉

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  11. I go into those situations knowing they will be awkward and I give myself the task of either making the other person laugh or to ask questions so they talk, hoping that it will somehow lead to a story I can tell later. I live for (and often loathe) awkward. I understand the wax situation, I think it’s one of the worst…considering someone is putting hot wax on parts and ripping it off while trying to talk. I work in a spa as my second job, so my work mates are the ones doing it…..funny to think about, but is even worse!

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    1. La La, this is a wise strategy you have. Go for the laughs or the material! It is kind of toss up between living for it and loathing it, the awkwardness that is. It does make life and those moments more interesting. I didn’t know you worked at a spa, too. The things I learn on my blog!! I couldn’t do this job. No, no way! I think it would be a tough, awkward job to have. But the stories you could tell….

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  12. Waxing lyrical Amy ?? I have absolutely no idea why women want to look like plucked chickens. Should use the rat trap. It works on them and it’s free 😉 Another ripping good post my friend. Ralph xox 😀

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    1. I’m going to pass on the rat trap, Ralph, if that’s okay with you. The whole thing is ridiculous. But, I suppose if you’re in the mood for something awkward, it will do the job. Thanks, my friend. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Amy xox

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  13. Amy, this gave me a good giggle! I just left the OB’s office yesterday. Fortunately, they know how awkward things get when you’re laying on your back. Instead of getting nervous and talking about the lizard I found in my garage, I just stared at the sticker on the ceiling.

    In big bold writing it said, ” I HATE THIS.” Yeah, my doctor gets it.

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    1. Hahaha…the lizard you found in your garage…that’s as perfectly awkward as the rats. Your doctor sounds like a cool dude! Imagine you have your share of OB appointments, huh? Oh, good luck with that. It’s good to laugh about it, Anka!

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