Recently, I've run into several awkward situations.
I think I'm a pretty awkward human being. Maybe not awkward looking or awkward in the way I carry myself, but certainly in my interactions with other people.
I know, I know. Everyone describes his or herself as being "so awkward" and it's tired and cliche and overused at this point. I'd argue that everybody is right, though. We're all really freaking awkward. I think human beings are inherently awkward and we've all gotten a whole hell of a lot worse at being socially acceptable people, what with our debilitating iPhone addictions and all. MTV created an entire television program devoted to the condition and Zooey Deschanel and her bangs are riding that awkward train all the way to her multimillion dollar bank account.
Recently, however, I ran into some doozies, and this is coming from someone who very regularly feels uncomfortable in social settings and makes Star Wars or Lord of the Rings references to assuage a prolonged silence in conversation.
Here we go.
Awkward Scenario 1:
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks played, and dominated, the University of Georgia Bulldogs 35-7 this Saturday.
Oh wait. This isn't awkward. This is just really freaking awesome and I had to figure out a way to incorporate the fantastic revelry that occurred into this post. People went completely nuts down at the stadium yesterday, and the camaraderie that's created in a city like Columbia when your football team wins at home is an unparalleled one.
So, while the game itself wasn't awkward, tailgaters were subjected to signs like these all day long:
And my personal favorite...........
On a sidenote, Steve Spurrier is one of my top "old man" crushes. I have many old man crushes ranging from George Strait to Tommy Lee Jones to Mitt Romney, but the ol' ball coach is up there. Yum.
Awkward Scenario 2:
I discovered another cat statue.
In case you're keeping count, that would bring the number of cat statues strategically placed/hidden around my apartment to 6 cat statues.
Anna and I were posting back and forth to each other on Facebook circa about 7:45 A.M yesterday, so naturally she was at my apartment door a couple minutes later. She made the odd request that we go stand on my balcony because it was "pretty out" or something.
Standing on my Herm balcony at 8 am on a Saturday morning, both of us clad in nothing but mismatched pajamas, I found the 6th statue. Perched ominously on the edge of the air conditioner unit was the sixth, and arguably the creepiest, cat.
Awkward Scenario 3:
Your students call you out on your apparently very poor taste in music selection for figurative language review activities and writing prompts in class.
"Kesha's songs are like Lady GaGa's clothes. WEIRD"
"I don't like this song very much, but Coolio can practically sweat waterfalls. Also, I like Weird Al's version better."
Well alright then.
I'm honestly still trying to interpret what that even means.
As for the Jay Sean comparison to "Obama's little brother, if he had one?" I don't know, you tell me.
He may actually have a point.
The Chris Brown song was Forever, and evidently "the instruments sound like if someone started playing DJ Hero on the SNES. I like those old video game 'bloop' sounds."
I think that's the best analogy/analysis of a Chris Brown song I've ever seen. And what 14-year-old these days knows about the Super Nintendo? A thousand gold coins for this kid.
And then I guess he ran out of jokes.
Awkward Scenario 4:
Living about 2 minutes down the street from the high school where you work has its pros and cons.
Pros include: a short commute, less frequent gas tank fill-ups, ability to run home on a break for something you forgot, knowing the community your kids are living in.
One of the biggest cons, however, is the potential to see kids outside of school every single time you leave your house. This means having to do annoying things like put a bra and/or pants on, not wear inappropriate clothes, be prepared to have uncomfortable small-talk convos with both the kid and their parents in your yoga pants, etc.
Usually, I don't mind this at all. It's why I purposely choose to live in the same neighborhood in which I work.
As with most things in life, there are exceptions to my enjoying this. I discovered one such exception on Saturday when I went to my neighborhood CVS.
I needed two things at CVS on Saturday. Just two things.
I was planning on being in and out as quick as a minute, but as we all know well, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. (shameless literary reference from the English teacher)
I parked my truck and hopped over to the automatic door. I walked in and did a quick scan of the part of the store in my view from the door. No students in sight. Whew.
I zoomed over to my first aisle of necessity and grabbed the product from the shelf. I still hadn't seen anyone I knew. Happy fun times in the CVS so far. I kept moving, and trucked it over to the refrigerated section to scoop up item #2. Still hadn't seen anyone I knew, much less a student.
Sweet! I had one more stop on my trajectory and I was outta there. I just had to make it from the refrigerators to the registers.
I turned around, 1 of each of my 2 objects tucked under each arm. As soon as I turned around to head to the registers, I all but collided with......you guessed it....one of my 9th graders.
Oh, and the two objects nestled securely under each of my arms?
Beer and tampons.
That's it. Just beer and tampons. Beer, tampons, and me. I was just a vessel for my beer and tampons and shame and embarrassment. Naturally, it had to be a male student.
Picture this. You're standing face to face with a 14-year-old male in a CVS in literally the most awkward, uncomfortable silence you've ever had the misfortune of being a part of. You look at your student. They look back at you. They look down at your beer. They look down at your tampons. They look back up at you. You look at the ceiling or off into space and would prefer the option of a slow, painful death when faced with the choice of standing in that spot even 20 seconds longer or dying that slow death.
Things I would prefer doing over standing in a CVS with one of my students where the only things between us are tension and a box of Tampax Pearls:
-Watch a sex scene in a movie with my parents
-Trip on the bricks in the middle of a jam-packed college campus
-Accidentally mistake a fat woman for being pregnant
-Accidentally mistake a woman for being a man
- Fart in front a significant other
-Jump off a cliff
-Be in the vicinity of a cockroach
I can only thank the Teacher Gods above that the one thing that could have occurred to make the situation worse---did not occur. The kid was not with his parents.
I think I blacked out a little during the entire encounter, but after what seemed like eons of silence, the conversation went something like this:
Me: Oh, Hi.
Kid: Hi Ms. Townes.
Me: Having a good weekend...? (poker face. do not glance down at your beer or tampons. do not glance down at your beer or tampons.)
Kid: Yeah! We're going to the game today. (looks at beer again) I'm guessing you are too?
Me: Yep. Well have fun. I'm gonna go die now.
It didn't end up being THAT big of a deal. I plowed past the kid as soon as I choked out my 3 lines of "conversation" and didn't look back.
Needless to say, I think I'll be buying my tampons and beer at a more distant CVS or in a grocery store where I can bottom-of-the-basket camouflage them with more socially acceptable grocery items like bread and Lunchables.
Here's hoping you had a slightly less awkward week than I did.
And Go Gamecocks.