beauty in - awkward?
It never ceases to surprise me the plague that seems to follow everywhere I go. I have been through some of the most awkward and embarrassing moments that really sound more out of a far-fetched comedy flick, than real life.
But that is totally me.
Writers for comedies should just follow my life.
In the beginning, I felt terrible every time it happened. I would think, what is wrong with me? Why do clumsy, weird, funny things happen to me?
I would trip while running up the stairs and get angry at anyone who laughed. In fact, my entire family roared in laughter when I told them I was practicing yoga. I would always forget names and important facts about people who were not used to being forgotten... and I am a blusher, meaning I give away what I feel and think the moment you look at me. A poker face I do not possess!
One, truly mortifying moment that has happened to me, stuck with me...
I was having breakfast with my good friend Chan, at my college diner. We would get together quite frequently as we were in the same calculus 3 class and although I was studying electrical engineering and he was studying math, we were often together in a few classes.
As we got up to leave, another friend I knew, but not that well, and whom Chan did not know, approached us.
And thus, I found myself in the confounded triage of death for those with terrible memory for names. I tried to think of what to do - ask him for his number and how to spell his name? Might just work! Of course, it would look like I was flirting, but anything is better than admitting I had forgotten his name!
I say, "Hi! So I noticed I never got your phone number so we could study (really? study?) together sometime! Ok, so just tell me how to spell your name..."
He gives me this weird look and says, "J-O-H-N"...
Me: "...hehe (nervous giggle) well, you know it could have been J-O-N!"
(I want to leave so very badly... )
So then I turn towards Chan and say to John, "John, this is Chan, and Chan, this is John"
Smile! We did it! Barely!
Chan looked at me, confused, and almost incredulously said, "My name isn't Chan."
True story. Completely true. Just ask everyone I know. I tell it all the time, like an old lady on broken record mode. Because it is surreal what that experience was like!
Obviously I was so embarrassed with those two friends, who, by the way, never ate breakfast with me again, but I was even more intrigued by how incredibly funny it was. And in finding the humor in this humiliating experience, I finally found freedom to accept who I was.
The ability to laugh at yourself is so rewarding! It frees you from the need to be perfect, and makes you real for others. I can never have those perfect Instagram accounts, because I am just way too awkward. I will spill that perfect cup of coffee on myself right as the professional photographer clicks. It would take a million tries. My Facebook lives are full of crazy faces because I can't seem to keep a calm face on and feel the need to express the words I am saying with an actual insane face.
Trust me, I still really try to remember people's names. I know how important this is! It's one of my biggest pet peeves about myself! I actually don't mind when people forget my name, and I won't even correct people when they say the wrong name, since I had gone through that same experience.
I once had a manager at my company (not direct manager) call me Inez for 10 years... and it wasn't out of fear of correcting someone. I could correct him on all kinds of technicalities, and even on the poster of women in his office and how it was offensive. I just didn't think it was worth the embarrassment of telling him my real name. I didn't care if he knew it. I even came to like the name... psychologists might have a field day with that one... but I already know the diagnosis. It's called fear of the Awk-Ward.
When it comes to people, I mostly remember their stories and how they look - and if they wore something interesting, what they wore. I just really struggle with names. But I also try to be chill. I warn people I will probably ask them their name a year from now and that it's not because they aren't important or didn't make an impression - it's because my brain likes to put me in painfully uncomfortable situations, as if it were on purpose.
I am certain that when I become an old lady, people will interpret my odd behavior as senile. But you heard it here first: I was born with it.
Just the other day, as I struggled to keep my grocery bag from falling and balanced it on the back bumper of my SUV, I used my own back to keep it up against the car, while I chatted on the phone with my sister. I said I would just put away my groceries in the car then go meet her. Before I could even hang up, I accidentally pushed the button on my key chain to open the entire back door of the SUV, and it began to push me and my grocery bag out into a clumsy fall, because I refused to let go of my phone, or release my back from the grocery bag and the impending door that was forcing its way at me. My dumb-faced expression caught that of the many onlookers passing by, probably wondering what the heck is wrong with that woman. Meanwhile, somehow in some sort of self defense, I say out loud, "Don't know why I did that! Don't know why I did that! Hehe!" ...Awk-Ward!!
And this was just one of many many. Not even my worse.
Seriously - if you want a good laugh, just follow me. I won't do it on purpose. I really don't like the attention. I wish I could be all flawless and walk around like a model. It is especially when I try that, when I trip over a rock and come flying forward, bump into a poor kid who falls, while their mother gives me the evil eye.
So what's the beauty in this? It's in that I can laugh at myself because I'm rather good at making a fool of myself. I never mean to, which makes it all the more hilarious. And I have noticed in some cases, it has disarmed some people that might have otherwise never opened up. Because they see, heck, she's a mess - at least I'm not that bad! And if that's enough to make someone feel a bit better about themselves, so be it. I have a hardy laugh nowadays with my stories!
So next time you see a comical situation on a movie or TV and think, no way! That could never happen to anyone I know! Think again.
Because you now know me.