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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Adventures in Awkward

I got an e-mail that just said, "we, the people, only want to hear about over the top happy stuff for so long." Any time you receive an e-mail with a reference to the Constitution, you're kind of obligated to give them, the people, what they want.

As great as Chicago is, it doesn't change the fact that I'm still really awkward. That's fine when you're with someone because then it doesn't really matter how much sushi you can put away or how corny your jokes are. There's a mutual understanding that you both kick ass...hard. Dating, on the other hand, is an awkward process to begin with and for someone that's awkward by nature,* it's is like being thrown in a tiger cage with a plastic spork and a slinky to protect yourself.

Here's the rub - Every time I'm out with some dude, I get really nervous and think the most bizarre things - things you can't say out loud to a stranger because if your date rejects them, that makes for an uncomfortable evening and if your date accepts them, you're probably out with a mentally unstable person. My train of thought goes something like this on a date:

Why am I sweating like a farm animal? Why is it that I have an easier time conversing with my gyno during an actual examination than with this seemingly decent person over a nice meal? Maybe my gyno is just really personable. She did tell me I had a nice watch last time I was there. What if she were a snowman, would that be a more difficult situation than this one? I mean, she would have sticks for hands, so that can't be pleasant. I wish I had a detachable hand that I could change out for something like a divining rod or a Swiss army knife or a suction cup whenever I wanted. I'd be Suction Cup Couch. God that would be sweet.

And so on. The only time in my entire life this happens is when I'm out with someone. The better looking they are, the worse it gets. My brain doesn't stop the entire time and by hour 3, I'm thinking about really bizarre stuff like of all the failed presidential candidates throughout time, who would make the cutest older gay couple - that was a real thought I had my last date. I decided it was Grover Cleveland and Al Gore since they both won the popular vote but lost the office**. I figured that they were both probably bitter and would want to discuss that over lattes and low-fat scones.

By the time the date is coming to a close, things that would have gotten filtered out in the beginning of the date now seem relatively tame in comparison and actually work their way into conversation in the form of awful nervous joke attempts and misplaced sarcasm. On a date I had months ago the following conversation took place:

Dude: Those are nice pants.

Me: Thanks. I'm tiny and they're from the children's section. Play your cards right and you can say you got into a 14 year old's pants...I mean, not that, ha, you know, you would want to say that. I don't think you're into 14 year olds...Or their pants...Or any teen fashion really...Hey, sorry, my jokes suck and I've made this terribly uncomfortable. Have you ever said something and then immediately after you said it, kind of wished you were dead?

Dude: I don't think so.

Me: Right. Nevermind.

Afterwards it's like every WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT alarm goes off in my head at once and I go home wishing the earth would swallow me up. Dating is harder than multi-variable calculus. I would get a 1 on the AP Dating Exam.

Last Wednesday, I went to the beach with my dog. While there, I started talking to this girl who also has a dog and who, like me, happens to have an affinity for girl punk bands. We talked for about half an hour about who the poster girl for punk rock should be*** and when I was ready to leave, I said goodbye and started heading across the beach towards home. I was a good 5 minutes into the walk when I felt a tap on my shoulder and the girl shoved her phone number into my hand and said, "Um. I don't want to be creepy or anything, but you know, we should hang out...hang out together. [awkward pause]. I'm sorry if I sweat all over that phone number. I have, like, a lot of glands in my hands. [awkward pause]. I have no idea why I just told you about my glands." I smiled all the way home.


* I have no idea what this is, but it came up when I Googled "Awkward By Nature." I was hoping to find some reference to Naughty by Nature, but a giant penny facing a drunk giraffe might be better.

** Yeah, I know John Quincy Adams also falls in the Won the Popular Vote, But Lost the Election category, but do you think that the man who invented the internet is going to settle for someone as angry looking as this? I don't think so.

*** Brody Dalle - duh.



At 1:42 PM, Blogger Maura said...

Sammy J. Tilden - he's totally the 19th century Al Gore.

Also, the penny is to show scale - that's a miniature faceless siamese-twin giraffe.

And finally, who are these guys you're dating? None of them have ever said anything and immediately thought, "god, being dead looks pretty good now"? Maybe you should stop dating STUDS
contestants and start dating people who've memorized all presidental running mates since John Adams. (The only person I can think of that fits that description is my dad, interested?)

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Brandon said...

man, i am almost certain that when i spoke to you for the first time i said several awkward and inappropriate things followed by silence on your behalf. at the time, i attributed it to the 40 second delay being as how you were in france. now i know you were epiphanizing.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger d said...

yeah there's something wrong with these dudes.

i guess to their credit they have that incessant little male-specific devil in their head that's probably diverting too much blood away from their brains and into their pants BUT STILL...

who hasn't said something that made them wish their lips were stapled shut?

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Chris said...

In all fairness, I have been out with some really nice guys, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm an explosion of awkward.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

Well, if you get TRULY desperate for lovin' this summer, there's always Dating for Nerds.

Also, one time I went to this Rockstar Party at JMU with my friend Morgan who went as Brody Dalle. I did the calligraphy on her fake tattoo!

At 4:16 PM, Blogger H to the izzo said...

OMG, that's so cute about the girl! Do you think she wanted to date you or just wanted to be friends? I find it hard to make new girl-space-friends, and wish a girl would do something like that for me.

I LOLd to the sentence about getting a 1 on the AP Dating Exam

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Justin said...

I have no idea what you're talking about, Chris. That's never happened to me. Ever.

(FYI, last I checked, when you google the word "awkward," my blog was literally the #2 result after Merriam-Webster Online's definiton.)

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Mark said...

"Adventures in Awkward" was really funny! Keep it up.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger O'Donovan said...

I love you.

You know, as a girl friend, not, you know, like I love you love you, because while I am way, way, 100 percent fond of all of my lesbian friends, I myself am straight and they are cool with that and I'm sure you are, too.

Anyway. The girl crush continues.


At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That line about getting to a 14 yr old's pants? totally would have worked on me. no need to mention pigtails at all, even.
p.s. that girl sounds like 101 lbs of awesomeness.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger The Rabbit said...

i like that your google ads read "GYNO EXAM," "OFFICE JOKES," "FILTHY AND FUNNY," & "YOUR MAMA BLOGS"

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

I was looking at hot dog pictures on google images... ended up at your site... read this post... and smiled.


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