Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Awkward Re-run

Do you ever go over ta' the Wal-Mart to do some “roll-back” shoppin'”? It is my least favorite activity of the entire week, but you have to eat, so you go and crack it out.

So last night almongst the bitter grapes in the Wal-mart produce aisle I ran into my neighbor, who I know sort of, but not really. So we just made idle chit-chat and shared some obligatory pleasentries, and then I finished with, “It was good talking to you. I will see you later.

But as I was walking down the next aisle, who did I see? My neighbor walking towards me. I didn’t realize that when I said I would see him later it would be two seconds later.

What do you say? It’s not like I hated the guy but I had already finished up our last conversation and I didn’t have any fresh new material to talk to him about. So I just said the first thing that popped into my head,

Heeeeeey neighbor. Didn’t I just see you? Ha-ha! Alright we’ll talk to you later.

And then I quickly got out of there, and moved three aisles ahead of him so this awkwardness wouldn’t continue.

So, there I was in the toilet paper aisle, squeezing me some Charmin Ultra (which, by the way, if you haven’t tried it, is a little piece of heaven on your blind side) when I run into my neighbor again. So, my heart is pounding and I just want to run the opposite way with my cart. But I am a grown up, so through a strained smile, I do the pretend “punch in the stomach” and say, “I keep running into you!”. And then I bolt with my cart and run five aisles ahead of him.

I don’t know if we had identical shopping lists but I sware I ran into him like three more times. So by the fifth "run in", the situation has gotten so awkward, that when we saw each other heading down the same aisle toward each other we didn't even make eye contact, and pretended we were complete strangers, even though we are trying to figure out the social etiquette to alleviate these awkward feelings we both were experiencing.

So I finally, I had to actually take a time out because the whole situation has gotten out of control. I actually hid in a clothing rack until I could see he was finished with his shopping, so I could finish mine.

And I just want to say here, my neighbor isn’t a bad person, he is good people, but it’s the situation that is so awkward. It’s talking to someone, actually giving them a farewell or a “we should get together for lunch” and then rounding the corner and seeing them again…and againand again.

Why is that so awkward? I am not sure, but it usually sends my feelings of social anxiety through the roof!

So finally, I get my shopping done, drive home, pull into my parking stall and start unloading my groceries, and you’ll never believe who pulled in right next to me.

Yep…my neighbor.

(dedicated to Molly-Noooo)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Reception Line

Spring is in the air friends, and as such people are falling in love and getting married.

What does that means for you and I? It means a whole boat load of receptions we get to attend. Hooray (with my voice going doing at the end).

And oh that dreaded reception line. I really don’t mind receptions so much, but oh that line!

So I was at my cousins wedding over the weekend and stood in the line waiting for my turn to give my congratulations to the happy couple. May be I have a touch of social anxiety because talking to perfect strangers in a reception line makes me terribly uncomfortable. So I planned a head and wrote down some potential conversation starters on 3x5 cards just in case I ran out of things to say.

The line was moving so smoothly. I stopped and talked to my aunt and uncle, and then moved to the groom’s parents, who I didn’t know. I shook their hands and said the obligatory “congratulations” and “so nice to meet you” and didn’t even have to whip out my 3x5 cards. And that’s when the line came to a total and complete stand still.

So now what? I had already discussed with the groom’s parents all the wedding pleasantries that I knew. What could I have talked about now? The rainforest, global warming, the cast of Jersey Shore. Were these appropriate conversations to have in a reception line? It's hard to say.

So there we stood in absolute silence, smiling…looking at each other…looking down…looking back at each other…smiling, praying that one of us could come up with something to talk about…but nothing. So we went back to smiling…looking down…etc.

After a while they got tired of me, so they just turned and talked to each other. I was left standing there feeling like I was invading their privacy, and almost said, “Hey, guys what you talking about?”.

So ten minutes later I was still standing there, sweating, and about ready to have an anxiety attack. In my mind I just swore at the guy in front of me and pleaded with him to please stop talking, so the line could start moving and I could get out of this dangerously awkward situation

And just at the point I almost reached over and pushed this talkative "friend" into the wedding cake, my good cousin told him that they needed to keep the line moving. Ah, sweet relief!

So I looked at the Grooms parents, smiled and said, “It was an absolute pleasure talking to you both.

I think I am going to start bringing Boggle with me to receptions just in case the line stalls again. That way the groom’s parents and I can play a quick round, as opposed to all that loud awkward silence.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Weepy Barber

So yesterday I went to get my hair cut, down to “Hair-a-dise City”.

I was in a desperate need of a crew cut, stat.

So I showed up only to realize that there were four other guys also in need a solid crew cut to start spring, so I braced myself for a wait.

As I was waiting for my “crew” to be “cut”, one of the ladies, who was cutting a little girls hair at the time, received a phone call, so naturally I eavesdropped on her conversation.

I couldn’t really hear the whole conversation over the cutting shears, but here is the jest of her conversation:

“Hello, this is Hair-a-dise City, where the grass is green and your hair is pretty. How may I help you?”

“Yeah”

“OK. Bye”

And that’s when the tears started. I don't know what was said on the other side of that phone but this girl didn't get “misty”, we are talking full on tears, with little gasps in between them.

So, all five of us reacted as most men do when a female cries, fained like we were a sleep or acted like we were intently texting someone.

To my surprise, after she hung up the phone, still sobbing, she just went right back to cutting this little girl’s hair. The little girl and her father didn’t know what to make of this, so all us at "Hair-a-dise City" were silent except for her occasional sniffles.

Now what is right thing to do here friends?

Should I go take the shears out of her hand, and hold her?

Should I try to cut this young girl’s hair and go tell this sweet sister to go lie down with a cold compress?

Well, someone had to do something because can you imagine what kind of a haircut she would give if those were angry tears streaming down her face?

And now days later, I can verify that those were angry tears she was crying, as per my terrible haircut.

I feel I can only blame myself.

Why are men programmed to become socially retarded when women start crying? It's hard to say.