Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Awkward Car Pool

So I was out in Elberta, UT, "cow country" for those of you from the city. It is was OUT there friends, we are talking 1 hour and a 1/2 from modern civilization.

After I had finished my work there, a man approached and said that his wife had dropped him off at work that morning, but he was "in charge" of finding a ride home, and wondered if I could give him a lift.

This is awkward for a couple reasons. First, who leaves their spouse to find away home an hour and half away? And who asks a perfect stranger to drive them home? And who in their right mind would consent to drive that perfect stranger home?

THIS GUY!

Before we proceed with this story I must tell all my gentle readers that I am not a "talker". I am a great listener and am extremely good at making sarcastic quips, but "chatty", I AM NOT.

I have 7 really solid conversation starters, but once I have maxed those seven questions out, I am done. If people like to talk, these questions are great and usually can fill silent space for about 2 hours. After that...it is uncomfortable silence...which I cannot stand or tolerate.

So we start driving and within, oh I don't know, 5 minutes into the drive I have maxed out my 7 conversations starters, and are sitting in absolute silence...loud, uncomfortable silence.

So I start panicking and sweating, because I am not sure what to do. So I just started some rapid fire questions, hoping that something would land and a conversation would ensue.

"What is your family like?"
"Do you like Star Trek or Star Wars?"
"What kind of TV shows do you like?"

To which he responded:

"They're fine."
"I like Dr. Who."
"I don't like to watch TV. I like to read instead."

Wha-Wa-Wa

So now I feel such terrible anxiety about the awkward silence happening in my Corrolla that I have sweat through all my clothes, my heart is racing. I just want to open my car door and roll  onto the freeway, because that actually might feel better then the socially awkward experiment happening in my car.

"Why isn't this man trying to talk to me?"
"Why isn't he asking his 7 conversation starters?"

I was kind of mad at him, nay, I was furious at him.

So I finally dropped my little friend off at a family activity at Thanksgiving Pointe.
After he shut the door he gave me a dollar for gas and said, "Thanks for the ride. I really enjoyed getting to know you."

To which, I responded, "Thanks friend, I had a great time too. If ever you need another ride, please let me know."

Wait...what?

I love that in my ability to be polite, I completely set myself for another day of awkward silence. To which I am happy to report happened the following day.

Solid work, Robierto, Solid work.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Long Walk

So, I was asked to give the opening prayer in sacrament meeting on Sunday. A relatively easy assignment that fills me with complete anxiety. The praying isn’t the hard part, but rather the timing of the walk up to the podium fills me with shear anxiety.

That walk up to the podium is tricky because you have to leave at the exact right moment during the last line of the hymn. If you leave too early you are left standing on the podium awkwardly waiting for the last strains of the hymn to come to a close. If you leave too late there is a very loud and awkward silence after the hymn and people start looking at their watches and clearing their throats to indicate that they are not happy that you are wasting their valuable prayer time.

So there I was sitting in my seat, singing the last verse of the opening song, prepping for the long walk to the podium, debating when I should make my move.

OK, the chorister is leading really slow so I could probably wait a couple more seconds, and leave right when we start singing the last three words of the song. Wait, how far back am I sitting? Um, let’s see, if I used my thumb to measure…OK, I am about 100 thumbs back…divided by 12, I am about 25 yards back, I have plenty of time…Wait, what is that breeze? Oh no, I am getting a strong westerly breeze coming in from the foyer. I better leave now…OK I am going”

So I make my move. I am going at a nice clip and I still have two more measures until the hymn wraps up.

I could see in the eyes of my fellow parishioners a look of, “He is making his ascent a little too soon. He is going to make his arrival too early” but I caught the eye of the organist and he seemed to be waving me in.

I excitedly took my place at the podium right when the last chord of the hymn was played and the chorister was sitting down. I am not going to lie to you, it was a great moment. I was doing inward toe touches and cheering in my head.


I did get a lot of strange looks after I came down off the podium. Apparently, the congregation doesn’t love it when you spike the Kleenex box like a football, but whatever. I did good work friends…good work.