Chronicle of an Awkward Two Days

Okay. So this was written a month or so before I met my fiancé. It is not about my fiancé, and I’m glad. I’m afraid I’d never have snagged Nick with this kind of ridiculousness, though there was a certain amount of ridiculousness on my part with that as well. I do, however, still want the dogs…

Have you ever known someone that’s just awkward? They don’t mean to be. They don’t want to be. They try NOT to be, but despite their best efforts, they just are. Folks, I am that someone. I am as awkward as the days are long. I used to see this awkwardness as a curse, but the longer I live with it, the more I’ve come to embrace it. Let’s be real, here. People like me make people who aren’t awkward laugh –and considering that I like to make people laugh, I think it’s worth it.

Of course, being “wonderfully awkward” (as my friend described me) has its obvious disadvantages. Plus, I have this theory… I can’t believe I’m actually blogging about this, but why not?

Y’all, I am almost twenty, single, and (lately) worried about how I’m going to manage being a Crazy Cat Lady when I don’t like cats. I’ll probably just tweak it to Crazy Dog Lady to keep up with the awkward theme. That works, right?

Anyway, I used to spend a shameful amount of time trying to figure out why I’m almost twenty, single, and steadily compiling a list of my favorite dog breeds. However, this past week has been somewhat enlightening for me. Before I tell you what happened, I feel the need to explain something:

I get along great with guys. I have always had an abundance of guy friends. Always. When I was little, there were no other girls my age for me to play with, so I grew up with my fair share of toy tractors, toy horses, and incredibly complicated versions of what started out as “baseball.” Throughout middle school and high school, some of my best friends were guys and I spent the fall my senior year interning with the varsity football team. One of my best friends right now is a guy, so it’s not that I can’t handle myself around the male version of our species… It’s just that when one of them happens to be cute, or if I don’t know him very well, things get kind of strange.
With that out of the way, I will now present you with a detailed chronicle of my Enlightenment:

Wednesday, 12:00 noon, Cafeteria

I first see him as I am eating fake Chinese food from the hot bar. I’ll be honest. When I lay eyes on him, my immediate thought is, “Oh my gosh. He is ridiculously cute.” I also say something to that effect to my friend a few minutes later without realizing that Mr. Cutie is sitting right behind me. Problem #1. I don’t think he heard me. I sincerely hope not.

Wednesday, 1:00 PM, Last Class of the Day

I arrive to class less than one minute before it starts. It’s a bigger class than my others, so I’m still not sure who all is supposed to be here. When I find a seat, I look to my right to find that Mr. Cutie is sitting four seats over. I have a class with him and I just noticed him today? Seriously? During the presentation, I find myself glancing over at him from time to time. Okay. I am in no way “slick” and so within the next five minutes, I think he catches me looking at him. I don’t have a mirror at the moment, but judging by the way my face is burning, I’m pretty sure I resemble a pickled beet. Problem #2.

Wednesday, 2:00 PM, Sidewalk Behind the Literature Building

I survived the awkward encounter in my final class and am convinced that I can’t I possibly do any more damage to this situation before I get into my car and go home. Yeah, right. As I’m walking out to my car, I run into one of my friends. She’s on her way to work in the Writing Center and she wants me to come and sit with her so she doesn’t have to be alone for an hour. It seems that no one is aware that there’s a Writing Center at my college, and because I’m a nice person (see previous post for more details) I comply and she and I make our way up to the second floor of the Literature building to get the key to this mysterious Writing Center. As I wait on her, I look down from the balcony just in time to see Mr. Cutie coming through the glass doors. He happens to look up and sees me looking at him. Unfortunately, he falls under both categories of “cute” and “I don’t him very well,” so I get nervous and dart out of sight. I feel like I’m living a sitcom, right now. Problem #3.

Is anyone else beginning to see why I am almost twenty, single, and trying to decide between Shakespearean or Jane Austen names for my future canine companions?

I only wish this story was over, but it’s not.

Wednesday, 9:00 PM, In the Comfort of my Home

I find out that my best guy friend knows Mr. Cutie (except he doesn’t call him that) and has invited him to our FCA meeting tomorrow night. He promises to introduce me to Mr. Cutie and I am suddenly rather excited. In my excitement, I forget that I’m awkward around cute boys that I don’t know very well. Problem #4.

Thursday, 10:00 AM, Sidewalk Leading to the Cafeteria

I have a free hour and I’m done with my massive Statistics book for the day. Best Guy Friend is waiting for me in the cafeteria, but I’m going to go out to my car and ditch the massive Statistics book before I go inside. I see Mr. Cutie at the door, but he goes inside. Good. No contact. I can’t screw that up. I start to go downstairs to the parking lot and I’m pretty sure I hear someone calling my name. I look over my shoulder, but no one is there –except Mr. Cutie, who has come back outside and sees me just as I look at him. I have a mini-panic attack because he is so darn cute and run down the stairs. Problem #5.

Thursday, 7:00 PM, FCA Hot Dog Supper/Peanut Boil

I am a nervous wreck. Mr. Cutie is nowhere in sight, but I know that’s he going to pop up somewhere and surprise me like always. I want to eat, but I’m too nervous. He doesn’t show up. He doesn’t show up. He doesn’t show up. I finally assume that he’s not coming and decided to eat a hotdog. As I’m standing there, in the middle of my first bite, I look up and there he is. Mr. Cutie, himself. Best Guy Friend starts to introduce us and my blood pressure skyrockets. I forget to chew and suck the bite of hotdog down my throat. Not the bread, mind you. Just the hotdog. Thankfully, I’m not choking, but I can feel it going down. VERY SLOWLY. Problem #6. I’m about to have to say something, but there’s still the pesky bread in my mouth that I can’t swallow for fear of crossing over into actual choking mode. We all stand there in awkward silence until I break it with something stupid. Mr. Cutie just quirks his head adorably and I feel like I’m about to choke on pure air. I kind of want to revert to my previous methods of dealing with this guy and just run away, but I can’t very well do that this time. Too many people. Nowhere to run. We make small talk for a few minutes and the group disperses. Epic fail, Ashley. Epic fail.

Thursday, 9:00 PM, FCA Cleanup Time

Mr. Cutie is standing around talking while some of us are starting to clean up. He makes this charming little joke to which I, in a pitiful attempt to flirt, respond in a way that could be taken as an insult. Too bad I don’t think about this until after I say it. Problem #7. I get all disturbed (and I’m sure my face shows it) because of how mean I sounded, but he just laughs. I assume he took it the way I intended it and this makes me nervous, so I grab two folding chairs and run off to the trailer. I am officially an idiot. This is why I am almost twenty, single, and am soon going to start clipping coupons for Pedigree, Iams, and Milkbone products.

For the rest of the night, there is awkward contact here and there. I am simply incapable when it comes to cute males that I’m not used to. I think I should probably avoid the dating scene for a while. I’m just too awkward –and while my friends know that they can laugh without fear at my expense, I’m beginning to worry about myself. Why? Because I am almost twenty, single, and have decided that color coordinating collars are going to be absolutely precious on Darcy, Elizabeth, Bingley, Jane, Bennett, and Whickam…

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Chronicle of an Awkward Two Days

Brooms, Buicks, and the Elderly

You know those moments when you’re just standing by watching a scenario unfold and all you can say when it’s over is, “Umm… What?” 

These things happen to me all the time, but one particular moment that comes to mind for me was the time my Great Aunt Marietta killed a snake at church…

One Sunday after church as we were all heading outside, we looked up to see a sizeable snake crawling up the front porch column. Naturally, the girls were scared, but I’m sure we all felt some sense of comfort in the fact that there were plenty of strapping young men around the place to deal with the nasty beast.

Our comfort was clearly misplaced. The second the strapping young men laid eyes on this snake, they were gone. I mean GONE TO THE BACK OF THE CHURCH. They were not going to be useful.

As everyone stood around trying figure out how to deal with this problem, no one noticed Great Aunt Marietta slip out the door and totter over to her little green Buick. At the time, Aunt Marietta was in her early eighties and osteoporosis had shrunk her to a mere five feet. Always the quiet type, she didn’t say a word until she returned to the porch with a broom (Because everyone keeps a broom in their Buick, right?) and told us all to keep out of the way.

Raising up to a full 5’2” my Great Aunt Marietta knocked the snake off the column with the broom handle. When it fell to the floor, everyone (strapping young college boys included) screamed and we then watched in horror as this tiny little old lady valiantly beat the reptilian monster to death on the front porch of the church. When the deed was done my Great Aunt Marietta again used her trusty broom to pick up the dead snake and carried it to the woods to dispose of it. On her way back to the Buick, she smiled at us and called, “Alright. Y’all can come out now…”

We didn’t come out for a few minutes, yet.

All in all the day’s scores totaled as following:

Elderly Old Ladies: 1 – Strapping Young College Boys 0
Reptiles: 0 – Elderly Old Ladies: 1
 

Perhaps one day the Reptiles and the Strapping Young College Boys will get their chance to duel. In the meantime… Go old ladies with brooms and Buicks!

Brooms, Buicks, and the Elderly

Why I Hate Estrogen

This was originally written as a response to a prompt on another blog. It’s a little awkward, but (oddly enough) it’s one of my favorites because I remember it so well. 

I don’t think I need to explain what, exactly, estrogen brings about. Y’all know… This story happened on one of *those* days.
 

TMI? 

We are sitting in the frozen yogurt shop thirty minutes before the weekly campus ministry meeting and my friend is telling me about how she and the guy she likes are FINALLY talking about dating. He did the most romantic thing ever last night. 

I am the only single girl at our table and my coffee (yes… I get coffee at the yogurt shop) is too sweet (never thought I’d say that). Oddly enough, I’m more upset about the coffee than the singleness. I waited all day for this coffee and it’s not right. This is tragic. I am sad. 

We get up to leave and my friend says, “I’m just so happy!” You know what? I’m suddenly ridiculously happy for her. 
I feel the burn. My eyes water. My throat tightens. I know it’s coming. I’m about to… cry. 

I rush out of the shop. I have to make it to the car before this happens. Yep. Driving while emotionally compromised is a great idea. My friends run after me. The car won’t unlock. They catch me. 

“Are you crying?” 

“No!” I screech. “I never…” A single tear falls onto the pavement with an ungodly loud splat. “cry…” Everyone just looks at me -and then it happens. I begin to sob in the middle of parking lot.

I’m not sad. I’m not happy. I’m angry. Because I’m crying. I hate crying. I hate emotions. I hate estrogen. 

Why I Hate Estrogen

Southern Samaritans

Let me begin this story by stating that I live in the middle of nowhere. Literally. I live on a dirt road that lies somewhere between a one-red-light town and a five stop sign town (okay… there are more than five, but it doesn’t have a red light). I don’t really live within either city limits and it’s about a five minute drive either way to reach an actual “city.” My road is just one within the maze of desolate dirt roads lying outside the city limits and it can get a little confusing if you ever get lost back there. 

Alright. With the stage now set, I will share with you the story of how what began as a one and a half minute (at most) drive to my aunt’s house around the corner turned into an hour and a half long rescue mission. Off we go…

One night a year or two ago, my mother and I decided that we wanted to go over to my aunt’s house for a little while. It was lazy Saturday night and nothing was going on, so we figured, “Why not?” As we approached the crossroads where we should have turned left to get to my aunt’s house (after turning left, her driveway is MAYBE a hundred yards down the roads give or take a little), Mama stopped and we noticed some odd-looking lights coming down one of the roads. I didn’t think too much about it, but when we didn’t turn I asked Mama what she was doing. 

“I want to see what’s coming down the road. It’s not a car…” This is what people who live in the country do. We identify people by their vehicles. Anything out of the ordinary is causes a bit of a disturbance. 

It took a minute or so for the lights to get close enough for us to tell that it was a golf cart driven by two older men (probably in their mid-to-late sixties). When they got to the crossroads, the driver slammed on brakes, leapt off the golf cart and stumbled over to the car. Now, Mama had had the window cracked in order to hear the vehicle (that’s part of the vehicle on country road identification process) and before she could roll it back up, the old man shoved something in it and yelled, “Here. You talk to her!”

In a bit of shock, Mama stared down at the object in her lap. It was a cell phone. After a moment, she picked up the phone and looked at the man. “Ummm…?”

“Talk to my wife!” he slurred, pointing at the phone. By now, I’d noticed the large pile of beer cans in the back of the golf-cart. The other man was just slumped in the passenger seat looking around. 

“Hello…?” Mama said, holding the phone closer to her face. 

“Where the Hell is he?!” a woman cried from the other end of the line. 

When Mama explained to the man’s wife where he was and what condition he was in, she started cursing and carrying on about how she told him not to leave the house and how he slipped off anyway when she wasn’t looking and how she didn’t know how she was going to get him back to where he came from (a good six miles away through winding dirt roads, across the highway, and down another long, dirt road).

Being the kind, compassionate, Christian woman she is, my mother just sighed and looked at me. “Well, I can lead him back to Darby’s…” Darby’s is a convenience store fairly close to where we think they live. 

“Would you please?”

“Of course…”

“Thank you… Boy… When he get’s home, I’m gonna…” With that, Mama handed the phone back to the man and told him to follow our car so we could lead them back to Darby’s. He nodded and we waited for him to get back on the golf cart. Soon, we were on our way. The fastest the man could seem to drive and still (somewhat) control the golf cart was about 10mph. Needless to say, it was a LONG drive to the crossroad where we had to turn to get back to the highway. We tried to stay a little ways ahead of the golf cart just in case there was a braking problem somehow… Based upon his driving, the man’s condition seemed to worsen the farther along we went. 

As we neared the next crossroad, another white car (similar to my mom’s) flew by and before we knew it, the men on the golf cart had taken off after THAT car and was driving away fairly quickly. 

Still in disbelief, Mama and I just looked at each other. “Well, now what?” I asked. 

Shrugging, she replied. “I don’t know. I guess we’ve just lost them. God knows where they’ll end up, now!”

As we were turning around to head back home, we were surprised (and relieved) to see the little headlights of the golf cart coming our way again. So, we resumed on our journey to Darby’s. After about an hour, we reached the convenience store and the man got off the golf cart again. He looked so excited as he stumbled over to our window. “I know where I am, now!” He cried. “I live right over there!” Gesturing across the highway, he grinned and took off back to the golf cart.

Mama and I watched in horror as the golf cart shot out into the highway without the driver looking to see whether or not anything was coming. Thankfully, the road was clear and the two old men puttered safely on over to the other side. Once they were out of sight, Mama sighed. “Donna’s not gonna believe this…”

Deciding to take the highway back to my aunt’s house, we went on our way. After a moment, I noticed that we were moving extremely slowly. A glance at the dashboard revealed that my mom was still driving at about fifteen miles per hour. “Umm… Why are we still going slow?” I asked.

Shaking herself from a daze of sorts, Mama looked at me and shook her head. “I have no idea… I can’t believe that just happened.” 

So… An hour and a half after we left our house, Mama and I made it to my aunt’s house. Let the record show that since that night we have seen neither of those men, nor talked to that man’s wife. We only hope that she didn’t kill him when they finally made it home. 

Southern Samaritans