Monday, April 19, 2010

The Awkward Person's Survival Guide to Awkward Situations

Playing Chicken on the Sidewalk

The situation: You’re walking on the right side of the sidewalk (and by “right” I mean both “correct” and the opposite of left). You see someone on the horizon walking on the same side (their left, your right, not the correct side no matter how you look at it). “Well, they’ll just have to move,” you think to yourself, assuming that proprietary sidewalk rules are universal. The pedestrian moves closer. You keep moving, more belligerent with every step. Finally you reach the point of no return—you and the false-stepper are nose to nose, toe to toe. Détente: you agree to move to the other side, so does the jerk. “Okay fine, I’ll stay on the right side,” you think to yourself. “It’s the right side anyway. You know, right as in ‘correct.’” But no, the ass anticipates your move and mirrors you, until the two of you are a couple of uncoordinated tango-dancers in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking other would-be tangoers from completing their forbidden dance.

You could always resort to violence. And literal interpretations of things.

The solution: You must grab your dance partner by the shoulders and physically move him or her to the left side of the sidewalk (read: your left, i.e. the correct side). Then say “you dance divinely” and carry on.

Saying Hi Too Soon

The situation: Perhaps you’ve just finished your tango and you spot another person on the horizon. This person is actually someone you know and like (they also happen to be walking on the correct side, perhaps because you expect only the utmost performance in all your friends and acquaintances). You make eye contact. They wave. You wave. “Hey!” they shout. “What?” you say. “HEY! HOW ARE YOU?” “Oh, hi! Good, you?” They nod and smile. They continue approaching you. You continue approaching them. You realize you don’t like them enough to further the conversation, and they have the same realization. You pass each other without making eye contact.

You should wear this at all times.

The solution: Pretend not to recognize anyone until they are within normal conversation limits. If someone yells “HEY” to you from 50 feet away, turn to the guy behind you and say “what’s with that spaz?”

Saying Goodbye Too Soon

The situation: This one’s almost as bad as saying hi too soon—you’re walking with a friend, roommate, professor, mortal enemy, frenemy, etc. You think you’re about to part ways. “See you later!” you say (unless it is a mortal enemy or frenemy, then you say “See you in hell!”). The co-pedestrian smiles, waves, and reciprocates. You keep walking. The other person continues next to you. “Oh, um, I’m walking this way too,” you say. Then you talk about how awkward it is that you already said goodbye, until it’s time to say goodbye for real. And let’s hope this time it actually is for real.

Basically this, but not a penguin.

The solution: Either stop saying goodbye to people you’re walking with, or become flexible enough to change your route when it becomes apparent that your friend/enemy/what have you is not leaving your presence at the expected time. Or you can continue walking with the person and say “going my way, baby?” This should ultimately cause the person to remember he has to drop a book off at the library, so he’ll have to catch ya later.

Making a Fart Noise with Your Shoes

The situation: You’re in the middle of your French final. The room is silent, save for the sound of graphite upon bluebook. You move your foot a fraction of an inch, and a suspiciously fartilicious sound results. Fellow Francophiles look up from their conjugations to judge you. As if farting during a French final weren’t bad enough, now you’re getting blamed without even getting to experience the benefits of a real fart, e.g. the enjoyable release.

No farting in English! En français, s’il vous plaît!

The solution: Squeeze your buttocks in such a way as to release a real fart. Then say “see, that actually sounded much different. The first one was just my shoe.” If you’re a real connoisseur, say all of the above in French.

Being Captured in Someone Else’s Photo

The situation: You’re sitting in the caf all alone (remember, you are awkward and thus have few friends). You start thinking about how funny it was that one time you fell down the stairs and split your pants. Suddenly a flash goes off and you realize you were caught making a stupid smiling-even-though-you’re-all-alone-and-nothing-could-possibly-be-that-funny face in the background of some stranger’s picture. Your ugly mug will be forever immortalized in that idiot’s facebook album, and you’ll forever be known as “that weirdo,” as in “look at that weirdo’s face! Hahahaha!”

Or perhaps you were doing…something else.

The solution: Grab the offender’s camera and see for yourself how the picture turned out. If it looks good, introduce yourself and request that you be tagged. If you look like the jackass you imagine yourself to be, demand a retake. If the person refuses to acquiesce, smash their camera on the floor, and follow up the gesture with a “what now, homie?”

What other awkward encounters have you had?


  1. OH! dear this is seriously , No Wait!, funnily, the most funniest post ever. I almost died laughing.

    The last pic is truly immortal. HAhahaha....

    Karisa, congrats you have done it. The survival guide. i'll remember this throughout my lifetime and pass it on to my kids and grandkids... but i'll secretly pray that they don't turn out to be like moi. Awkward.

    One of the most awkward moments i have faced is two people sitting next to one another, in a semi filled room, suddenly looking at one another, because you see they thought the other has said something to them. They have perfect eye contacts, a quizzical expressions, and realising that the other one hasn't uttered a word, look down instantly. Awkward

  2. That last picture is hilarious! very funny post. Great blog!

    Nicole visiting from

  3. ay yi yi. i used to live in a neighborhood with lots of elderly russians, and i SWEAR they would never ever EVER move to either side of the sidewalk when approaching other walkers. it was frustrating. they were like robots on a mission.

  4. oh my goodness... this is all so true and funny. i feel like i am he queen of awkward social situations. bahahaha!!!! saying hello or goodbye to soon definitely is the worst!

  5. This is why I never took French class.

  6. Oh lady. You're freaking hilarious! I am the worst about the downward shifted gaze when I don't feel like engaging someone. Ah ha ha

  7. because I get fucking get random when I drink

    i.e. I think stealing my neighbours kitchen table is humourous

    ps; apart from my random/drunken behaviour, i do like your blog :)

  8. these are all so true!!! i've definitely been in some of these awkward situations before.
    i loved your comment on my post, alcohol is so good at lowering inhibitions. i have done A LOT that i wouldn't normally do under the influence of a few drinks!

  9. ps; this post for awkward people totally suits me, you are a genius

  10. Ahaha, I was studying all day and wrote a ridiculous bull shit enticed philosophy exam, then my fabulous neighbour showed up and offered the magnificent idea that we should drink. A drunken blog crawl is a wonderful idea. Your are my alcoholic soulmate ♥

  11. HAHAH I'm so glad you came to my site so I could find you! I absolutely love this post because I am one of the most awkward people in the world and find myself in these situations ALL THE TIME. Love i. Subscribing and I will be back!

  12. Oh, and you have an awesome name, even though it's spelled wrong!

  13. HAHAHA!! This had me cracking up!

    The saying hi & bye too soon ones had me saying "soo true!" like an idiot in my room all by myself between fits of laughter, hehee. Love it.

    Thanks for posting!

  14. bahahaha! "No farting in English! En français, s’il vous plaît!" God, that brings me back to 10th grade French class.

    and definite kudos for the last picture. What a goon!

    I shall be following your blog. :)

  15. Additional awkward moment...Having someone approach you on the street, in the mall, etc...having them address you by name, talk to you about your family, etc. and you have no idea who they are or how you know them. Bye...great seeing you.

  16. Another awkward moment: Getting hit on by the drive-thru guy. WTF is up with that? I was actually asked if I was married today in the drive-thru. What are you supposed to say to that? "No, I'm not married, but I only came here for some fries...not a husband."

    By the way...

    I just wanted to let you know that I am one of your followers and have linked your blog on my blog as a way to direct more traffic to your site.

    As a fellow blogger, if you happen to take a look and enjoy my blog, I would appreciate your support as well. By no means do you have to, but it's always nice if you do. :)

    Thank you very much,

    -Almighty Unicorn

  17. You are hilarious! YOu're so right about these situations, and I know I've found myself in most of them. It's so funny because once, before I met my husband, I was visiting a friend at her college for homecoming. Of course I took lots of pictures. Well years later, after I met my husband, I was going through those pictures, and who did I see in the background of one? My husband's ex-girlfriend! So funny.

  18. What a laugh! How we go through life with these happenings. I love the final picture! I hardly ever consider backgrounds but I will now!

    I'm an identical twin and often mistaken for her. Usually, I let people prattle on before I tell them that I'm not actually she. High school was a hoot. We always swapped classes on the last day of term at our teachers' expense. They (mostly) found it funny!

  19. hahahah!!! oh my gosh! this is the first blog post that ACTUALLY had me laughing in a very long time. LOVE IT!

  20. Hahahah, you are hilarious! Basically all these things have happened to me at some point. Maybe with the exception for the last one...which is SOOOO ridiculous haha. Great post Karisa!

  21. You had me at that chicken picture.

  22. Guh that farting during the French final story will never go away! I should have just kept that one to myself.

  23. Where do you think i am blogging from. The stupid cop is asleep and so i got his laptop. I have contacts, you see.... hehehe


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