Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Ghost Inside

If people had to describe me in three words, I bet 75% of them would include some form of "awkward" in their description. I AM an awkward person, I feel awkward a lot, about really stupid things, and I also get some sort of sick joy in making others feel awkward.

When most people feel awkward, they can hide it, let it go and not let on what's going on in their head. Not me. While I am the master of escape in every other aspect of my life, one feeling I can't hide is when I feel awkward. My whole body expresses it by going rigid, my face becomes ashen and wide eyed. My demeanor completely changes, and despite my most valiant efforts to create the illusion of control, it's crystal clear to anyone in the vicinity that I am anything but.

I have several remedies (texting, pretending to talk on the phone, ignoring you, being a bitch, bragging about superficial things) that I thought had people fooled but it turns out that they are pitiful and transparent...

Against my better judgment I am am going to post a list of my awkwardness. I started compiling this list as a semi joke and as a dedication to @DUKEDYLAN but the more I wrote and thought about it, the more I realized how ridiculous I can be.

Things that make me feel awkward

1. Arriving somewhere first. I hate sitting alone at a bar or a table. This is why I strive to be tardy.

2. Getting a massage or any other beauty treatment in Vietnam. They get very up close and personal.

3. When someone is attracted to me and it’s not mutual. I never know what to do so I respond the only way I know. I hide.

4. When someone is attracted to me and it IS mutual. Just like in #3, I tend to hide or just ignore them completely.

5. Girlfriends of my good guy friends. I over compensate to prove I am not trying to seduce their man. (I never am)

6. Talking about money.

7. Meeting/Seeing someone in person when all/most prior interaction has been over email or social media. What do you say when there is no computer screen to protect you?

8. Asking someone to take a picture with me.

9. Wanting to go home while everyone is still out. Irish goodbye anyone?

10. Telling someone I am not satisfied with a service I am paying for. Example: I will lie and tell you I love the hair cut and go home and cry.

11. Asking a favor from a friend

12. Meeting new people. I am secretly pretty shy…and (apparently) can come off as steely or I just blurt out inappropriate things

13. Talking about feelings. I’ve been told (and I agree) that I am unusually reticent about expressing myself. Feelings make me feel vulnerable and when I feel vulnerable I shut down completely. Chances are, I will never tell you how I feel, and I doubt you’ll be able to guess it.

14. Having attention called to me in front of strangers that I will never see again. Example: I have forbidden my friends from having waiters bring out a cake and sing happy birthday to me at my birthday dinners. They do it anyway, and I turn bright red and hide myself in my hands or under the table.

15. Buying women’s products or contraceptives. I act like I am twelve years old and hide it at the bottom of my shopping basket and choose the line that’s the emptiest so no one can see what I am buying. Sometimes I circle the store until the checkout line is all clear

16. Public displays of anything. Don’t kiss me or hold my hand. Don’t pick a fight either. I won’t engage.

17. Wearing a bathing suit in public.

18. The moment right before I realize someone is going to kiss me. I duck my head, giggle, and sometimes make a run for the nearest cab. Or just babble about the stupidest thing imaginable. Sometimes I'll even say, 'I'm really not worth it. I am really bad at this. Just leave now" AWKWARD

19. Ordering at a restaurant. Especially if it’s family style. I can’t handle picking the wrong thing. In NYC I’d have to study the menu online before going out so I’d know what I wanted before I went.

20. Confrontation

21. If I am with someone who has bad manners

22. Receiving a compliment

23. Singing or dancing in public

24. When I am hanging out with new people who know of me

25. When people watch me do things, like apply make up or get dressed. I even have issues with people watching my pay for something, start my motorbike,or when I have to follow them.

Things that don’t make feel awkward that probably should:
1. Being friends with an ex or talking about an ex to a new guy

2. Hanging out with my ex and current boyfriend. Or double dating with an ex.

3. Over communicating. I think nothing of sending dozens of texts or emails. I may call you 11 times in one day. This is ok. But if you do it to me, I’ll complain that you’re a psycho stalker

4. Failing the cool test by casually letting it slip that I’ve been facebook stalking you. This includes recognizing someone from facebook and introducing myself citing our mutual friend.

5. Throwing cake :)

6. Oversharing

7. Discussing infectious diseases with people I just met. I have been known, on more than one occasion, to meet guys at a bar and spend the evening talking about HIV paranoia and prevention.

8. Asking a favor from someone I barely know.

9. My habit of talking out loud to myself. Sometimes in public.

10. The fact that I will text you while sitting next to you.

11. The countless pictures I take of myself. In public.

12. Laughing at inappropriate times. I am a “nervous laughter” and if you tell me about some incredibly traumatic event or if I see someone fall, I’ll laugh. It’s not out of malice, it’s just nerves…that being said, when the tables are turned and someone does it to me, I’m not so understanding.

13. Dropping incredibly flirtatious one liners to my friends little brothers, my boyfriends best friend or a good guy friend

14. The fact that I have a stuffed rhino that I pretend is real and who has his own facebook page

15. My drunken declarations via text, facebook, twitter, or email. The next morning, I delete all the evidence, and expect the recipient to do the same.

16. Bringing up awkwardness of others. I do this in a self preservation kind of way, to take the attention off of my incredible awkwardness

17. The fact that I watch the CW and love it. Also the fact that I watch romantic comedies and cry-no SOB-at the end of all of them.

18. Watch me at a place that is playing music. Most likely, I’m mouthing the words. I have a knack of knowing lyrics, even to crappy miley Cyrus, Britney spears and any other kind of trashy pop. (My repetoire is not limited though, I’m the same way with classic rock, rap and even some country)

19. Making plans with someone and totally flaking out on them

20. My detriments. The fact that I don’t know my right from my left or can’t put keys on a key ring doesn’t make me feel awkward at all. Nor does my

I'm hoping that publicly announcing these triggers will help me overcome them perhaps become a more normal person. That or just feel awkward that everyone knows my awkwardness.


  1. 13.Really?
    19.You have been here almost a year. Cross this off.
    21.Me.Friend.Cross this off too.
    22.I don't do it alot, I think you are one of the few people who received more than 5 in an evening.

    5. lol

  2. when can I see you again? it's been a while since I've been seduced by wine, chocolate, art and terrible opera.

  3. somehow that sounded really wrong ;))
    But seriously, thinking back on it, I don't think I have ever been that successful in including so many romantic elements into a date and not having any intention with the partner. Strange how life works out huh?

    About seeing me again...well I don't know. Probably Xmas? at Ruben's new villa house party?

  4. that night made the top three most romantic dates I've ever been on. and the best part of it was that I didn't have to worry about any AWKWARDNESS like you trying to make a move.

  5. 21. Going on dates with men who pretended to be friends but desperately wanted to leave an impression that they could be something more.

    lol jk.

  6. low blow. it's not a date if you don't know it's a date.

  7. was it the wine or the pitch dark hallway that indicated it was not a date?

  8. I think it was the candles. I was a little unsure when you served me wine, fed me chocolate, talked to me about art and look me through a long dark deserted hallway to another big dark empty room to listen to opera. I would've felt awkward, but the candles you lit all around turned it from date to friend zone.

  9. damn, gotta note this down.

    *scented candles only work in bedrooms and kitchen. Probably bathroom too. But not romantic situations*

  10. i am laughing out loud. I love that I have been witness to most of this, but am partial to 10, 15 and 23. xo

  11. Editorial adjunct to your, "Things that don’t make feel awkward that probably should":

    #21. Inexplicably trailing off the end of my list with a fragmented coordinating conjunction. Thereby, leaving the naturally perturbed and perpetually foggy reader(aka, the creepy blog lurker/commenter) in a tizzy as to what else, besides the Hanoi smog, I could've been "inhaling".

    Nor do you what? C'mon, enough with the suspense and reveal it already. :)