Day of Awkwardness2:47 AM
Fellow Wall Bumpers, Toe Stumpers, Head Smashers and Rug Trippers; esteemed Talk Fasters, Word Slippers and "Like" Users; honorable Weird Look Collectors, Goofy Grinners and Nervous Twitchers: Today is the day of your vindication. Today is the day we start to overcome our bruises and blushes and stand up boldly to proclaim, We are AWKWARD -- and we are not ashamed!
Today is a day of confession and camaraderie, a day where we tell our stories and empower one another through commiseration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Day of Awkwardness!
People outright told me I was weird, which I milked as a compliment as long as I could. Facing the facts, I am. For instance, just on normal days, I sit behind the computer screen and tremble uncontrollably -- not (primarily) from cold but from excitement after reading something particularly controversial. I come under the power of some Holmesian twitch, as if at any moment I'll rub my hands together and cackle in delight at the thrill of an argument. Furthermore, I wonder if I ought to classify myself as ADD -- my attention span lasts a split second unless I'm head over heel enthralled or else doodling on the note paper. Hence the reason my pastor always seems to look right at me each Sunday. I'm constantly tapping, twirling and tipping over. Just today I tried to pull on my right boot as I was about to make a smooth exit from my friend's house and nearly toppled completely over. Thank goodness for walls.
Speaking of which, there was one occasion at a gym where I was walking with the cool college students, wearing my atrocious blue-and-white clunky sneakers and carrying my backpack casually on one shoulder. I became mesmerized with the dangle of the orange centipede keychain -- so much so that a second later I banged full-on smack into the wall. (Oh, ladies -- there were gentlemen present.) On a side note, I never could accept sympathy from college students dying so hard from laughter that they could barely gasp out, "A-a-a-re you o-kay?"
Another of my peculiar habits is stair climbing. I'm afraid my thirtieth cousin thrice removed was an evolutionary missing link, for (when nobody's looking) I always drop to all fours and gallop up the stairs. I did not just say that. I think it's psychological conditioning, since I've perfected the art of tripping up stairs. It's easier on the wrists to consciously go low. Oddly, I'm quite incapable of tripping down stairs. Well, as incapable as I try to be. You know the pastor I alluded to earlier? I tripped up the church stairs in front of him once.
I like to keep my reputation stellar.
Don't get me talking about talking. Oh, I can talk all suave and coherent, mind, but not when I'm serious and especially not when I'm telling a joke. "Like" and "you know" and "um" and an uncontrollable "ha ha" clutter my speech. I've started mentally collecting the weird looks triggered by my open mouth. And please, surely I'm not the only one who has the impossible urge to laugh at every single joke -- even the ones that aren't supposed to be? And then have your brazen laugh echo through the silence as all horrified eyes slowly turn upon you?
Telephones only increase the embarrassment. (I set the unchallenged Guinness World Record for most awkward pauses during a telephone conversation.) You all remember that I phone banked for a political campaign and that we had scripts. The introductory babble of who-I-was and vote-for-so-and-so must have stuck -- permanently. Once, I called a lady about the church Christmas play. Being phone-phobic, much anxiety went into the punching in of the numbers. A transcript hereby follows:
"Hi! Is Mrs. X there?"
"This is she."
"Hi, my name is Bailey, and I'm -- I mean, ha, this is Bailey."
I forgot to ask if Scott Walker could count on her vote.
On this Day of Awkwardness, I am claiming these my oddities as the paragons of genius, on par with messy desks and crazy hair. I am not ashamed of my awkwardness, and neither, dear friends, should you. Friends! Awkwards! Unite! Proclaim every day a Day of Awkwardness! Because, well, every day is.