Tag Archives: awkward moments

This is Why Laughter is Important

1 Mar
Image via www.lefunny.net

Image via Lefunny.net

 

 

The Red-Head in Apartment 3B

29 Oct

You’re unpacking your car and they’re out there in the open.

Neighbors.

Most of the time they’re friendly. They give you the nod. The wave. The hello. They let you borrow butter. Sometimes they’re too friendly, chatting it up like they’re your best friend trying to get latest gossip. However, other times they’re your nemesis and you do whatever you can to avoid them.

In any case you know you’re place. You know the relationship. You know the good, the bad, and the ugly and you respond accordingly. But what happens when you get the phony? You know, the one that smiles and says hello, how are you one day, and then completely ignores you the next. You know, they look right at you and pretend you’re invisible, and you look like a dumbass with your smile and your hello-hand up in the air.  What the hell?

I’m not a fan of this sometimes-I-say-hi-to-you neighbor. You either say it or you don’t. I can’t be guessing the type of mood your in, I’m not a mind-reader 3B.

I understand that the neighbor relationship is a tricky one. It has many stages. Sometimes you start off as best buds, you know watching each others cats when you’re out of town, or watering your plants. Then you have the basic pleasant conversation at the mailbox, nothing deep, but regular friendly chit-chat about the growth spurts of your kid, your dog’s diet, or what gym you’ve been going to because apparently you look great. However some neighbor relationships are just the quick hello-how-are-you what’s-up-with-this-crazy-weather conversation. Then you have the half-smile and nod relationship. And finally you have the I know you live near me, but I don’t think we have anything in common so I’m just going to ignore you neighbor.

It happens. you have someone for every category. You get over it if someone chooses not to talk to you, no big deal.

However what happens when you have a neighbor that began with the smile and hello, then progressed to the conversation by the mailbox, then it transformed to the ignoring part … all in the span of a month. What’s up with that? Crazy neighbor.

This was 3B.

I wasn’t buddy-buddy with 3B, far from it. We were just hello-how-are-you neighbors. That’s it. But then I noticed her Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde disorder. You know…nice to you one day, and then completely pretend you’re not there the next.

I’m not a big fan of that. If you talk to me, great. If you don’t, you don’t. But I don’t like these mind games. These half-assed salutations. So … 3B … if you’re going to say hello, say it, and say it consistently, otherwise keep walking. I don’t have time for phonies or half-assed hellos. I’ve got gray hair and my time is valuable. Dude. My hellos are valuable.

Hmph.

Neighbors. An interesting group.

 

The Lurkers

17 Sep

You ever have that one couple that always seems to pop out at the most inopportune time?

You’re at the park, packed up, ready go, practically walking on the sidewalk trying to make your way home because you have to make dinner, give the kids a bath, and put them to bed. It’s a race. A race for your sanity and you’re just trying to win because if you’re late everything gets screwed up and the bedtime battle lasts longer than your patience can withstand.You’ve got everything timed just so and then …  they come out with their kids waving hello, and striking up conversation about arsenic in apple juice. What? Yeah.

The Lurkers

You try the nodding thing for about three minutes but then the conversation continues and now they’re talking about effectiveness of balancing bikes as your kid is riding his bicycle with training wheels. You wish the encounter had some kind of Bat Cave exit.  But no … there’s no way of getting out of it immediately  without looking like a jackass. You so wish you had Larry David there for back up because you know he’d come through for you.

But you’re solo.

So you do your fifteen-to-twenty-minute polite talk because your kid likes to play with their kids. Their kids get your kid all riled up running up and down the grass, and you’ve just finished an hour-long baseball, soccer, golf, hide-and-seek, and tag marathon. You swear you don’t know where this energy is coming from. All you can think about is how to stop this, because your bedtime battle will definitely be extended.

However during the conversation you notice something about the couple’s dynamic. You hadn’t really noticed it immediately, but now you’re pretty sure of it. Whenever couples hang out, there always seems to be the cool, nice, easy-going one and then there’s the other one. The chink in the chain — the one with all the trivial pursuit game questions for conversation starters.

No one wants to hang out with that.

So then I realized that sometimes the chain needs a break, thus the constant flagging me down when I’m trying to rush home, probably because she’s tired of the trivial pursuit type of conversations. You feel bad because you realize that the lady is really nice, she just got the short end of the stick.

But even though you feel sympathy for your fellow chick, you can’t keep going with this charade. So you start with the signals — the hey-son-you-got-five-minutes-left warning, the hey I-think-my-kid-is-crying-because-she’s-hungry reason, and the yeah we better get going soon because it’s getting dark and the moon is out.  But the dude doesn’t get it. He keeps talking about the effectiveness in compost.

But she does. So she calls for her kids and says she needs to get dinner started. You sigh in relief and try to wave your kids in as quickly as possible and blurt out the words good-bye, before he starts another conversation.

You escape. Finally.

But three days later you show up at the park again at a completely different time, hoping not to run into anybody, but you know that there out there somewhere — the lurkers. They’re out there.

 

Awkward moments

7 Jul

It wasn’t really awkward for me, but I guess she felt bad.

When you hang with a crowd, it’s logical to grow apart as everyone does their family thing. But you still get together and invite each other for birthdays and other special occasions.

I have a friend that sort of drifted off the planet and just recently began calling me again, wanting to reconnect. Her schedule has been pretty hectic so apparently she thought it would be a good idea for both of us to carpool to a baby shower that they were having for a mutual friend of ours.

She sent me this long text message that took about three screens. She mentioned how it would be nice to hang out again and catch up with our lives. She said she was looking forward to it and was hoping that I’d agree to share the ride.

I didn’t know how to tell her. So I just spit it out. Well I text it out.

“I don’t think I’m going to make it. I didn’t get invited. If they sent the invite via email, it might be in my junk mail, but I doubt it. If it was sent regular USPS I didn’t get one. So I’m thinking I’m not gonna make it. But I hope you have fun.”

Crickets.

No text message back.

Then about half an hour later…

“O.K. Got it.”

That was it. Nothing else. No phone call. No I’ll call you later. Just O.K. Got it.

I guess she felt bad. Well, maybe not bad. More like awkward. But I didn’t. I don’t always have to get invited to things and my feelings aren’t hurt if I’m not. Some people just don’t feel that we’re close enough and that’s O.K. It happens. No worries.

And although my friend might have felt awkward for a little bit, I hope that I put her at ease. I guess things like that would have mattered back in high school. But I’m 36 now. The big three-six and things like this don’t bother me. They’re kind of funny.