Tag Archives: awkward

Journal – How to be Cool at the Boba Tea Place

I’m all out of (good) poems, so here’s a story from my day.

 

 

Cowdog Creatives and I went to our favorite boba tea place yesterday.

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I don’t think everyone has had boba tea before (please correct this ASAP), but when they give you the tea at this place, they give you a clear plastic cup, and they laminate a plastic film over the top instead of popping on a conventional lid. You are also handed an oversized, stabby-ended straw. Then you get to stab your beverage. This part alone worth the four dollars.

Being whatever the fuck I am, one day I decided to order an avocado flavored one. It came to me vivid green and unsettlingly viscous. I commenced the drink stabbing ritual. But the cup was flimsy, and I hadn’t supported it correctly. The film was only partially perforated by my action. Instead, all of the pressure I applied went into crumpling the cup, which in turn pressurized the contents, which ejaculated out of the hole I’d made and coated the counter and floor in neon green avocado flavored boba tea. As a final indignity, the cup fell over lamely, spilling more.

This was of course hilarious. Cowdog Creatives and I laughed ourselves weak. I grabbed a handful of napkins to mop up the mess, not noticing the little ceramic napkin weight on top of the stack. It got hefted and landed hard with a teeth-gritting clank, but did not, by some miracle, break. So that was just more awkward.

I realized, after we’d inexpertly wiped up the mess, that the nice Asian clerks, usually ineffably kind and patient, hadn’t lifted a finger to help us. They just sort of pretended we weren’t there.  Was this penance? Or perhaps this was the polite thing to do in their minds?

It turned out to be a stroke of luck that I spilled much of that blasted drink, because it turned out to be weird, rich, heavy, regrettable.

 

Yesterday we were in the same shop. There was a guy next to us with three friends, and he did the exact same thing. He failed to quickly and humanely execute his beverage. It bled out two-thirds of the contents all over the floor, an even bigger mess than my own epic one.

I told him not to feel bad, I’d done the same thing once. They asked the clerks for paper towels and a roll was passed over the counter to them. Once again, the guests ended up cleaning the majority of their own mess. The cashier actually did come out with a mop this time, but too late, the mess was already gone, along with the entire paper towel roll.

As we were leaving, we overheard the guy say, “why is everyone in here helping me clean this up, except my own girlfriend?”

She alone sat placidly sipping her drink, unconcerned by his public outing of her behavior.

 

The moral of this story is, go drink boba tea, but support the walls of your cup if you want to perform a clean execution. It tastes better without the shame, manual labor, or avocado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Journal – How to be Cool at Parties

I promised to tell you my awkward adventure from Thanksgiving break last week.

It started first thing in the morning. I was on vacation from work, so I slept in, and when I oversleep, my dreams sour. I dreamed I was back in college, and I forgot to wear my shirt! How did I miss that? I tried to play it off like I was just a really confident free-the-nipple nudist type, and pretended I wasn’t bothered by the awkward awareness of those around me. When class ended, I tried to get the fuck out but promptly got lost in the building. The changing corridors and endless room after room was like Hogwarts or a dungeon, except with postmodern decor and architecture. Then a teacher found me and engaged me in a long conversation about an assignment, while both of us tried our hardest to act like I was fully clothed NOTHING WAS ODD HERE.

I woke up feeling like something that got dug out of the mud. I hadn’t had a dream with such bad confidence in ages.

I checked my phone and saw that my nice neighbor, with whom I have a budding and fragile friendship, was having a party today so that everyone could help her put hair in dreads (apparently it’s a very labor intensive and time consuming process). I wanted to go so badly but was really disgustingly sick, with full-on sinus drainage and coughing my way through contagious phlegm walls. I decided it was most polite not to go to her house and spray-sneeze mutant germs on her adorable toddler. Also, she might not appreciate having a disease permanently knotted into her dreads as I worked my dried-snot fingers through her hair strand by strand.

So I sent her a text explaining why I couldn’t come and said I’d pop by real quick just to see the finished result. She never answered, I figured she was busy with her friends. I waited until an hour after the time she’d said the party would be over, put on human clothes, sanitized myself as best I could, and knocked on her door.

She answered the door, silky-haired, not a dreadlock in sight. I stared at her confused, and said, “were you not… um… getting your hair done… today?”

It was her turn to look confused. She sort of turned toward the inside to address someone else and it dawned on me, dodo that I was, that this wasn’t the girl I knew. It was her sister.

I am bad with faces. Really bad with faces. Like, really, clinically bad. I think I’ve got a strain of Asperger’s in me somewhere. I should have known her face. I’ve been to her house two or three times before, she’s been to my house at least once, I’ve seen her drawings, we’re friends on Facebook. I had NO excuse. Granted, her sister looked a bit like her, same hair, similar features, but not similar enough.

I was mortified. There was a stunned moment while the sister realized my mistake, and I realized my mistake, and then she let me in. There may have been additional dialogue where I apologized in embarrassment and explained I was bad with faces, but I can’t remember the exact dialogue, only the trauma ricocheting through my soul. I walked in the door and was immediately faced with six of her family and friends, most of whom were wrist deep in her hair (three hours, five people, and it was only about halfway done, yeesh), all of whom had witnessed my blunder. Gaawwwwd.

Then came a round of introductions, and all I could think was, I am carrying Plague. Everybody here will curse my name in snot and misery in 48 hours. Blah blah name, sister. Blah blah name, other sister. Blah blah name, sister’s boyfriend. Blah blah name, friend and dread expert.

Hello, hello, hi, I say. Nice to meet you oh Jesus so many people where I expected none, howsooncanIleave?

I smiled at the toddler. The toddler smiled at me and presented me with a Barbie hairbrush. I wanted to take it to show her what her hospitable gesture meant to me, but I didn’t want to infect and kill this sweet child, the only person here with whom I actually felt comfortable.

“Well,” I said weakly. “I didn’t expect all these people to be here and I have a cold and I just wanted to see your hair real quick… maybe you could pop by later and show me when it’s done…”

“I can do that,” she said pleasantly, being the paragon of a gracious and polite hostess that she is, as well as twelve times my superior in matters of real life and social niceties and parties and facial recognition.

So I calmly left the house and shut the door. Then I hurried back across the lawn to mine… no. I fled. I ran like the most awkward party moment I’ve encountered in my adult life was nipping hard at my heels. I ran like a fucking deer. I raced to my door, skidded to a stop on the welcome mat, well, not so much skidded to a stop as skidded out entirely. The cheapass $3 welcome mat which I’ve had for ten years, the least welcoming household item I own, which looks like filthy hell and is utterly incapable of meeting any of the expected welcome mat functions, took my momentum as an opportunity to escape with my life in tow. My feet went sideways, and my ass went straight down.

I skinned my big toe and scraped my knee. Grownup injuries are different from kid injuries. When a grownup gets an injury, you can’t just cover that shit with a gentle kiss and a Little Mermaid band-aid. You need three fistfuls of wadded paper towels to mop up the dripping body fluids, and you have to get down on the floor and track yourself through the house to find and scrub out lost droplets and toeprints.

So that’s how I scraped my knee and toe. My adventure was so lame, I was literally lamed by the end of it.

 

P.S., She didn’t visit but she texted me a selfie and she looks super cute and she doesn’t seem to judge me, so I might still have a small, brittle hope for a future friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Then Again, Maybe Not

Writing about a friend…

 


 

I like the way

You coil in my bathtub

I like the way your smooth folds beckon

I like your scales

I like your pointed tail

I like your magma eyes

I like you

You are attractive

And I like what you are holding in your open palm

A gift for me.

Is that an apple?

Or is it

An awkward cousin crush?

 

 

 

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How I get through meetings

I wrote this last year during my first meeting/welcome party at my job. I still find it entertaining.

 


 

 

what an awkward meeting

everyone’s staring at each other

nobody has jack shit to say

stare

stare

all of these people will be dead in fifty years

or close

unless there’s a war

or global warming

then all of these people will be dead in less than fifty years

and everyone would come to their meetings with haunted eyes

but I doubt that will happen

because the university will shut down

and in the case of a nuclear apocalypse

that will be

the only blessing

 

Two worlds blew up in the future and I

I chose the one without the university

and that has made all the difference

 

I feel like we’re gonna be here a long time because we want to justify all the planning and partying we’ve done to be here

that’s ok

every welcome party

makes me feel more isolated

and hate myself more

why is that I wonder

all this attention on me

and me, not being the right kind of person to accept it healthily

 

now we’re talking about pies

and everyone is a LOT more comfortable

people are cute

now we’re awkward again

we’ve exhausted the topic of pies

 

Now we’re talking about baseball

and John has taken over the conversation

everyone seems a bit relieved and just a slight tad antsy

but mostly relieved that we don’t have to look at each other

conclusion: not a lot of extroverts in this group

 

Somebody let a monster into the room.

“GET THAT THING OUT OF HERE!” Melissa screamed. It looked at us all with beady bloodshot eyes, its fangs dripped, its short nude body all unnatural veins and floppy genitals and lumpy musculature. It heaved with each breath and flitted its eyes around the room as if looking for something.

Everyone rolled their their chairs away from it instinctively.

The creature started towards Melissa, the closest, who got up and backed into the table. She grabbed the nearest weapon, a coaster, and threw it at the monster. It bounced off the monster’s head with a stony PLUNK noise and then hit Kirk.

The creature menaced towards her. It grabbed her with one meaty hand and bared its fangs. She screamed hysterically as it sank its teeth into her shoulder.

John, who had the most PTSD, was the quickest to react. He grabbed his thermos and beat the creature over the head. The creature flinched several times but didn’t back down.

Stacey ran out for help. Erin leaped on the creature, trying to pull it off of Melissa. I grabbed a pen and stabbed the creature repeatedly in the shoulder and back. The pen broke.

And that’s when Hannah hulked out. “NOT AGAIN!” she screamed. “Goddammit not again! You bastard!” She flipped the ten foot conference table, leaped upon the monster, and caved in its skull with one punch. The creature twitched and died. Blood pooled. Melissa shakily extracted herself from underneath the body.

“Whew, you guys have interesting meetings,” I said lamely.

Awkward silence reigned once more.

 

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Office Produce

It’s that time of year.

The office break room table is littered with free produce.

They’re never normal. There are always skinny u-shaped cucumbers, zucchini the size of hams, overly muscular heirloom tomatoes.

Oddly shaped vegetables that say things like, “New gardener,” “How in god’s name can anyone eat this many vegetables,” “I don’t have the energy to can or freeze foods,” and “Maybe somebody else will eat this penis-shaped one because I can’t handle the vibes it’s giving me.”

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