That Awkward Thing You Do

That Awkward Thing You Do

Hi, I’m Kristen, and I have a problem: I am awkward.

I know what you’re thinking. “But Kristen is so beautiful. She’s great and we love her a lot and we’re going to bring her a ton of candy.” And all that is true. But I am also undeniably, fantastically, almost supernaturally awkward. Most of the time, I am with friends who have either learned to handle my awkwardness or who are very skilled at changing the subject. My friend Jenna is an expert on both.

But work is another story. It’s almost beyond words. As soon as I walk into the doors at work, it’s as if a blanket of SuperAwk (now sold in retail stores worldwide) covers me and renders me powerless to say or do anything that is remotely normal. I attributed it to nerves at first… but it’s been six months. I think we might just have to acknowledge it for what it is.

So to accurately portray to you how awkward my awkwardness is, I have compiled a list of things that I have said to my boss today alone:

  • Sorry for my sneeze and its weirdness.
  • Sure, I’ll slap you.
  • They did a conga line on your desk.
  • The Beast looks like my husband.
  • Maybe it’s blue thunder.
  • I’ll stalk her and see what I can find for you.

So form your own conclusions. But come on. Maybe it’s blue thunder? What does that even mean? I’m the one who said it and I’m not sure what it means.

Now you know the truth. This will probably turn on a light bulb for a few of you. For those who got this memo a long time ago, I thank you for your patience.

PS I read this out loud to Daniel before I posted it, and all he had to say was “Oh. You poor girl.”

Fireworks for the 13th of August…

Fireworks for the 13th of August…

I am currently listening to fireworks go off outside my window. At first I thought they were gunshots (which makes just as much sense to me), but as I listened harder, I decided that most gunshots don’t start with a “weeeeeeeee” sound. At least I don’t think they do. Daniel would be so proud of me. For those of you who don’t know, he’s a gunsmith. We’ve been together two years and I have yet to learn a single thing about guns. Well, that isn’t totally true. I know what kinds of guns he has, and I know how to shoot the one, and yesterday I learned that a Saga is a cool gun because it is fed by a magazine and not by a tube. I have no idea if that makes sense but that’s what I heard Daniel say. He tries to teach me, he really does. I think it’s just like calculus for me. Never gonna happen but I respect those who understand it.

Anyway. Fireworks on August 13th. Why, you ask? Well, amidst the strangeness of our apartment complex, this is really just another thing to add to the list. We’ve been weirded out by way more interesting stuff than this.

Like our neighbors, whom we affectionately refer to as “those shirtless bald guys.” Two men live across from us. Every time we seem them, they are shirtless. Every time. They grill out shirtless, they walk around shirtless, they wave me on ahead of them in the parking lot…shirtless. They grin a lot at us but never say anything, except for when Shirtless Guy #1 said “No problem” in response to me literally running into him on the stairs one day. That was awkward. And, yes, he was shirtless, if you were wondering. It’s not that I find the shirtlessness uncomfortable, it’s… no, you know what, I do find it uncomfortable. I’m barely comfortable seeing people in swimsuits at the pool. I might be a prude, but by golly, that is who I am, and when these guys are shirtless 24×7 it unnerves me, like their shirtlessness might be lurking around any corner (or on the stairs), waiting to make me uncomfortable. Do all men do this? Maybe I’m just out of touch. Enlighten me, men.

Another weird thing in our neighborhood is “that lady we almost always hit.” A few weeks ago, a lady stopped Daniel on the sidewalk and blocked him from the car, then demanded a ride to a bus stop twenty miles away. He was coming to pick me up and said he was very sorry, he couldn’t take her. She didn’t like this and wouldn’t move. He offered to call a taxi for her. No. He offered to PAY for her taxi. No, no, and no. She was so angry that he wouldn’t just drive her – after all, “THAT’S WHAT NEIGHBORS DO.”(btw, she does not live in our neighborhood…) Eventually he managed to step around her, and even though she stood behind the car to stop him, she finally left.

We thought that was the last of her. However, we each keep seeing her, and every time we almost hit her. Not out of anger or frustration, but because she literally steps in front of the car to stop you. Every. Time. She just lurks in the front of the neighborhood and then jumps out in front of us (and I’m sure our neighbors). We have offered to drive her to the nearest bus stop, call a taxi, steal a horse and watch her ride off into the sunset, but no. She only wants a ride to one specific place that is always twenty miles away. My main question is, when she gets to the place that is twenty miles away, why does she keep coming back here? How is she getting here? And why is she talking to her hand?

Then there is our manager’s office. They are, in theory, open about 35 hours a week. They are actually there maybe 10 of these hours, and can help you with your problem about half of one of those hours. For instance, on Sundays they are open from 1-4, according to the sign. If you get there at 1, a lady inside will wave at you and make hand gestures indicating you should come back later. Okay. So you come back at 3:30… oops, they’re closed. The best bet is to go in the middle of the hours, but not too close to the middle, because that is their break. The laundry room is open 12 hours a day. The machine where you put money on your laundry card to run the machines is open about two hours a day, from maybe 10-12. And the hours they are open is like a scaled-down version of the California Gold Rush, because everyone knows they either have to charge their laundry cards then, not wear underwear for a week, or use the extremely creepy laundromat down the road. I would definitely go with the no underwear, just to give you an idea of the options.

But we do have nice fireworks.

Dear Taco Bell

Dear Taco Bell

Dear Taco Bell on Pleasant Hill,

I have been a customer for a few months, and while I appreciate the tastiness you offer, I also had a few things I wanted to bring up regarding your customer service. Please understand that I mean this only as constructive criticism, and I hope we can continue to be friends.

When I go to the counter to order my food and the employee at the register is silent and stares at me for twenty seconds, I become slightly unnerved. I know that my beauty is overwhelming to many people, but surely by now everyone at your store has developed a way to cope with that. It’s very awkward to have to clear my throat approximately seven times and then ask to order while also trying to convince my husband not to say something rude to you. You might also consider not yawning in the middle of someone’s order and then asking them to repeat everything you missed while yawning.

At the drive-thru, the service is much prompter, but please don’t ask for my order and then get annoyed that I gave you my order before you were ready. When you ask me for it, I assume this means you are ready, and if this is not the case I sincerely apologize. We just need to break down these barriers of communication, and you might consider having your employees take a speed-typing course.

Also, when I arrive at the window to pay for my food, seeing every employee in the store all facing the kitchen and looking horrified does not inspire a lot of confidence in your customers. Call me old-fashioned, but when the employees of Taco Bell are so freaked out they can only stare, phrases like “Call the CDC” come to mind.

One thing you have done extremely well, Taco Bell on Pleasant Hill: You have wiped out all other Taco Bells in a two-mile radius, thus ensuring that even if you serve me the wrong food twelve times in a row, I will always be back to try again. Well done, Taco Bell. Well done.