“My forte is awkwardness.” -Zach Galifianakis

I’m going to describe one of my least favorite situations, which is always infallibly awkward for me (it happens like this every time, I swear):

So I’m walking along with a friend, could be a significant other, but it doesn’t matter in this situation. We’re spending the day together, who knows, but the main thing is that I’m comfortable. And then the worst thing happens:

I run into someone else I know.

I’m not antisocial, and theres no real problem here, except that my friend doesn’t know this person. To make things worse, I never know the two people from the same place; it’s never two people from school, which at least then have one thing in common. No, it’s always a high school friend, and then a coworker. Or the girl I’m trying to impress, and a hobo I met under a bridge, you know.

Regardless, I have to stop and talk, there’s no way around that. I can’t just not talk to someone I know if they’ve said hello first. I’m not rude.

So I go through the usual pleasantries, and even though I’m doing most of the talking, I quickly realize that my friends have conflicting personalities. For one reason or another, my friends aren’t usually, you know, normal. And not everyone’s strangeness mixes very well. So I need to get out, like right now.

But I can’t just leave, I’m not rude.

But then there’s this lull in the conversation. I then realize that, while I have concocted a series of escape routes, I have failed to introduce my original friend, who is still just standing there. And now I have been in the conversation too long to avoid doing so. “Oh!” I say, smiling manically and hoping my exclamation somehow explains my lack of social graces, and I start the introductions.

Within half a second everything hits the fan. Both of my acquaintances have now figured out that they are not destined for mutual friendship, but instead were fated to be sworn enemies. As they subtly begin preparing themselves for what I can only assume will be a kung-fu showdown, I am still there, stammering out an explanation of how I know each of them.

My sentences fragment, and as I get more flustered my capacity to speak English is reduced to single words (Friends! School! Hobo!). Fortunately my stammering and gesticulations miraculously serve to broker a peace worthy of the Geneva Conventions, as both parties turn to help me, clearly concerned for my health.

Shortly after, we part ways. I continue my wanderings with my original companion, who turns to me and says quietly, “They seemed nice.”

To which I reply, “Yeah, but they’re kind of weird.”




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