I don’t totally feel socially awkward. I am awkward at times, but I don’t feel incapable of carrying a conversation unless it feels forced. Honestly, I wear my moments of awkwardness as badges of pride.
For example, the time I took my coworkers out to lunch and I went through the Dairy Queen drive-thru: instead of ordering my go-to fat food (chicken strips w/ peppered gravy), I decided to try their new Chicken Bruschetta sandwich.
Now, to preface the situation, I do not like slices of tomato. I can eat tomatoes, but I gag at large juicy slices.
So, I asked the Intercom for no tomatoes on my sandwich. There’s a moment of silence before the Intercom responded with, “You mean the Bruschetta?” Right! The thing that makes it a Chicken Bruschetta sandwich. But it was the tone the Intercom used, as if I could hear her thinking “What sort of fuckery is in my drive-thru right now?”
I apologized for my lack of intelligence and pulled around to pick up my food. I don’t think Intercom was the worker at the window because they didn’t have a look of total disappointment at humanity on their face as they handed me my food. My coworkers snorted and guffawed loudly, and proudly, at my stupidity.
BTW, the sandwich was terrible.
The other time my brain failed me was on an interview at a temp agency. I was applying for a call center position for a newspaper company (this was during the decline of newspaper sales; suffice to say, the call center went out of business). In order to be considered for the job, the lovely headhunter hands me a laminated page filled with various words and asks that I read each of them to her.
I go through the list; some are simple, some are more complex but nothing advanced. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pronounce Otorhinolaryngologist. I felt I was doing well, so I became relaxed and more confident with each passing word. Then, I come to ‘metropolitan’, and with all of my pride, I say “Me-Tro-Pole-It-An!”. Without missing a beat, the headhunter corrects me with “meh-tro-pahl-i-tun”.
Of course, I told my sister what happened and she reminds me, to this day, of my retardation. However, it runs in the family.
One night, while we binge-watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD, my sister and I made it to “Phases”, episode 15 of season 2. The DVD menu screen tried to be hip and match the theme of the show with Gothic-lettered font, so my sister reads the title and gives me a confused look.
I ask her what’s the matter, and she says, “Which episode is this?” I tell her it’s the episode where one of the main characters learns he’s a werewolf. She declares, “What the Hell does that have to do with P.H. Asses?” I gave her a serious look and said, “You mean ‘phases’?” Her mouth closed shut as she processed this information and pressed play.
Sometimes our brains think quicker than our mouths can move, but that doesn’t excuse our stupidity. Of course, I don’t need an excuse. People make mistakes and say things wrong. I say ‘own it and move on.’ I now remember how to say metropolitan and that bruschetta is made up of diced tomatoes.