#That Awkward Moment When…

November 16, 2011  |  
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If you haven’t tuned into the web series “The Mis-adventures of Awkward Black Girl” you’re missing out on a hilarious collection of everyday awkward moments that mirror many of the events that take place in almost any black woman’s life, if not any woman’s life in general.  The main character of “J” played by writer, director and actor
Issa Rae, has found a way to relate to the often misunderstood woman who doesn’t live up to neck-swirling, gum-snapping stereotypes that are unfairly associated with black woman. With a cast of characters including a handsome chocolate office crush, a power hungry co-worker and a boss lady whose enthusiasm for black culture is more insulting than it is inspiring, you’ll find it hard to not relate to some of the random situations that take place in a day in the life of J.

As a tribute to this popular series that makes a sarcastic comment on what it means to be black and awkward, I’ve put together a list of situations that will just never ever be comfortable even if you’re cooler than an ice-cube tray in Siberia.  Because the truth according to our favorite awkward black girl J is, “We’re all awkward in our own way; it’s natural.”

1.  That awkward moment when…you discover the person who’s friendly wave you returned was really waving at the person behind you.

You’re out having a bite to eat when in walks the familiar face of someone whom you barely know, but may possibly want to know more of.  So you’re ecstatic when that person shoots you a warm friendly wave–only his target is actually seated behind you.  The worst part is that there is absolutely no way you can play off the fact that you were waving your hands like you were front row at a Watch the Throne concert trying to get Yeezy and Jay-Z’s attention. Swallow your pride and chase it with a shot of honesty that you were sadly mistaken.

2.  That awkward moment when…you say goodbye to co-workers who you then end up bumping into several times before you actually
leave. (Walking in the same direction, in the bathroom, etc.)

You’ re clocking out at 5 p.m. and thanking God for allowing you to survive another work day without catching a case, and have to mentally remind yourself not to break out into the Cupid Shuffle as you leave your desk because for another 15 hours you can reclaim your sanity.  After you recite your share of empty “Have a good night’s,” you find yourself walking down a long never-ending hallway with these same people, bumping into them yet again in the bathroom, on  the way out the door, and only to see that you’re now walking down the same street.  Wait, I thought you left work for the day?  Do you have to make polite conversation?  Do you pull out your phone and call anyone just so you can keep your distance?  Yes, do whatever you have to do to make it clear that you are off the clock!  Just because you work together doesn’t mean you have to acknowledge one another outside of the office.  After all, you did say goodbye, what more do they want? Right?

3.  That awkward moment….when you thought you were doing a great job at fake listening only to be asked, “So, what do you
think?”

You probably have at least one friend that for some reason has to reach a certain word quota each day, so whenever he or she starts to talk, a rendition of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day O)” starts to play in your head.  So inevitably you’re caught off guard when after 10 minutes of rambling you’re hit with the question, “What do you think I should do?”  The good news is that said friend may not actually be interested in your opinion, but simply needed to take a breath.  The bad news is that if they really are looking for advice, the wrong response could give away that you were thinking about what you want to order for lunch instead of actively listening.  Next time, more listening (at least catch the players in their drama) and less selective ADD.

4.  That awkward moment when… that person you cut off and flipped off in traffic is going to the same store you are.

The weather’s nice, your whip game is on point and you’re really feeling yourself as well as Lil’ Wayne’s latest single.  Sucks for that person you just cut off–they should drive better.  Until you discover they’re headed to Whole Foods…just like you.  If they’re feeling some type of way the best thing you can do is deny knowledge of your actions (play cray cray) and don’t be confrontational.  The last thing you need are bullets and bruises over merging and Weezy F. Baby.

5.  That awkward moment when…that stimulating conversation you’re having is making its way into the bathroom.

You’re dishing the dirt on where you went over the weekend and who you saw there on the way to the ladies room with a friend and you’re mid-story as you enter the stall.  Do you hope that the laughs will drown out the sounds of your bathroom behavior or do you press the pause button to allow yourself and your company some privacy?  In my opinion, it’s hard to focus on what so-and-so’s tacky outfit looked like when I am distracted by splashes, spills and plops.  Bathroom time = quiet time.
time.

6.  That awkward moment when…you just can’t understand what someone is saying to you, even though they’ve repeated it multiple times.

I’ve definitely encountered a few people who could stand to tap a few times on their volume button in order to be heard, or you might have even avoided certain people because you know you’ll just about need a translator in order to effectively communicate.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Asian nail technician, but I am filled with guilt every time I have to ask her to repeat something I can’t understand through her thick accent.  Eventually I just nod and smile and hope that suffices.

7.  That awkward moment when…you totally draw a blank on someone’s name.

This is something that I’ve always struggled with.  I can remember a face and even where I know you from, but the name…I’ll have to get back to you about that.  Knowing this is a challenge for me, so I usually give people fair warning when I meet them and I’ve also learned that there’s nothing wrong with just being honest with someone whose name has slipped from your memory.  It’s not like you have ill intentions for them.  So stop two-stepping through your casual encounters so you don’t have to actually address someone by name and just ask them to remind you. If it helps, create a rhyme or some form of alliteration with their name so that it sticks in your head like Too Short Tony and Neck Tattoo Natalie.

8.  That awkward moment when…you text gossip to the person you’re gossiping about.

You didn’t double-check that recipient field and now your sister knows how you really feel about her cheap, tasteless new man with the Frito breath.  You can pray that you’re in a spot with a terrible signal as your outbox struggles to deliver.  Or you’ll have to take the confrontation that will follow like same grown a** woman who sent that text.  The thing is as fun as gossip is, it’s always wrong and there really is no defense against talking trash behind someone’s back, but we’ve all done it and many of us will probably do it again after finishing reading this article.  So just try to have a rational honest convo about the feelings you expressed on accident, apologize for being catty, and next time double-check that recipient field.

9.  That awkward moment when…you’re talking to someone whose breath feels like it’s burning your eyebrows off.

You’re dreading the impending conversation because you know as soon as this person opens their mouth it will smell like moldy cheese and month old milk got together and gave birth. In fact, you may physically cringe if they open their mouth within a four foot radius of you.  But how do you really get across the point that their breath is a weapon of mass destruction without coming across as rude or insensitive?  Four words: breathe through your mouth.  But seriously, offer gum, peppermint, Mentos, whatever, and avoid eye contact with the hopes that they can take a hint or a mint or both.

10.  That awkward moment when…you’re with a group who’s just coming down off of a good laugh followed by a tense, pregnant silence.

Maybe the joke was hilarious or you just amused the teller by laughing, but now everyone’s coming down off of that laughter and there’s nothing to say…although it feels like there should be.  Don’t be a hero and try to run to the rescue with a lame comment that only increases the tension.  The truth is silence doesn’t always have to be uncomfortable. Just don’t pull out your cell phone too fast…

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