Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Basking In The Glory Of My Social Awkwardness

I don't know if anyone has ever noticed this or not, but I'm one of those fabulously awkward people.
Outsiders (and maybe even some insiders) observing my life would probably blame the fact that I was homeschooled from second grade through 74% of my college career. I, however, know that I was just destined to be "that weird girl" from the off. Looking back on my brief public school career, that was certainly true (they used to laugh at my saddle oxfords, and tell me that the songs I knew weren't "real" [probably because their parents didn't listen to the same things mine did]). By the end of those wretched years, I had become the leader of all of the other weird kids, who seemed to genuinely believe they would miss me during the next school year.
Fast forward a few Presidential administrations, and I am now a "college girl". Does it matter that I seem to know the schedule better than the teacher? That I know the material better than the others in the class? Personally, I would say yes; but then, there's that beautiful awkwardness, glimmering like sunset on the ocean.
I have no idea why, but that awkwardness seems to be about 50% bigger in that class than in any other social situation in my entire life, ever; in particular, with one of my classmates.
Would you like to hear about it? 'Cause it's really hilarious.
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

Earlier this semester, I had to make up an exam (you know, 'cause we've been gone quite a lot in the last couple of months). The Classmate also had to make it up, so we took the exam together. As he professed his nervousness, I tried to tell him to have confidence in himself. Unfortunately, I've been dealing with some vocal issues lately; what should have turned out as a normal phrase -- "you have to have confidence in yourself" -- turned into "you have to have con--"

That got some weird looks.

The next day, Classmate walked by my desk. After a brief conversation, he placed his hand palm up in front of me. What did I end up doing? Turning his hand over, and shaking it.
I still don't know whether he wanted a "low-five", or some other salutation I don't understand. His response to this? "OK, see ya."

I was fine with all of these exchanges. I knew my strangeness was very evident to everybody (considering I sit at the very front, in the middle, and have massive amounts of frizzy hair; really, my hair rivals Yoko's on the Grapefruit cover). It probably doesn't help that I don't own a solid-colored shirt, and wear vintage rhinestone cat glasses (generally two pair, sometimes at the same time), and I am more than fine with that. I sincerely do not care what they think of me, so I don't fret about stupid little things like my socially backward anachronism mind.
Until the social niceties today.
A group of students were gathered at the front of the room, sorting out some graded papers. Classmate continued to call my name, handing me each paper as he found it.
"Thank you, Alfred (names changed to protect the poor guy)."
This happened three times, and I thought nothing of it. Until he said "my name is Frank, not Alfred".
And that's when I felt my eyes grow to saucer-like proportions, my pulse quickened, and I just kind of froze on the spot.
I made my apologies, and admitted how terrible I am with names and faces. He smiled and said he understood.
But that wasn't enough for my little "Social Emergency Button". Oh no. It wasn't.
Standing right next to me was the real Alfred. Before I could stop myself, I heard my tiny little voice squeaking out "wait, you're Alfred, aren't you?"
"Yeah," he said, apparently enjoying my mix-up.
Well, he must have done, because he moved from his usual seat in the very back of the room to the empty desk behind me, and proceeded to converse with me at opportune times.
Because that didn't add to the awkwardness. Not at all.

I now have two wishes: that neither of these people ever, ever find this blog; and that the real Alfred could see past my hair.

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