Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pat Boone For The Win!




I was watching the Bill Maher show the other night and his guest was Sarah Silverman. Say what you will about her comedy, it is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find something endearing about her and I think this interview helped me to identify what the endearing quality is. I am clearly in step with her awkwardness. As I watched her squirm through the interview and project a general air of discomfort, I was SO with her. Like Pete Townsend knows what it is to be a woman, so do I know what it is to be awkward.


Until I saw Ms. Silverman’s interview, I was pretty sure that if you looked up the word awkward in the dictionary, there would be a picture of me on a particularly bad hair day. Now I am pretty sure that they alternate pics of her and I on an odd/even schedule.


I guess it's only fair to state for the record that I am not 100% awkward 100% of the time. There are times that I am so confident and so possessed of competence and self-control, that I barely recognize myself. But those moments are fleeting and they mostly happen on the job or in the course of decorating my house (trust me when I tell you that I EARNED the title “Interior Dictator” with my blood, sweat and color swatches). But like the true Gemini that I am, there is a yin to that yang, a sour to that sweet, a Pat Boone to that Miles Davis. And sadly, the Pat Boone moments are the 80 in my 80/20 rule.



There are most definitely triggers to my awkwardness. Generally speaking, I am mildly awkward, offering conversations that are full of uncomfortable silences or perhaps tripping in public. Then there are the things that push my awkward factor to 11 (that’s one louder, innit?). The greatest of which seems to be the parents of my children’s friends.



I don’t know if I suffer from arrested development or some other psychiatric gift from the DSMIV, but I immediately assume the persona of a rebellious 16 year old in the presence of some (ok, most) parents. It’s almost like I can see myself peering back at them through the thick black eyeliner of my youth. Never one for idle chit chat or small talk, I find myself giving cordial, but short, one word answers to their questions and attempted conversation, not exhaling until they are safely in their cars and down the driveway.


There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. There are a small number of really cool parents that I can comfortably talk to, because they don’t give off a vibe that screams “Free spankings and other disciplinary actions – just ask me how”. These are the parents that I treasure and have managed to forge real relationships with.



On the other end of the spectrum, when a parent comes along that has an exacerbating factor, like being someone of local notoriety (local politician, president of the PTA, baseball league chairman), my awkwardness is so palpable, you could ice it and put a cherry on top. I will spend most of the conversation with these people, trying to stem the tide of my verbal diarrhea, which is so befouled with stupidity that I will regret not starting my day by having my jaw wired.



When I was younger, I felt like I was the only awkward person on the planet. Now, as an older person, I am able to see the awkward in other people and have come to realize that I am clearly not alone. The world is full of us. And despite the picture that I paint here, I am actually a functioning and productive member of society with family and friends that are willing to hang out with me. On purpose. Not sure how that happened. I guess they were able to see past the awkward beginnings, or maybe they are just so entertained by the Miles Davis moments that the soldier through the Pat Boone. I really need to thank them for that.








35 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

The Black Kitteh said...

I bought Sarah's book, Bedwetter. My bad. There was a disclaimer clearly printed on the book jacket. I should have read it. It warns you that if any of the 3 questions offended you, you should not buy the book. I missed that. I watched her on Rachel Ray. The interview was funny and the cute stories she told WERE endearing. The book however, just offended me. I believe she says in the book she fully intends to be offensive. Mission accomplished. That being said, I absolutely LOVE Spose and "I'm Awesome" Everyone can relate to it, even if they don't want to! Loved the video and your blog!! :)

The Empress said...

Yeah, there's more of us and we're all on the internet!!!

My feeling is that awkward=deep thinkers, ergo I blog.

hokgardner said...

This could so describe me. I leave pretty much ever social event worried that I talked too much or said the wrong things or offended someone.

When I left the Bossy meet-up here in Austin, I asked the friend who went with me, and who knows about my social fears, if I had talked to much. She assured me I hadn't, but then I worried about even asking her that question.

And the few times that I actually feel cool and confident, I find out later that I had spinach in my teeth or my mascara was smeared under my eyes (really, that happened) and no one had the heart to tell me.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Black Kitteh - Aside from being awkward, I am also terminally PC. I took the Spose video down for fear that it would offend someone. It offends me a little, but I still think it's pretty great.

Empress - Awkward Internet Geeks Unite!

Hokgardener - Parents man, can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em with a paintball gun.

Susan Fobes said...

Funny post, but there are more of us than you think! I tell my kids that I was born without a drain stopper, you know, that stops the words in your head from spilling out your mouth?

I'm going to give you an example that I hope will make you feel better. A few days back I saw a co-worker in the grocery store along with her husband and new born baby-she was loading the groceries on the conveyor and he was holding the baby. I walked up to her husband, who incidentally I have never met before, and asked, "Is your baby for sale?" Well the man was still smiling but he had a look in his eyes that clearly indicated his real thinking-that I was some crazy woman. Thankfully my co-worker turned around and acknowledged that she knew me and we briefly exchanged some pleasantries. I thought maybe what I said hadn't been that bad until my eleven year old daughter asked. "Mommy, why did you say that?" I just mumbled something about my drain not working...

So laugh about it (what else can you do?), and know that this proves we're all human.

The Black Kitteh said...

I get the whole PC thing.... We fear offending someone on our blog as well. My mom was in the office when I HAD to play "I'm Awesome" song everyone. She kept saying," Laurie Ann, I raised you better than that!" But that song just crack me up!

Sara said...

What would this world be without a good awkward silence and the crickets to reinforce it?

foxy said...

I am also so awkward that it hurts. That's why I shy away from crowds and pretend to hate people in general. It's all just easier than being the awkward person around. And you know, I think I appreciate that about Silverman too. At least she's funny though. I'm horrible on the spot like that.

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

It's true. So many are awkward but only the brave admit it. The rest of us keep telling the story of that time our daughter had flatulence for a week. Or forgetting we already told it and tell it again.

But it makes us that much more adorable, right? RIGHT?

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Oh, me too. I either stand around looking like someone misplaced me or start blabbering something that even I'm wondering what the heck is she talking about.

Ann's Rants said...

See, and I would over-try to your over-awkward and we would flail and trip all over each other.

And I'd probably spit in your eye in the process.

(good times)

3LittleMonkeys said...

Oh ya, I'm one of them. Put me in any social situation and I'm an idiot!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Susan Fobes - I agree. I love to laugh at myself. If I took it seriously every time I tripped or said something stupid, I'd be mad all the time. I think its funny.

Sara - Chirp,chirp. Chirp, chirp.


Foxy - I am bad on the spot too. There's no telling what kind of brain droppings will come out.

Kate - That was supposed to be between us, mom (rolls eyes).

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded - It is so uncomfortable when your own drivel starts to put you to sleep. I can bore the $hit out of myself at times.

Ann - Well it would be awkward, but probably very polite. Full of I'm so sorry's and Was that your toe's. You're right. Good times!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

3 Little Monkeys - You can dress me up, but you can't take me anywhere.

The Blue Zoo said...

Whenever I feel awkward I just start rambling. Which of course always makes me feel even more awkward!

Kimberly said...

Awkward?!

Oh Dear Lord! My dad made me play basketball when I was young, and I took a book to every practice and game. Every child had to play, and you could hear the crowd go "Ahhhh" every time I got in the game. The ref or official or the dude in the black and white would blow the damn whistle and tell me that I was in an illusive area for more than 3 seconds. I would be praying to myself "Please let me go back to the bench". Luckily, I played for a girl team. The boys would have killed me. My sister and brother both "Super Star Athletes". I was known as the pretty one that does not talk to too many people.

I don't play basketball and standing around too many parents makes me feel like I am in the 3 second area, and I am going to hear the whistle at any moment.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Blue Zoo - Yep, with ya on that.

Kimberly - When I am talking to parents I WISH someone would blow a whistle and make it end.

Eternally Distracted said...

I think we need to start a club. Yep. That's what we need to do.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Eternally Distracted - I will gladly chair that meeting.

Erin said...

I only caught the tail end of her interview and was so bummed. I hope I can watch it on-line somewhere? I adore her for the same reasons you mentioned and can assure you that YOU are NOT the most awkward person on the planet. I am of your species as well. Have been all my life. Can't seem to shake it. Ugh! I am curious about her book. I don't think I'm easily offended....

Linda Medrano said...

Silverman doesn't do it for me. She's too hurtful to other people to be funny. I spent a good part of my life in a position of "Marketing Director" and there is nothing I hate more than walking up to strange person and introducing myself and then having a conversation. Ouch! I did it well, but hated every second of it!

linlah said...

I've forgotten what a social situation is but I know I'm awkward when I'm in one.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Erin - Sista! Come sit next to Diary (pats couch).

Linda - Yeah, a lot of her comedy crosses the line with me too.

Linlah - You should get a lot of practice with your new job.

blueviolet said...

I will size everyone up in the room and choose the least intimidating person to converse with. I hear ya!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Blue Violet - I like that approach. I just might steal that from ya.

Alyssa said...

Best post ever! No, I'm not prone to exaggeration, I just truly loved this!!! Bravo, bravo; keep it up. (that's not to minimize the awkwardness, you know; just to praise the writing) Loved it.

And always love your comments, too. Except I wish you'd stop writing in Chinese. C'mon, I know it's you.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Alyssa - I wishe I were smart enough to figure out how to write in chinese on your blog. Dang, I just called myself stupid. See? Awkward.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

I am looking forward to meeting you in NYC and celebrating the Awkward Olympics. Yay!

SurferWife said...

LOVE Sarah Silverman.

And I wouldn't peg you as an akward, weird silence type of gal. But now that I know that I think you are even more fun.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

LPR - As long as no one acts "parental" I might only score a Bronze.


Surfer Wife - Oh, I certainly have those moments. I really nerd out around paretal types.

Tracie said...

I have my moments but at heart I am very, very awkward and ALWAYS end up saying the wrong thing. Isn't the internet a wonderful place for people like us?

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Tracie - It's the best. I am almost never awkward in writing.

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

sarah silverman is my kindred spirit. and so are you :)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Crazy Baby Mama - Awwww. Thanks!

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