I am a queen of awkward situations. For some reason, I have an incredible knack for saying the wrong thing, or making people feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I wonder if I seek out these situations, bringing the “awkward” to any moment that would otherwise have been completely normal. Is there something in my nature that pushes me to make wildly inappropriate comments in front of people who are proper or who don’t know me? Is there some traitorous part of myself that wants, no, desires to ruin my chances at normal interaction?
Today, in the petit hall at Sciences Po, a friend of mine was studying at the table behind mine with a group. One of the men she was working with was quite attractive and kept making loud interjections in an appealing accent. These utterances were causing me to turn around on occasion and overhear a large part of their conversation. When my friend asked a question about the French “bisous” (the greeting that involves a kiss on each cheek) and whether or not French men sporadically greet each other in this manner, I felt somehow compelled to turn around and state, in a tone that was strange and in a volume that was several decibels too high, “Yes! They so do!” Sara, my friend, is used to me, and just laughed, but all three of the guys she was with stared at me for a second before I explained that my French teacher had just talked about the evolution of bisous etiquette.
This small, in all appearances, casual interaction has given those three guys, one of whom I see constantly in the halls of Sciences Po, a certain impression of me- an impression that says, “Crazy,” or, “Intense,” or the oh-so-feared, “Ditz.” These statements are not false. I am, at times, crazy, intense, and ditzy; it is not unheard of for me to be all these things at once. However, I would prefer to give the immediate impressions of “Bright,” or, “Attractive,” or the ever-so-sought-after, “Cool,” for I am, at times, all of these things as well.
Upon telling Michelle what I was writing about, she proceeded to inform me that I am actually not awkward at all. I’ll leave it for those who know me to decide…