This I Believe

Madeline - Indian Head Park, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe

The newly popularized “awkward turtle” has become one of the most powerful weapons for combating those random silences and pauses that people can “cut the tension with a knife”. I believe in the power of awkwardness, something that can be a catalyst for unneeded anxiety and nervous actions. When something tends to be uncomfortable to the max, usually the cause of this strain to say the right thing is the invisible antagonist of awkwardness.

Awkward moments happen to everyone, but for some they are more few and far between. Whether it is just saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, not saying anything at all, or saying too much, awkwardness is a ghost that is always creeping up behind you when it is not expected. The ghost tends to always follow me to my family parties. Before I moved to where I live today, my family lived closer to my dad’s family, so I would see them pretty frequently. When we moved out here, we obviously were not going to see them as much, but I never expected that we would only be seeing them on Christmas and for our birthdays.

From then on, going over to my aunts’ houses and going to parties was something that I dreaded. One can only imagine that relationships are going to change, but I never expected the awkwardness that followed. I would go to my aunt’s house, and my cousins and I would not even talk until about half way through the party, which meant the first half was characterized by random strolls around the house shifting from room to room. By the time we would finally be talking like normal people, it would be time to leave and then I basically had to start all over again six months later, the next time I would see them. The upsetting thing about this entire ordeal is that the awkwardness of these sporadic encounters led to the worst time to have something be awkward, my grandma’s death last year. After seven years of these uncomfortable gatherings, it all culminated into the worst of all. At a time when family is supposed to be strengthening each other and holding together, we were too distracted by the uncomfortable lack of emotion between each family member.

The awkward turtle is not only an action that is used to humor people having a moment that they would much rather do without, but it is something that can control people’s lives and create a blockage in forming and keeping relationships. I believe in the power of awkwardness because I have seen what a few too many awkward instances can do to the connections between people. Most of all, I believe in it’s power because it has no main feature; awkwardness has the will to make any instance an experience one would rather forget.