This I Believe

Kelly - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Awkward moments are times we feel really uncomfortable or embarrassed. They are those brief seconds which seem like minutes and those minutes which seem like hours. It’s like that time you pass your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend in the hall and blankly stare at each other and don’t say a word… twelve hours after the break-up. What about that time the room is really loud, but it suddenly goes quiet just as you say something to a friend? Or there is always that awkward silence while trying to hold a conversation, but you have said all you can say.

I believe in awkward moments. I believe in how they can turn your cheeks crimson and leave you flabbergasted right after it happens. But how do you deal with the mortifying situation? You can either choose to still feel discomfited and obsess over it all day, or you can freak out for thirty seconds then laugh about it. I believe in finding humor from some of the most uncomfortable situations. After all, I am an awkward person, and you agreeing that I’m awkward is an awkward situation.

The other day in Algebra Three, an informal math class for seniors, my teacher basically called me out in front of the entire class. He was discussing senior news, so I naturally tuned him out because none of the information pertained to me. He noticed everything he said was going in one ear and out the other. All of the sudden he points to me and says, “Kelly, you’re a junior. You shouldn’t be in here. This, uh, isn’t a class for juniors.” I thought he was being sardonic so I let out my embarrassing, gasping-for-air-laugh. Everything would have been okay if he didn’t ask me if I was crying, but my obnoxious laugh brought even more attention to me. All twenty one seniors in the class stopped what they were doing and peered at me. Then he added, “Go class of 2009, right?” That was not the best thing to ask me when I was sitting in a room full of people graduating in 2008.

I can also remember last year we had to read thesis papers aloud to our language arts class. When I was walking back to my seat, I tried to slink into my desk. Five seconds later I was on the ground because I completely missed. It would have been okay if no one really saw, but the entire class did. Naturally I just laughed it off, but no one else did. Now, I don’t know if the class was having an off day or not, but about seven minutes later something else awkward happened. A girl was beginning to read her paper when we hear an Enrique Iglesias ring tone. She quickly ran to her purse to shut off her phone and walked back up to the podium beet red. Everyone sat there in silence (except for a few) so she squawked to the teacher, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry,” and continued to read her essay. Not everyday in class do you see someone miss their chair or hear a Latin pop ring tone.

It is times like these that make my days interesting. How boring would it be to never witness something awkward? How awful would it be to never laugh off those situations? Of course in that exact moment you want to curl up in a fetal ball and hide, but you can’t lay like that forever. Just remember to laugh it off, because the more awkward you make it – the more awkward it is.