Someone on my Facebook feed recently wrote about a conversation she had with an Uber driver about how awkward she is.
Him: “How are you awkward, you seem like a down to earth girl.”
Me: “Oh I’m cool as shit, but I’m awkward as fuck.”
And that’s totally me! (I know that I’m violating the humble laws of the blogging world, but just roll with it)
I always thought that “cool as shit” and “awkward as fuck” were mutually exclusive… but they’re not. And occupying that middle space in the Venn diagram is giving me a complex.
You see, I’m a totally different person at work than I am with friends. I’m a totally different person with friends as I am with family. It’s just the way I work for some reason.
I’ve been lucky enough for the past year to work in environments where my friends were my coworkers because of the fields or industries I was in. Working in the service industry means that your coworkers are your family. Similar rule applies to non-profits.
But when it comes to actual corporate life? That rule doesn’t apply for some reason.
I’m not saying that I haven’t tried to branch out and make work friends… but, well, you’ll see in the following letter why it won’t work out:
I’m sorry that I’m saying this, but I don’t think we should try to be friends anymore. You are a cool person! I know that from all the other friends we have in common. In fact, we’re both cool people, which makes it hard to understand why this doesn’t work. Some things just aren’t meant to be, I guess.
Oh, you’re asking me WHY I placed a fork in our path when there was no previous fork? Well, let me tell you.
It’s because I’m always eating.
What, you don’t think humor should belong in a letter like this? See, you’re making it weird again. Stop it.
I know that we’ve only known each other for a very short time, but you’ve seen too much. And not in a good way, the way friendships form. You’ve just been seeing all the wrong parts, the parts where I don’t feel like myself and would rather you not think were part of my day-to-day personality. You’ve been seeing Awkward Michelle.
I know it looks like I never have my shit together or that I’m always spilling something over myself, but I swear that this is a RARE OCCURRENCE. You just… seem to ALWAYS be there as a witness.
Like that time we were trying to get my computer set up and I knocked over my mug FULL of coffee, and then sat there, stunned for a few moments, before you offered to get some paper towels for me. In that nice way with an undercurrent of oh my god you’re completely incapable.
Or that time I made a joke and we both watched it sail away, over your head. You reached for it, but it was too late.
Or that time we were attempting to talk and all my sentences were just not working the way they should work. And then I ended up laughing at a joke I finished in my head.
Or that time I had nothing to say to you but it was so quiet and everyone around us was talking, so I casually asked if you often ate Chinese food and you reciprocated the question and then our conversation ended. We were at a Mexican restaurant.
To everyone else, we’re perfectly normal people. We each have our set of friends and are able to laugh and cry like normal people do. Put us in the same room together and we’re robots, learning how to interact with people for the first time.
This is even weirder because when we first met, there was none of this awkwardness. Things were exactly the right amount of awkward for two people that had never interacted before. We scrounged around for topics and landed on something we had in common and said as much as we could about that topic. And then we promised that we would continue sharing this cool thing we had in common!
And it’s supposed to get better from there.
But it didn’t.
It got worse.
How do interactions get MORE awkward than the first meet?
You must feel the same way, right? I’m sure these conversations made more of ellipses than mispronounced words haven’t really been the highlight of your day either. And I’m sure no one else wants us to be friends either; it’s painful to watch.
Maybe we’re both trying too hard. Like anything, you can’t really force it.
I hope there’s no hard feelings. And I secretly hope that by declaring this friendship over before it really began, that we relax a bit and maybe we’ll become less awkward.
Are there some people in your life like this?