I seem to have a growing fondness of awkward situations. It does, I admit, seem like an odd thing to be fond of and I am as intrigued as you to know why I strangely enjoy these moments. There are, of course, moments that get the better of me and I succumb to them and become the sweaty, red faced, nervous, twitchy mess that I hate. However their are certain low-level awkward times that lift my spirits and put a smirk on my face.
One such situation is urinals. There are so many things that go through my head at urinals that I can’t help laugh at my own thoughts. I would love to know if every guy thinks these same thoughts as they enter. Let me lay down some basic, men rules for the urinals. Leave a space between urinals if possible. Talk at your own risk. Don’t make eye contact. Watch where your spray back goes. keep your eyes on the wall ahead or within your own boundaries (All these go out the window once you have been drinking mind you). So as I enter, my brain is rapidly making calculations and decisions. What urinal should I occupy? Shall I tackle my button flies or just go up and over? Do I sneak a peak at the guy next to me? (You know when you see something you shouldn’t look at but you can’t stop looking? Same thing happens here.) What if I finish at the same time as someone else? Do we leave in unison? If so shall I make I contact and share a common smile? Do I make a comment about us leaving together? Oh god so much to decipher in such a small amount of time.
Now I could abide by these rules and still very much enjoy my urinary experience. The fact that no one talks and there remains an air of awkwardness is enough for me to be entertained. Yet, on the odd occasion, when I am feeling extra mischievous I do endeavour to bend a few rules and see what events unfold. Talking is my most bent rule. I enjoy a casual comment about the weather or some other random topic, and if I am honest the responses are often friendly and polite. I think these recipients are secretly glad I have spoken, they too were thinking about bending this rule perhaps? Or perhaps it helps them relax and subsequently…
Lifts is another social situation where there seems to be a rule of silence and total disregard that anyone else occupies the lift. It is as if we are all so scared of each other. Or is it just that no one can be bothered to engage in small talk – literal small talk as conversations are dictated by the time it takes to reach the next floor.
Even outside of my small world it seems that awkward situations are the hot comedic topic at the moment. There are a lot of shows that are based around cringe-worthy moments. The Inbetweeners for example is a show based purely on what weird and embarrassing situations can these boys get themselves into. The wit and cleverness of the humour is limited, yet the immense levels of awkwardness are enough to grab our attention.
A guilty pleasure of mine is First Dates on Channel 4. Now I admit that I, perhaps, use these as a show to hone my own first date skills. To learn what not to do. But I do also enjoy the show to a certain degree. The show is nothing more than clip after clip of total awkwardness. It is rarely laugh out loud funny and quite often bleak. But there is something about viewing other peoples awkward squirms that I sadistically enjoy. Maybe not sadistically. That’s a bit extreme.
I do find people and social interaction very interesting. Sociology and the likes do intrigue me. So perhaps it is viewing how people react in these situations that grabs me. Observing a slight edge away as I take up the urinal directly to the left. The flicker of panic in ones eyes as I start conversation in a lift. So maybe it is not a weird love of awkwardness but an intrigue for social interaction and discovery. But this does not explain the love of awkward TV shows!?
Oh I give up, I am sick of writing awkward and feel this post has slowly deteriorated. The title held so much promise. I hope you weren’t suckered into it with that.
Anyway till next time… keep it awkward..