Awkward Anecdotes of the Awkward

I am one of those unfortunately awkward people that awkward things always happen to; possibly a male version of Bridget Jones if you will although I don’t have a diary as I feel like ‘go to work, go home, watch Netflix, play with the cat’ doesn’t really require the use of a diary to organise. The one upside to this
is that people are often amused by my tales of awkward woe and it’s your lucky day because I’m going to share some of the most recent examples with you. Consider it a rare Monday treat if you will.

I was staying at a nice inn in Nantucket last week and I was making a cup of Earl Grey in the morning when one of the other guests entered the breakfast area. I am notoriously bad at small talk so I decided to stir my tea as fast as I could and get out of there before I had to exchange pleasantries with a stranger. The inn had those little wooden stirrers and I stirred my tea a little too vigorously, puncturing my teabag and turning my cup into a kind of snow globe for tea leaves. The British part of me was aghast at having wasted a good teabag and the lazy part of me recoiled at the idea of having to start from scratch. I involuntarily muttered “fuck sakes” under my breath only it wasn’t under my breath and I could tell the other guest had heard. I was terrified that she would think that I was swearing because someone else had shown up so I escaped as fast as I could. I never did get my cup of tea that morning.

As I have just said I am really bad at small talk, even when I have a golden opportunity to talk about something that should be really easy. For example when someone picked up on my accent and told me that they had been to England my response was; “oh cool, so have I!” Also when someone doesn’t understand my accent and thinks that I am from Australia (this happens more often than you’d think) I am usually too polite to correct them. This is fine until the person I am talking to wants to talk more about Australia and asks where they should go if they were to visit. I have a nightmare that one day I will stammer “well we’re pretty proud of the Sydney Opera House” before banning myself from every kind of conversation ever.

The other day at work I got in the elevator at the end of the day and was so busy thinking about being home that I didn’t notice that I had got in one that was going up and not down. Once I realised that it was going up to the top floor to save my blushes (there were two men in the lift already) I decided to pretend that had been my intention all along but of course they saw me get out and press the button to go down again. This was awkward so I said “just taking the tour” in my most confident tone and they looked at each other and then the elevator took ages to come so I stood there for what felt like an eternity until I could escape. Sometimes I feel like becoming a hermit would be a good life choice.

Do you have any awkward anecdotes that you’d like to share to make my Monday a bit less of a Monday? I’d love to hear them!

37 thoughts on “Awkward Anecdotes of the Awkward

  1. As a short-sighted child I ‘saw’ a classmate waaayyyyy down the end of my street and began waving and calling her name as I ran to greet her. As I got closer I could see she was with 2 younger girls and assumed they were her sisters. I hadn’t realised her family lived close by. Then I realised I had made a huge mistake, I had no clue who these girls were. So embarrassed but too shy and awkward to admit such, I shifted my myopic gaze to behind them further up the hill and still calling the name of my friend carried on running straight up the hill and around the block until I finally came to a spot en route where there was no-one about to witness my humiliating antics. As you can see, I never quite recovered.

      1. My parents were always being told I ignored their neighbours/friends when out and about as a teenager which got me into big trouble cos they then knew I was taking off my glasses when I left the house!

  2. Haha, you should definitely go along with Aussie stories next time it happens – just make up some remote, outback sounding name of a town you grew up in and tell them you took a plane to school and knew Bouncer from Neighbours! 😉
    I’m always embarassing myself – think it’s a Brit thing. One of my worst was on my first day of teaching practice. I’d been in a car accident on the way to the school, so arrived late and shaken up. I was then taken to the classroom where I insisted on calling the teacher Mrs. Law (it was a man) before turning to leave and falling flat on my face over a pile of violins, just as the children walked in. Go team! 😦

    1. Haha that sounds like the kind of thing that I’d do. I hope the children didn’t laugh too much! The Aussie story sounds like a good idea, maybe I could tell them I come from the village that was in Crocodile Dundee. 😉

  3. A.PROMPTreply

    Poor Tom. I won’t share my worst moments here, suffice it to say…you are not alone… are REALLY not alone.

  4. Hi, I just read your blog and loved it! I am an Australian who has just moved to Ireland for the second time and I have just started a blog about my adventures and misadventures with starting my new life here. From reading your blog I think you’ll enjoy my blog or at least relate to some of my experiences!

    1. I’m really glad you loved the post! I just checked out your blog and enjoyed reading about your Meetup adventure. When I tried Meetup in Boston it was the most boring fail ever so I’m jealous! I’m now following you and I look forward to reading about your experiences. 🙂

  5. The other day I went to the doctors to collect something I gave the new receptionist my name and she couldn’t find it. Then the old receptionist leant over and reminded me that I changed my name 5 years ago. So I start spelling the correct name out for the new receptionist and the old one has to lean back over to correct my spelling! So, never going back to the doctors during her shifts again…

  6. Yay! You can take an Englishman out of England but you can’t take out the awkwardness, embarrassment, understatement or dry, self-deprecating humour.
    Nice to see that you’re upholding the expectations of Brits abroad (excluding the drunk ones that go to Benidorm).
    Keep up the good work 🙂

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! In addition to the aforementioned English traits I also apologise for things that aren’t my fault and get irritated when people can’t queue properly. 🙂

  7. A Grammas Life

    After 5 yrs of living in this neighborhood I was finally, FINALLY, invited to the cookie exchange at the neighbors house. I had to make 6dozen cookies, so of course I picked a decadent chocolate recipe which took much of the day to complete. The next day I excitedly packed all those damn cookies and happily trotted down to the neighbors house! I tripped on a crack in their driveway landed face first in the bushes and the cookies were sprawled across the lawn…and there were witnesses.

    1. Oh no, what an embarrassing way to begin the cookie exchange! I hope they invited you to the next one and they finally got to taste your cookies. Also a cookie exchange sounds like the best thing ever!

  8. Thanks for sharing! All of us have our awkward moments- some of us just more than others….Take my sister and me- she can be terribly awkwardly lovable. And then there’s me- I’m just boring. 😉 We make a good match- she’ll do something awkward, then I bore people into forgetting it. Lol. Keep up the awkward work! 😀

  9. “well we’re pretty proud of the Sydney Opera House” ROTFLMAO.

    There was once a hot coworker. He asked me out — no idea why — and I wanted to say “sure” and then I wanted to say “yep,” only it came up “Shup” and he thought I’d told him to “shut up.”

  10. Bea

    I’ve done the elevator thing. Sometimes I just stay in it awkwardly and other times I announce my mistake “oops! Wrong way!” and walk back out immediately. I’ve seen enough other people do it that I’ve taken cues from all of them.

  11. krista

    So many to chose from – I was at a wedding shower which can be a special type of hell for so many reasons but especially when the only person you know and have anything in common with is the bride to be and have never met anyone else there.

    And we were seated in a circle – in preparation for one of the horrible games to come and felt so awkward that in an attempt to make conversation with the girl sitting next to me – I asked if she had just hurt her knee as she had a large fabric bandage around it.

    “What? no, it’s what keeps my artificial leg on”

  12. Brenna In France

    My first trip to France to meet my husband’s family (we were just dating at the time) I made a horribly embarrassing language error. After enduring a redeye flight with no sleep, I knocked back severs espressos to stay awake. Unfortunately this gave me some weird caffeine fueled bravado because I decided to randomly try to throw in the French that I thought I could speak into my conversation. Surrounded by his whole family (excluding several little brothers) I responded to his mother with “un petit bit” (as in, “a little bit”) instead of “un petit peu”. If you don’t know, “bitte” (sounds the same) is slang for a man’s… Ehem. Needless to say everyone gaped at me then (thankfully) burst out laughing. We’ve been married several years now and the joke at my expense still won’t die, it’s still brought up and I still blush like a fiend. So embarrassing.

    1. Haha that is so funny, there must be so many opportunities for language related mishaps like that. I’m glad they saw the funny side! I remember saying to my American sister in law that I was “full of beans” which in British English means full of energy but in America refers to farting!

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