i’m going to go ahead and say it. lately, i’ve been feeling awkward. not the usual “she dances to the beat of her own drum” awkward but straight up gonzo the great awkward.
do you remember gonzo? he was the beautifully weird muppet who fully embraced his awesomeness despite being rejected on a regular basis. i always felt bad for gonzo. no one appreciated his art. no one understood his uniqueness. everyone wrote him off as a weirdo.
when i was in school, i regularly misspelled weird. it wasn’t until i was an adult that my supervisor hipped me to the best way to permanently remember how to spell it correctly: WE are weird. get it? “e” comes before “i” because “we” are all a little bit weird?
most people probably aren’t going around professing their weirdness to the world. i’ll be honest. i don’t have to profess it at all. my weirdness is always telling on me. i have some pretty strange behaviors. i like to watch tv upside down. i read the first page, middle page, and last page of a book before i sit down and read it from cover to cover. i memorize entire monologues from movies and randomly quote them for fun. when i’m doing anything outside, i secretly imagine myself on a magical quest where i’ll be the hero in the end. let me stop myself before i divulge all of my secrets. you get the picture. i’m a weirdo. but i’ve never felt awkward until recently.
like issa rae’s fantastically awkward protagonist “j,” i’ve been struggling trying to figure out how i’m supposed to respond in certain situations. hug, shake hands or fist pound? (wait, what?) honesty, agreeability or indifference? (i guess what you said makes sense?) react, ignore, or deny? (did that really just happen?) ay yi yi! it’s very disconcerting when you can’t figure out how to read a social queue! and there is the added sadness when you realize perhaps your social awkwardness made someone else feel weird. i’m sorry? (did this just get weird?)
i had to talk to a few people to find out if, unbeknownst to me, i’ve been socially awkward this whole time! turns out i haven’t. but apparently, awkward situations can lead to awkward behavior. that makes sense. why? because “we” are weird. all of us. and we are bound to encounter others who bring out more of our weirdness than normal and vice versa.
problem solved? nope. because i still don’t know what to do, if anything, about what happened. raises weird flag. backs away slowly.