Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Verbal Confusion

I'm trying to do that thing wherein I post daily on my blog...at least for the month of November.  I gotta tell you...the pressure is exhilarating.  So here's my post for today.  You're welcome, Internet.

Stuff I'm Bad At (this list definitely exceeds 2 items, but for the sake of time and Internet space, I will highlight 2 of them...actually, just one):

1. Not ending phrases with dangling prepositions

2. (And definitely, the broader subject of this post) Small Talk

I am irreparably awkward.  I have been all my life.  I have little to zero kinesthetic ability.  One of my worst fears is that I will be with a group of people and an impromptu volleyball game will break out.  My awkwardness is not limited to my lack of athleticism.  From ages 5 - pregnant, I bore a striking resemblance to Olive Oil.  I was this awkward skinny girl who looked like she suffered from Marfan syndrome (look it up...Abe Lincoln was most likely suffering from it, too).  It wasn't cute skinny...it was dear-God-her-knee-caps-stick-out-farther-than-her-well...they just are really pronounced. 

But the area in which my awkwardness is ironically evident is my verbal skills.  The irony being, I am an English teacher.  To quote Jocie-grossy, words are my life. But, when I first meet people or have to engage in small talk, I am reduced to a babbling weirdo with a speech impediment.  For example, the other day a guy in Ben's dorm asked how Eli was doing.  I was caught of guard, and quickly spit out a hodge podge of words that only the most gifted interpreters could have deciphered.  It sounded something like, "Fine...he's good...I mean well...he's f...flabaalkd;fha dvlkamn." (and yes, the semi-colon belongs).  The guy looked at me like, "Are you having a seizure?" and then quickly walked away. I don't know why.

Most times, my awkward small talk results in a confused blend of phonemes.  However, there are times when I try to throw funny in with my awkwardness and it results in something completely inappropriate being said.  This usually happens around pastors or employers.  It's what the mean girls refer to as "word vomit."  Usually something about farts, menstrual stuff or boobs comes out (ask me about my first time visiting Ben's parents--yikes).   These completely inappropriate words are coming out of my mouth while my brain is screaming at me to STOP TALKING, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY!!! 

Sometimes I realize my social faux pas immediately -- other times I realize it as I'm leaving the person or while falling asleep at night.  I don't think I'm a dumb person.  I mean there was that time I cut my hair to resemble a man.  Oh, and I dabbled in missionary dating in high school.  But, other than those isolated incidences, I am a fully functioning member of society.  Why can I not have an intelligent small talk interaction with someone? 

So, if you are ever the victim of my word vomit or phonemic firework show, please know I am aware of my awkwardness and am working to correct it...at least the verbal part.  Volleyball is forever beyond my reach.


rachel said...

you can verbally throw up on me anytime you want. i miss you...

Steve and Paula said...

I <3 this post! I can SO relate! Love your blog!

Lacey said...

We can be verbally awkward together. :)

Jeanette said...

Rach...you're so sweet...next time we meet (please be soon), I'll be sure to word vomit on you. :)

S&P--I'm glad someone understands.

Lacey, that's why we make such good friends...we're kindred spirits with our awkwardness uniting us. :)

victoria said...

you may be awkward at talking but you sure can write! love your posts.