I find language interesting. In the past few years, “awkward” has become very popular to describe a situation that is, well, awkward. It’s a very appropriate and useful term, but not one that was heard much at all when I was in school or a young adult. I wonder why, since it’s such a descriptive word. It works for anything from getting to work and realizing you’re wearing two different shoes (yes, I’ve done that) to meeting your new mother-in-law-to-be and having her share something personal you never wanted to know (again, been there). Other awkward moments in my life include calling my husband by my ex’s name (not good, not good at all), answering the office phone “Good morning” at 4:00 p.m., getting nervous with a new boss and not being able to remember the word “folder” so saying “thingy” (so professional) and tucking the back of my skirt into my underwear and flashing a whole room.
My most awkward moment, however, was about twenty years ago, and I hope will never be topped. A little background: most of my early and mid teens were spent in an on-again, off-again relationship with a boy named Jon. Now, from the perspective of maturity and motherhood, I realize I was much too young, but at the time, I was head over heels and nobody was going to talk me out of it. I had other boyfriends, but they were basically either attempts to get over Jon or make him jealous. I grew up in a small town and went to church and youth group in an even smaller town seven miles away, and it was in that church and youth group that Jon and I met and basically had our entire relationship.
The relationship was over for good when Jon started seeing another girl in the youth group. They stayed together and eventually got engaged. By this time I was already married (I also got married way too young, but that’s another whole blog), and my husband and I went to the wedding. I knew basically everyone there, and they all knew my history with Jon – not just that we had been “in love” but that he dumped me for the bride and broke my heart.
The ceremony was on a hot summer day, in a tiny church without A/C. The reception line was held on the sidewalk outside. Jon must have been thirsty, and someone brought him some punch from the reception in the church hall. As we were going through the reception line, I held out my hand to shake Jon’s, and he went to hug me at the same time. We tangled, and the punch went – yep, all down the front of the white bridal gown. Red punch, by the way. Oh, and they hadn’t taken any pictures. How many people do you think believed that was really an accident? Now THAT’S awkward!
Thanks to some wonderful women who moved very quickly, the dress was saved, the pictures were fine and all was eventually well. But for me, it will always be a bit traumatic.
What’s YOUR awkward moment? Write it into the comments and I’ll pick a winner. The winner gets absolutely nothing but a warm feeling, bragging rights, and their triumph posted in my blog. 🙂