Valet Confessions

10 Apr

I now find myself living in an area in which valet parking is annoyingly complimentary due to the fact that you cannot park unless you valet. Valet

Even my youngest readers can remember a time when socialites and celebutants, such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, couldn’t get out of a vehicle without flashing their “lady” bits to the world.

It is only after being repeatedly subjected to valet parking that I can now understand the struggles of Paris Hilton. {cough} I’m sorry; did that sentence just formulate in my brain and come tumbling out of my mouth? Yes.  Yes it did.

I say “annoyingly complementary”, because I do not drive a luxury vehicle.  I drive a Honda.  Although I adore my reliable little vehicle, I do not enjoy waiting in line behind a Maserati only to see the look of utter disappointment on the face of the valet attendant when I hand him an actual car key instead of some futuristic-looking gadget.

Then there is the matter of exiting the vehicle.  Maybe it’s because I am petite? Or maybe I am just incapable of being sophisticated? But I cannot seem to gracefully exit a vehicle.  And, unfortunately, the valet attendant is always there to witness it.

Always watching.  Always judging.

I recently went to lunch with my luxury vehicle-driving sister who chose yet another valet-friendly restaurant. {Hurray! Let the valet-induced anxiety begin!}

Me: {On the windiest day of the year I wear a dress, because I hate myself.  Pull up behind a luxury vehicle. Feel inadequate. Valet opens my door}  “Uh… sorry.  Yup.  Just, um, just give me a second here.” {Attempt to exit vehicle like a BOSS.  Fail}

Valet: {Looks away; refusing to acknowledge my existence}

Me: {Am now overcome with the need to explain myself to the attendant who could care less} “Sorry about that.  It’s kind of difficult to get out of the car sometimes.  Especially in a dress! Because… you know” {Expecting valet to understand. HE clearly does not. Attempt to recover by continuing to explain myself} “I just don’t want to flash anyone! {Even though I suspect I just did.} That’s kind of my nightmare!”

Valet: {Staring at me with disdain}

Me: “Because… you know.  Britney?  And also, NO ONE needs to see that, if you know what I’m sayin’?”

Valet: {Has no idea what I’m “sayin’”}

Me: “Because I’m not quite “groomed” these days. You know?” {Why the @#$# did I just say that OUT LOUD?}

Valet: {Look of disdain turns to look of disgust}

Me: “Sorry! I have no idea why I just told you that!” {nervous laughter} “How awkward!” {Have now made situation far more awkward by acknowledging it. Throw my car key at him and run into restaurant}

I ran into the restaurant as if the comfort of my sister’s company and a glass of wine could save me.  It’s like a child who fears monsters under the bed covering their face with the blanket and feeling completely safe.  Except that at some point I would need to exit the restaurant and face the same valet attendant who would probably never forget me, my face or my vehicle for as long as he lives.

After several glasses of wine, I exited the restaurant with a look-if-you-dare-you-awful-valet-attendant-man-person-you attitude. And by that I mean that I cowered behind my sister as I handed over my ticket.

The same attendant pulled up with my vehicle and held the door open for me.  He did not look in my direction as I got into the car, nor did I attempt to explain my ridiculously awkward behavior any further.  I just shoved money in his general direction, jumped into the car most ungracefully (probably flashing everyone in the parking lot – again?), and sped off.

In the words of Kathy Bates in Waterboy, valet parking “is da devil”.

Talk Dirty To Me

3 Apr

In my Valentine’s Day post, I discussed the implications of what a holiday focused on conveying love means for someone who, despite his or her occasional charm, is generally awkward.  But what are the consequences of everyday awkwardness in the boudoir?

Regardless of what your sexual kink(s) might be, you’ve probably encountered someone who has asked you to do something that made you uncomfortable.  I think we’re all having a collective flashback to the episode of Sex and the City when the Politician asks Carrie to pee on him. Right?

Well for me, it’s being asked to talk “dirty”.  I realize it’s not the most scandalous of things, but I just…it makes me uncomfortable. And as you all know, when I’m uncomfortable I laugh loudly and inappropriately in people’s faces.

XvtcU

To this point in my life, I’ve mostly gotten away with giving the vague response of “me too” in these situations.

“You make me so hot”

“Uh… me too”

But that doesn’t always work.

“You make me so hard”

“Me too!”

“What did you just say?”

“Me too?”

I had a boyfriend who not only enjoyed talking dirty, but insisted on a response.  I was able to carry on with my generic “me too” for a while, but one day Boyfriend laid out in explicit detail all the things about me that turned him on. I thought, “Oh, that’s nice” and continued on with my day.

Unfortunately, Boyfriend wanted me to tell him in equally explicit and uncomfortable detail all the things I liked.  Naturally, my first instinct was to bust out in my best impression of Sir Mix-A-Lot:

I like big butts and I cannot lie

You other brothers can’t deny

{mumbling through the part of the song I couldn’t remember}

…that butt you got makes me so horny!

Ooh, Rump-o’-smooth-skin…

{Boyfriend walks out of the room in a huff} Was it something I said?

Convinced that my inability to talk dirty back to him was a major defect that needed to be corrected, Boyfriend decided he would teach me. I argued that he knew I was awkward when he met me and he should really know better, but his major defect was his stubbornness.

So there I was… Boyfriend’s soulful eyes locked with my ever-widening panicky eyes and I begin to laugh uncontrollably. Boyfriend will not be deterred.

Boyfriend: {Ignoring my nervous laughter 2 inches from his face} “What do you like”

Me: “Um…{more nervous giggling}… “I like big butts and I cannot—“

Boyfriend: “NO! This is serious! Tell me. What do you want me to do to you?”

Me: “Um… I… {looking around the room for kinky ideas. Nothing.} I want you to do it.”

Boyfriend: {looks confused but hopeful} Do, what?

Me: “You know… IT.” {raise both eyebrows to emphasize my point}

Boyfriend: “I don’t know what “it” is”

Me:  “Sex, dummy.  Do the sex.”

Boyfriend: “No, you’re not getting it! Be explicit. What sexual things do you want me to do?”

Me: “All of it!”

Boyfriend: “No…”

Me: “Yes. Do all the sex to me!” {fall back into a fit of laughter}

{Boyfriend walks out of the room in a huff} Was it something I said?

I’m all for exploring and experimenting within a relationship {just typing that made me giggle nervously}, but do so in a way that doesn’t intimidate or push your partner past their boundaries.

Above all, embrace the awkward! We may not be the most seductive bunch, but we are capable of great love – and laughter.

Broken Gaydar

31 Mar

gaydarAccording to an exhaustive 3-second Google search, “Gaydar” is defined as “a colloquialism referring to the intuitive ability of a person to assess others’ sexual orientation as gay”.

According to friends, my Gaydar is broken.

I refused to accept that I could not differentiate between a straight man and a gay man, despite the fact that on two separate occasions I had gone on a date with a straight man believing it to be an outing with a possible new gay best friend.

I refused to accept it, until one day…

I was out in the city celebrating a coworker’s birthday when I spotted my client, Cathy, on the other side of the bar. When I went over to say hello, she introduced me to the man standing beside her as being her “friend, Benny”.

I immediately liked Benny.  He was a short, funny, quirky gay man who had some of the wildest and hilarious stories I’ve heard to date. He also had an appreciation for a good high-five, as do I when I’m drunk.  And when I’m sober. I like high-fives a lot. {cough}

Co-worker: “Did you have fun at my birthday the other night?”

Me: “Yeah! It was a great time.”

Co-worker: “What did you think of Cathy’s boyfriend?”

Me: “I didn’t meet him”

Co-worker: “Yes you did! You talked to him for, like, half an hour!”

Me: “No! That was Benny, her friend. He’s gay.” {duh}

Co-worker: “That was Benny, her BOYFRIEND”

Me: “OH MY GOSH! And there I was laughing it up with him thinking he was her friend and making him give me a million high-fives.  The whole time she probably thought I was flirting or something. When that’s clearly not what I was doing. I feel terrible!”

Co-worker: {shakes her head at me and walks away laughing}

I felt terrible, but I had been emailing with Cathy earlier that morning and she seemed perfectly fine.  I was sure she hadn’t interpreted my behavior the other night in any way other than friendly.  About an hour later I’d completely forgotten my conversation with co-worker when the phone rings.  It was Cathy, no doubt calling me to check up on the status of our latest project.

Me: “Good afternoon, Cathy.  How can I help you?”

Cathy: “YOU THOUGHT MY BOYFRIEND WAS GAY?”

Me: {Fuuuuuuuuuck} What? NO! Why would you say –”

Cathy: “Co-worker called me and told me everything!”

Me: {Attempt to murder coworker with my mind. Fail. Begin to stall for time} Nooo.

Cathy: “WHY would you think he was GAY?”

Me: “He… just… I don’t know.  You introduced him as your “friend” and then he kept calling the bartender Papi. I just… It seemed like… Look, I’m really sorry.”

Cathy: “He’s not gay!”

Me: “Again, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean any offense.”

Cathy: “We have sex.  We have LOTS of sex!”

Me: {cringe} “I’m… happy for you?”

After confronting my co-worker, she claimed that she called Cathy in order to clarify that I had not been flirting with Benny. {Mentally chuck a stapler at coworker’s big, fat, stupid head}.

A few weeks later Cathy dumped Benny for reasons she assured me had nothing to do with his sexuality. And I stopped pretending to possess gaydar.

 

I Forgot How To Ride A Bike

18 Mar

You know the old cliché, “It’s just like riding a bike – you never forget.”  Well, I forgot.

When I was eight years old I learned how to ride a bicycle. I was only allowed to ride around the block with my friend who lived up the street, because my parents felt no one within a one-block radius would kidnap me. Um…?

About 6 months later, my friend moved away.  With no one else on my block to ride with, I abandoned my daily rides.

{Fast-forward 13 years}

I was now 21 years old traveling around France with my friend, Selene, when a good-looking guy advertising Mike’s Bike Tours of Paris approached us.

Selene jumped at the opportunity, but I was a little hesitant.  The last bike I rode was child-sized. These bikes were nearly as tall as I was and were sadly tassel-less.  Also, they did not provide helmets, because this is Paris and that would not be chic.

I told Selene that I had forgotten how to ride a bike.  After doubling over in laugher, she said that was impossible and assured me that riding a bike is something you never forget, muttering something about muscle memory.

I was still apprehensive. Selene suggested that we do a practice run while the Guide assembled the remaining group members.

crashed_bicycle_and_lady-dI wobbled terribly and began to suspect the bike had a mind of it’s own and was using said mind to mess with me.

As I headed directly toward the sidewalk Selene screamed “Turn! Turn the bike! Turn now!”

{Jerk handlebar at the last minute sending me speeding in the direction of the opposite sidewalk. Hit sidewalk. Bike falls right; I fly off to the left. The Guide blows the whistle signaling the beginning of the tour.}

Selene: {Gives me a pitiful look} “Well…that’ll have to do.  Just stay to the rear and you should be fine.”

Me: “But… you’ll stay back with me, right? Selene?” {Gulp}

Selene did stay by my side all the while calling out un-helpful instructions, such as “Go straight!” and “Stop falling against the parked cars!”

Then the sadistic Guide took us off the side streets and to the main road.  This is where I learned that there is no greater example of douchbagery in the world than a Parisian taxi driver encountering a woman who has forgotten how to ride a bike.

I could not tell you what we saw on our tour of Paris, because my attention was focused on the area 2 feet directly in front of my wheel.

I was beginning to hyperventilate. In order to calm myself, I decided to start singing in manner of Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss.  Only instead of singing “I love Paris in the springtime…” I began cheerily singing:

“I’m going to die!photo 2
I’m going to diiiiiiiiiiie.
Will I die by taxicab?
Will I die by fall?
I do not yet know.
I’ m going to die.
I’m going to diiiiee!
I’M GOING TO DIE!!!!”

[Do not judge my lyrics unless you can do better while cycling toward what you believe to be your imminent death. <squint>]

The rider ahead turned to look at me {helloooo}, but I continued singing my gloomy tune with a smile on my face.  Because… screw you, bicycle!

The tour stopped off by the river where we were told to get off our death-machines and onto the boat before us.  I thought the Guide must’ve realized that the bicycles were incredibly unsafe and taxi drivers in the area are insane, therefore the tour would conclude on the boat. {sigh of relief}

Once on the boat, we were supplied with copious amounts of champagne as we were safely guided through a waterway tour of Paris at night.  I drank, laughed, danced, and drank some more.  Now this was the Paris I had envisioned!

Then we looped back around and were told to get back on our bikes.  {Fear sweat trickles down my backside}

After drinking a bottle of champagne?

At night?

With Parisian taxi drivers still on the road?

I cannot tell you how I made it back alive.  I have only my Guardian Angel (and many, many parked cars to cushion my fall) to thank for this miracle.

The point being that you CAN forget how to ride a bike and I am barely living proof!

Cat Got Your…Shirt?

28 Feb

To say I was a late bloomer is an understatement.  I didn’t really have a way with men, what with the awkwardness and all.  The braces and thick glasses didn’t help much either {ehem}

Moving on…

Those who have read about the incident with the Most Beautiful Man Known to Human Kind would argue that my awkwardness around men continues.  And I wouldn’t dispute that.  But I will say I’ve gotten better.

Sophomore year of college I was living with my friend, Claudia. I’m not saying she was a Femme Fatale, but she had some game, which was more than I could say for myself. 

I had a crush on our next-door neighbors, Ken Doll & Beagle Boy.  I wasn’t picky about which one I dated; either would do! But I couldn’t figure out how to get them to talk to me.

After months of unsuccessful attempts to engage them in conversation, I looked to Claudia for help.  It took 20 minutes of begging and giving the sad puppy eyes, but she caved.  Her plan was to invite them to our friend’s block party up the street.

“Great plan”, I thought.  “Now go invite them! I’ll wait here.”

It turns out the second half of the plan was for ME to invite them. {panic mode initiated}.  Claudia coached me on what to say so that I could come across casual and cool (as was possible for me, anyway). 

Me: {>knock, knock< attempt to run away several times. Claudia grabs my arm to keep me in place.}

surprised womanKen Doll: {Opens door without a shirt on} “Hey guys!”

Me: {Jaw drops to floor.  Claudia hasn’t prepared me for this!}

Claudia: {Smiles. Gives me a not-so-subtle nudge}

Ken Doll: “What’s up?”

Me: {Continue staring open-mouthed; drool dribbles down my face}

Claudia: {Speak. SPEEEEEEEEEAK!}

Me: {Help me. I’m dying here}

Claudia: {Either picks up on my telepathic plea or could no longer stand the awkwardness} “Hey! We were just wondering if you guys wanted to come with us to our friend’s party.  He’s just up the street.  Lots of folks from our division are going.”

Me: {Fervently nod head in the affirmative.}

Ken Doll: Cool! {looks down at my bobble-like head} But, um, I’ve got a test tomorrow so I should probably study.

Me: {Fervently nod head in the negative.}

Claudia: “What about your roommate?”

 Ken Doll: “He’s not home” {see Beagle Boy walk into the kitchen, oblivious to us in doorway}. Have a good night!

As soon as the door slammed shut in my face I regained the ability to speak as if by magic.  “I’m sooooo sorry, Clau! I just… he… NAKED!”

She puts her arm around my shoulders and says, “Well, I couldn’t get you the guy but how about a Dairy Queen milkshake instead?”

Dairy Queen:  Making the awkward feel better since 1940.

I Fart You

17 Feb

keep-calm-and-listen-to-my-farts-2

Lately I’ve found myself having many conversations about potty humor and dating. An awkward topic, I know. But it keeps coming up in conversation. Probably because my friends know I am the only one who can have an intelligent-ish conversation on this topic.

Yes, I am in my 30s. Yes, I enjoy potty-humor. But is potty humor appropriate in the context of dating? If so, how far is too far?  Like, should I text my date from the bathroom? You know, the burning questions of our time…

It goes without saying that my sense of humor is not something that has always served me well in terms of dating.  Men tend to either smile politely while continuing to stare at my breasts or walk away shaking their heads.

This, I am told by much cooler friends, is not the response one wants.

Admittedly, not everyone is so comfortable with the topic as to purposely give themselves diarrhea whilst vacationing with their boyfriend {ehem}.  But you can’t be so uptight about these things either.

I once had a boyfriend demand that I run the faucet when in the bathroom lest he hear me tinkle. This man saw combat, yet nothing in this world could be so horrible as a tinkle! {fanning self in delicate debutante fashion}

But the thing is, bodily functions do happen! No matter how much you try to hide your disgusting sound effects from a loved one, they will always find a way to sneak through.

One night I was sound asleep at The (ex) Boy’s house, when I woke up with a start.

As I wondered what could’ve startled me, I turned to look at The Boy asleep beside me.  He was a proper Adonis with his bare chest glistening in the glow of the moonlight.  Lips softly parted as if to say, “kiss me”.  My breath caught at the sight of…

{PBHFBBFPFFFFFFFT}

WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!

I saw his brow scrunch up like a baby about to drop a poo in the middle of the living room.

{pbhfffffft <squeak>}

His face relaxed back into the sweet embrace of slumber.

1350542305802_3306984Having realized that it was his powerful toots which woke me, I was in a fit of silent giggles. Not wanting to wake him, I stuffed the bed sheets in my mouth to keep from laughing out loud as he continued to serenade me with the song of his people.

Not able to resist any longer, I jokingly whispered down to him, “What was that you said, mi amor?”

{PPBBBFPFPFPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTPBSPFB}

“Aw, I fart you too” {scoot to far end of bed and fall asleep still giggling}

When I informed The Boy of what had happened, he was so horrified he nearly crashed the car. [Note to self: Do not spring awkwardness on people while they are driving].

In conclusion, the moral of the story – if there even is one? Who knows anymore!– is that one cannot be so uptight about bodily functions.  They are a part of our daily lives. They will happen whether you want them to or not.

And if that doesn’t convince you, then think of it this way: After witnessing an incident like the one above, you now have the ammunition to win every single argument!

“Why can’t you ever unload the dishwasher?”
Why can’t you stop farting in your sleep?”

“You embarrassed me in front of my parents tonight!
As embarrassing as the time you woke me up with your machine gun farts?”

 You see? Embrace the potty humor.  It may even save your relationship!

Or… maybe not.

Valentine’s Day: An Awkward Journey

6 Feb

cardFebruary, the month of love, heralds the arrival of Valentine’s Day.  It’s a difficult holiday to ignore when every time I turn on the TV or walk into a store I am smacked in the face with hearts and cherubs.  I find myself desiring things I would normally never want, like an edible fruit arrangement or an open heart pendant from Kay.

 Just the other day I went to McDonald’s and saw they were offering romantic candlelit dinners for Valentine’s Day!  I stood frozen in front of the Dollar menu, contemplating the pros and cons of having Ronald McDonald, Grimace and The Hamburglar along on a date {shiver} until a mother with 3 kids in the midst of a meltdown if they didn’t get a Happy Meal shoved me aside.

 I spent the rest of the day thinking about Valentine’s Day.  In particular, what a holiday focused on conveying love and admiration to a loved one means for someone who, despite his or her occasional charm, is generally awkward.

For those who are in love it is a time of great joy and provides an excellent opportunity to rub your two-dozen roses in your co-worker’s face.  For those who are single it can be a time of sadness, when the memories of love lost are haunting and units of alcohol consumed skyrocket.

And then there are those who are awkward…

For the awkward person, Valentine’s Day can be tricky. We are a well-intentioned people, but where we struggle is with the execution of our best laid plans.

I’d like to share some of my own experiences and lessons learned in hopes that those who love an awkward person can understand their struggle.

[Note: not all of these will apply to you or your loved one.  But they might.  Maybe?  I mean, they clearly all apply to me, so… yeah.]

Lesson 1:  The awkward person is not subtle.

 Let me remind you all that Awkward Charm’s very first post, Awkward Swagger, was the story of a 4-year old me attempting to seduce my sister’s friend by hugging his leg and shoving a potato chip in his face.  I suppose you could say I peaked early? {cough}

Lesson 2:  The awkward person cannot “read” the situation.

            In 3rd grade I was completely and utterly in love with my classmate, Andy.  He was in my math group and I spent every minute staring at him from across the table.

             You can imagine how excited I was when Valentine’s Day finally arrived! I gave everyone in class a card, but saved the best one for Andy.  Andy, however, gave a card to everyone except me.  No bother! I would not be fazed. I loved him.  And I was going to let him know! As we lined up by the door for the final bell to ring, I mustered up the courage to tell him what was in my heart. 

I closed my eyes and at the top of my lungs I screamed “ANDY, I LOVE YOU!”  {class goes silent, bell rings, Andy runs away, I become a pariah}.

Lesson 3: The awkward person does not always express their emotions appropriately

            In college I was at a bar with a friend who I had a crush on.  Valentine’s Day was around the corner and I wanted a date – him specifically.  However, a lifetime of rejection had taught me that this was just a fantasy.  So, when he turned to me and began to praise all my virtues, I was happy that he at least valued me as a person.  When he cupped my face in his hands, I was confused.  When he kissed me, I was completely overwhelmed. Everything from exhilaration to anxiety hit me all at once.  Was this really happening?

As he sat there, giving me a smug, satisfied look, I threw my head back and laughed loudly in his face.

He was furious. I tried to explain that I sometimes laugh when I’m overwhelmed or nervous, but the more distraught I became, the harder I laughed.  I took several big gulps of my drink and urged him to kiss me again, solemnly swearing not to laugh this time.  He took a deep breath and began to kiss me; oblivious to all the looks we were getting from the other patrons.  He pulled away, asking with some hostility in his voice, “And?”

And… I laughed again.

Lesson 4: The awkward person is not a romantic

            It’s not that I do not like romance or that I cannot appreciate the effort, I just… it makes me uncomfortable.  And as you can see from the story above, my reaction to these situations is not always the most appropriate.

A boyfriend I had a few years ago decided to surprise me with a grand, romantic gesture to compensate for a lifetime of dismal Valentine’s Day experiences.  I should also point out that I do not do well with surprises {ehem}. We had agreed to go to dinner and spend the night at my house.  When we got back home, he insisted we go in through the back entrance, which I thought was unusual because it meant having to walk around the block through the rain-slicked path and up the pitch-black porch.

I stepped into the kitchen, but it was dark and there was something silky under my feet.  My wet shoes skid and I slammed my hip into the stove, pinballing my little body into Boyfriend’s chest and onto the floor.

Me: “Fucketty, fuck, fuck, fucking, FUCK!”

Boyfriend: {turns on light revealing a trail of rose petals leading into the bedroom} “Surprise?”

Me: {angrily stomp off into the sanctuary of my bedroom following near death experience} “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?” {pointing to even more offending rose petals covering my bed}

Boyfriend: It’s romance.

Me: {skeptical squint} Is it?

Lesson 5: The awkward person is not seductive

            My boyfriend at the time had suggested we do something to spice things up for Valentine’s Day.  Seduction has never been my strong suit (See Lesson 1), so I had to consult my girlfriends for ideas.

They suggested I take a pole dancing class.  I tried to argue against this by pointing out that neither of us had a pole in our respective homes. However, the girls suggested the class could teach me to unleash my inner wildcat.  I was pretty sure the only thing inside me was a smaller, more awkward version of myself, but I agreed to take the class anyway.

            The pole dancing class consisted of 2 hours of me flinging my body against the pole while the instructor screamed “GIVE ME SEX EYES!” whatever that meant!

            When I got home I was covered in bruises, my wrists were swollen, and I felt anything but sexy. The Boyfriend patted my head and told me not to worry because he had something lined up – this may have been his plan all along?  On the day, he surprised me with a strip tease. I started laughing to the point that tears were streaming down my face.

Luckily, he was fully aware of my habit of laughing when I was uncomfortable and didn’t seem offended by it.  But he did feel it warranted punishment, so he held me face down and began to tickle me.  I laughed until I thought I would throw up.

Instead, I farted.

I farted in his face.

I farted in his face on Valentine’s Day.

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”

 ~Victor Hugo

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